Samsung backs VMware mobile hypervisor

VMware is also unveiling new device management software that enterprises can use to manage the phones

Samsung plans to make phones running VMware's mobile hypervisor technology and enterprises may be able to better manage those phones with new software from VMware, the virtualization company is announcing on Tuesday.

Computerworld feature Virtualization 101: What is virtualization?

The companies did not offer specifics about which Samsung phones might get the technology. "It will be dependent on the carriers," said Srinivas Krishnamurti, director of product management and market development for VMware. "We have carrier partners lined up who will take us to market." VMware isn't saying yet which carriers are interested in selling the phones but expects them to launch in the coming months.

VMware first started talking about its mobile virtualization product late last year and showed it off in February running on an LG phone. LG has also said it plans to make phones available with the technology, starting with phones that will be available from Verizon.

VMware's hypervisor works on Android phones and would allow people to buy their own devices and run a separate version of the operating system dedicated to corporate applications. The idea is to isolate corporate applications like e-mail from applications that users might download for personal use that have the potential to corrupt corporate data.

Samsung and LG must load modules from the hypervisor onto the phones in order to make them capable of using the technology. Once users buy the phones, they can download the VMware application that allows them to have a personal and a corporate profile on the phone, Krishnamurti said.

The architecture has been criticized because it essentially runs two full versions of Android on a single phone, which has the potential to impact performance. But VMware has been working with about 100 end users at 10 different enterprises in a private beta and hasn't heard complaints about the performance, he said.

VMware is also announcing this week that it has developed management software that will allow enterprises to manage just the corporate side of the phone. IT managers will be able to remotely wipe just the corporate applications and data if a user loses the phone or leaves the company. The software will also let managers push applications to and set policies for the corporate profile on the phone.

The software works in conjunction with the hypervisor running on the phone.

Because many enterprises may already have mobile device management tools, VMware plans to release an SDK (software development kit) that would allow other vendors to incorporate the VMware management software into their products. That would allow an enterprise to use the potentially more fully functional software from a traditional mobile device management product and manage the VMware phones from the same console.

VMware hopes to release the SDK shortly after it releases the device management product. The mobile device management software will become available once devices hit the market, which should happen in the "coming months," VMware said.

LG, which will be talking about its interest in mobile virtualization at VMworld, also isn't saying when its phones will launch. The phone maker plans to also consider additional virtualization technologies, but said companies will likely be comfortable working with technology developed by VMware. "It helps that VMware's existing base is familiar with their technology and if you have a core data center on VMware you probably will be a lot more comfortable trying out mobile virtualization from the same company," said Ki Kim, corporate vice president of LG Electronics and head of the company's global enterprise mobility solutions business.

A VMware video demonstrates on an LG phone how end users will toggle between the corporate and personal profiles.

Mobile virtualization has been a hot topic over the past year as IT departments feel increasing pressure from employees who want to bring devices of their choice to the office. There are other approaches, in addition to VMware's. Open Kernel Labs is offering tools to developers that would let individual applications run in virtual machines. Enterproid has also developed software that doesn't use traditional virtualization technology, but separates corporate applications on Android phones.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesVMwareAndroidvirtualizationconsumer electronicsSamsung ElectronicsLG Electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?