VMware shows mobile virtualisation with Samsung phone

Jennifer Scott News
29 Feb, 2012

The virtualisation specialist has been talking about the project for three years, but it finally shows mobile virtualisation in practice

VMware has achieved its aim of mobile virtualisation, impressing the crowds at Mobile World Congress with demonstrations.

The company has been talking about the project to bring virtualisation to the handset for three years, claiming it could allow two phones to run within one piece of hardware, but it is only this week the project became a reality.

During his keynote speech at the show, Srinivas Krishnamurti, senior director of mobile solutions at the CTO Office within VMware, showed off the technology running on Samsung’s Galaxy S II.

The phone seems like any other Android device at first but with the single click of an icon and the entering of a password, it switches to a second profile in a matter of seconds, which has its own number, own price plan and own security measures from corporate data.

If a user wants to switch back to personal, it is just a touch of the same icon again, but notifications for both profiles will appear regardless of which you are using at the time.

Krishnamurti claimed this technology was needed to give businesses peace of mind with employees bringing in their own mobiles, whilst also giving that worker a positive experience.

“As we look at mobile in the enterprise, a lot of people equate it [with] BlackBerry and that has been the gold standard,” he said.

“We have gotten past that, now people are thinking of [mobiles] as small PCs. How we use these devices is changing [and] there is a lot of fragmentation. Look at Android, no two are the same and it is a bloody nightmare for management.”

Krishnamurti added: “BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] helps us save cost, but we cannot compromise on security and any corporate content on the device, so why not make a device with a split personality?”

IT departments need to look at managing mobiles differently in the new era of consumerisation and he believes this type of virtualisation is the answer.

“The old models of managing devices is not going to work and the notion of managing devices is not going to play anymore,” he said.

“We think you should provision users, not the devices.”

But Krishnamurti wasn’t just teasing with the demo of the device. He revealed Telefonica would be the partner with VMware in Europe to sell handsets from both Samsung and LG as soon as the second quarter of this year.

“Home phone and work phone on same device; two numbers, two sets of apps, and a good, thick wall between the two,” he concluded.

“You don’t have to carry two phones anymore.”

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