Mokafive changes direction with Mokafive for iOS & Trickleback with Cloud Sync (from VMworld 2012)

We all know Mokafive as the layering and client hypervisor company, focused on managing Windows desktops, so when they released Mokafive for iOS, I was initially dismissive. Frankly, I thought it would be some sort of RDP-based solution so that people could access their virtual Windows desktops from iPads. Instead, it's an entirely new product in their lineup that challenges many of the new features that we are starting to see in other solutions like Citrix Receiver, like a behind-the-scenes VPN and follow-me data. In addition to that, Mokafive also announced Trickleback Data with Cloud Sync, which allows users to store encrypted, secure data in unencrypted space.

Mokafive for iOS

Mokafive for iOS is an application, downloaded from the App Store, that, once connected to a management server inside an organization, gives users secure access to data and web applications. The security applies not only to the no-touch VPN functionality (a secure connection is maintained between the client and the management server), but also to the data that resides in or is accessible from the app, which is isolated from the device itself. Policies are configured to allow or disallow interaction between the data in the Mokafive for iOS app and the applications on the device, so if the built-in file viewers (of which there are many) that are part of the Mokafive app aren't enough, admins can allow users to open up, say, XLS files with QuickOffice for editing. Users can also access intranet websites (or any site, really) through the secure channel between the app and the datacenter.

Trickleback with Cloud Sync

Data is synced to the device using Trickleback with Cloud Sync, which leverages any commodity cloud storage solution or local storage system to synchronize data between devices. Data lives in any folder (configured by the admin) on Windows devices (no Mac support yet), and is copied by the Cloud Sync agent to whatever storage systems are configured in the management console. These storage systems can be used in tandem with each other so that data can be replicated not only to local stores, but also to Amazon, Dropbox, Box, etc… When copied to the storage solution, the data is encrypted and it's decrypted on the fly when synchronized to other devices, including Mokafive for iOS.

Trickleback with Cloud Sync is what AppSense Labs' DataLocker aspires to be. DataLocker encrypts files that exist in unencrypted cloud storage solutions (well, just Dropbox, actually) and works with Windows, OS X, and iOS. Using it, though, requires the user to drop files in to a special folder that is used by DataLocker manage encryption. Each file is encrypted with it's own passphrase, and the user must know the passphrase to unlock the encryption put on the file.

Trickleback, on the other hand, uses an agent that watches specified folder locations and does all the work in the background, taking the user out of the picture altogether. They just work like they always do. Plus, they support more solutions than just Dropbox.

For more on both of these products, check out the interview I did with John Whaley. You can see the file sync, policy engine, and Mokafive for iOS in action. It's definitely worth a look, and I'm excited to see what future versions are like. Mokafive for iOS can be a direct competitor to Citrix Receiver's VPN and follow-me data functionality without the need for Netscaler and with a much broader storage support system. Of course, Citrix has their Mobile Application Management and app wrapping technology, but it's still early in this game. Mokafive could turn that out in a future version.

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