Hey Dell: While you have your checkbook open, how about buying MokaFive?

Dell's been on tear recently within our industry, having acquired both Wyse and Quest Software. One of the first things they did with Quest, by the way, was to rename the desktop virtualization product back to "vWorkspace.

Dell's been on tear recently within our industry, having acquired both Wyse and Quest Software. One of the first things they did with Quest, by the way, was to rename the desktop virtualization product back to "vWorkspace." Quest had switched the product's name to "Quest Workspace Desktop Virtualization" about a month before the Dell acquisition, but since Dell already had a product with the initials WDV, they had to change it back. (Hearing that story reminds me of Seinfeld's "sounds like he runs real tight ship" referring to the fact that George's boss Mr. Kruger wouldn't let two employees both have the name Koko. I love thinking of Michael Dell himself enforcing this policy.)

ANYWAY, so now Dell has Quest vWorkspace and Wyse's complete hardware and software stack. They've also got a lot of other components, some desktop virtualization-related (KACE), and some just plain cool. (Sonicwall, Force10)

But one of the major pieces missing from Quest (well, and now Dell) is the ability to run, manage, package, and deliver an instance of Windows that runs locally on a laptop. Citrix added this capability by buying Virtual Computer, and VMware added it by buying Wanova. Quest Software, rather than buying this capability, instead OEM'ed it from MokaFive. (The rumor is that Quest tried to buy them, but MokaFive wanted too much money, so they went for the OEM deal instead.)

But now that Dell has their checkbook open, why not complete the trifecta and pickup MokaFive too?

Why I like MokaFive

I've always sort of grouped Virtual Computer, Wanova, and MokaFive into the same bucket. One of the really cool things about these three companies is that they all take completely different approached to the same problem—the management of Windows on laptops.

Virtual Computer—meh, it's fine. I don't *love* the idea of using a Type 1 hypervisor on a laptop, mainly because it requires the IT department to "own" (or "pwn") the laptop, so it's not a great BYO or contractor solution. It also means there's no good solution for Macs and the HCL is somewhat narrow.

Wanova—I like them a lot, and I love that they handle all the management from within Windows, so if you have Windows, you can have Wanova. Brilliant! Of course you still have to figure out how to get Windows to the laptop which can be an issue if you want to manage a different Windows instance than whatever's natively installed on the laptop. But in general, I love Wanova and think it's brilliant. I'd buy Wanova way before I bought Virtual Computer. (Which sucks because I'd buy XenDesktop way before I'd buy View. Damn you corporate consolidation!)

When it comes to MokaFive, I love them for having the perfect (well, let's call it "current best") answer to BYOD. MokaFive is ideal for the true BYOD scenario where you don't need the "benefits" (read: "expense") of VDI. (Because those who claim VDI is great for BYO, I mean yeah, but talk about killing an ant with a sledgehammer! Plus then you have to deal with all performance issues, no offline, etc, etc.

Dell buy mokafive

Why Dell needs MokaFive

If Dell is serious about bringing an end-to-end desktop virtualization or delivery product to the market, then they have to something for local/offline use cases. And simply OEMing a solution doesn't leave a good feeling. That makes use feel like they bought Quest for their back end management stuff and Wyse for their thin clients. Both fine moves, but if Dell wants to truly evolve their business into an enterprise solutions company, they need to embrace the Windows delivery side of things too.

Why MokaFive needs Dell

On the flipside, I would actually think that MokaFive needs Dell more than Dell needs them. (Or at least as much?) I mean what's MokaFive's other option? Picked up by Lenovo? HP couldn't really take them.. doesn't make sense, and if HP buys anyone it should be Citrix. Cisco? MokaFive certainly can't survive on their own now that all their competition is being bought up by huge companies.

At the end of the day, is there any other option for either company?

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I think Dell would be better off buying someone like Zirtu (www.zirtu.com)... Would be easier to mould them to the "Dell" way. I would say groom but that sounds wrong these days...

I like Moka's type 2 stuff, providing the users machine is man enough to handle.

The baremetal stuff still lacks a native feel to it and when we piloted it, we didn't get a great response. It's also to reliant on hardware support in my view... Linux community isn't always great at supporting the latest and greatest hardware.

Moka's real plus for me is the ease of management.

Wanova is the real "missed" one for Dell/Quest in my view..


They don't even have a management team listed on their website anymore. It's DOA and a firesale at best. I've been a fan for a long time, but they have become a rudderless ship with no direction. The best thing they have IMO is the new data security stuff. It's something they should have done 2 years ago when the whole the BYOD things started. So unless they sell fast and cheap, they are dead unless they build a real team to lead them in to the future which is going to be very hard in a complex market with new players entering all the time.


@ appdetective

Had to respond to this one. I want to assure you that not only are we alive, we doing very well across the board. BYOD initiatives have a lit a fire for MokaFive and we are seeing huge wins in many verticals including healthcare, education, oil and gas and telcos.  Now, with the addition of the mobile suite, we are the only provider that has a single solution for all types of devices in the enterprise.  Further, there are lot of great new developments that will be announced in the coming year as well.

Our team is here, committed, and very engaged. We are also growing, so if you are looking for a opportunity – now is the right time ;)

As far as the team page is concerend, as you noticed, we are in process of revamping our web site. We are currently iterating and making changes.


@purnima great to hear the positive sentiment especially from the rare breed of a female leader in the valley. That said, I am highly suspect. Your website is new vs. a few months ago and I simply don't believe you don't have a management merry go round occurring. You don't even list your CEO or you as the COO (according to your LinkedIn profile).

Also in terms of growth, great for tactical use cases that will accept Type 2 and really need offline. However i doubt there are any examples where is the new way. i do like the potential of your new mobile suite and look forward to seeing where you take it.

However my prediction, lipstick will be put on a pig that has not delivered for years. Mokafive will be dressed up all pretty for a sale, but you need to sing and show the growth story to get there. I have no problem with that BTW, lot's of good people there, who I hope find a good exit or success after a grind so far to date.


I like Mokafive in our Test lab and suits what we want to achieve. It complements vWorkspace very well. Of course there are few things that could be improved. Technical support could be better as well. It's certainly a sticking point to adopt this great technology if it's future is lingering.