Samsung joins VMware's mobile virtualisation push

VMware plans to bring mobile virtualisation to Samsung phones running the Android operating system, potentially allowing people to consolidate their corporate and personal settings and applications into a single device.The partnership, announced on Tuesday at VMworld in Las Vegas, sees Samsung join LG as another phone manufacturer working with VMware on implementing the VMware Horizon Mobile technology in Android handsets.

VMware plans to bring mobile virtualisation to Samsung phones running the Android operating system, potentially allowing people to consolidate their corporate and personal settings and applications into a single device.

The partnership, announced on Tuesday at VMworld in Las Vegas, sees Samsung join LG as another phone manufacturer working with VMware on implementing the VMware Horizon Mobile technology in Android handsets.

"We've started a strategic partnership with Samsung to bring the same [mobile virtualisation] solutions to their Android devices," VMware's chief technology officer Stephen Herrod told attendees at VMworld on Tuesday.

Mobile virtualisation allows IT administrators to create a secure, virtualised enterprise area on an individual person's phone. The LG partnership was announced in December. VMware says its technology can provide security and control for the enterprise by hosting the business part of the phone in a secure hypervisor.

The technology is designed to alleviate IT managers' concern over the consumerisation of IT, by giving them a way of embedding security into user devices that are brought into enterprise networks, Herrod said.

VMware Horizon Mobile is also part of a wider scheme by VMware to provide an identity broker for the cloud, potentially allowing organisations to tie applications and policies to an individual rather than a single device.

"Wherever we happen to be we should be able to get access to our IT and our data," Herrod said, so VMware is working on a range of technologies relating to Horizon to make it easier to grant access to applications and security on a per-individual, rather than per-device basis.

"Data shold be assigned to a specific user, not a specific device," he said.

Competition from down under

Besides VMware, Australian company Open Kernel Labs (OK Labs) is also working on mobile virtualisation technology.

When ZDNet UK spoke to Open Kernel Labs in February the company said it was in talks with two major phone manufacturers to use its technology, which it believes is superior to VMware's approach.

OK Labs believes that because its technology uses the OKL4 microvisor — a lightweight, bare metal hypervisor — its technology has better security than VMware as it has a lower overall code footprint on the phone.

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