The announcement of VMware’s upcoming MVP (Mobile Virtualization Platform) product called Horizon Mobile was one of the big notables to come out of VMworld 2011.
Horizon Mobile is part of the virtualization company’s initiative to provide customers with better end-user computing tools and application support.
To see how MVP works, we must first take a close look at consumerization, a trend in IT many of us are already well familiar with. Consumerization, in short, is the introduction of commercial consumer goods into the business world.
Phones, tablets and other consumer-branded devices are finding their way into corporate infrastructures. This is both a blessing and a headache for end-users and IT pros alike, especially in companies that have large mobile workforces.
The Good and Bad of IT Consumerization
Employees are bringing in and using their own smartphones and tablets to get their jobs done. This could be because of current economic trends, training or simply out of convenience. Either way, being able to use their own mobile goods in a corporate environment presents the user with a freedom to use a device they’re already familiar with.
They can configure email, run apps or access business related documentation. However, on the downside, there are privacy and security concerns to intermingling private and work lives on a mobile device.
What do employees do if they don’t want access privileged information on their personal mobile environments? Do employers then need to provide workers with additional –corporate sanctioned—smartphones or tablets to lug around during both on and off business hours?
Companies may benefit from consumerization by reducing the amount spent on mobile hardware for its employees. Keeping up with quickly advancing technologies and the technical economy in general with refreshed hardware may be difficult and expensive, however. Further on the downside is the need for IT to manage access to enterprise applications and data on hardware that doesn’t belong to their department or company.
That’s where VMware’s MVP platform steps into the picture.
VMware’s concept for mobile virtualization’s been swirling around for the past couple of years. Working with smartphone manufacturers LG and Samsung, VMware is set to release a virtualized mobile solution that will run on most, if not all, current Android phone models sold by these two major cell phone manufacturers. LG signed onto VMware’s MVP plan last December, while Samsung announced their involvement during VMworld 2011.
Julio UrquidiJulio Urquidi is the Technical Editor at Tom's IT Pro. Previously, he spent 17 years in healthcare-related enterprise IT. Julio’s most recent responsibilities centered around virtualization, but he is also well-versed in Linux, Windows and systems administration. Specializing in articles that help small companies with limited budgets leverage technology, he has been a contributing editor to Tom's Hardware.