Simon Bramfitt reviews the Mokafive Baremetal platform.
BareMetal is the last part of the MokaFive Suite (reviewed here) and MokaFive’s answer to the type 1 client hypervisor offerings from Citrix and Virtual Computer. BareMetal is a special-purpose virtual desktop execution environment that is installable directly on the bare metal of a desktop PC or laptop, replacing the native operating system. BareMetal integrates the MokaFive Player with a hardened Linux-based OS. This provides MokaFive customers with the opportunity to deliver endpoints that have no more management overhead than typical thin-client devices, while retaining the performance benefits of local desktop execution.
Type I Hypervisor
To be clear, BareMetal is not a type I hypervisor. Instead it is better thought of as a hardened Linux OS, stripped of all unnecessary components and integrated with the MokaFive virtual machine player type II hypervisor and supporting management services. There are significant architectural differences between BareMetal and a type I hypervisor but they both achieve the same result – the ability to host multiple guest operating systems on a secure computing platform. MokaFive’s BareMetal architecture does offer one significant advantage in that its Linux base enables it to deliver cross-platform hardware compatibility without having to address the challenges of developing custom device drivers to support the many thousands of different physical devices seen in existing desktop and laptop PCs. The key question then is not “Is this a true type I hypervisor?”, but “Does MokaFive BareMetal fulfill the primary requirements needed to provide an effective platform on which to build a desktop virtualization environment?” What this ultimately comes down to is how does BareMetal fare against the following criteria:
- Extensive hardware compatibility list
- Near native performance
- Multi-platform support