Posted by: mobilitycloud | May 12, 2011

Virtualization leaps to applications, mobile devices and databases

Virtualization leaps to applications, mobile devices and databases

How the technology is making the jump from the server realm into the
application, mobile and database worlds.

By Beth Schultz
April 27, 2011 03:10 PM ET
Computerworld – Here, there and
— yes — everywhere, virtualization
is headed toward ubiquity.

“We’re almost to the point where we don’t even have to say virtualization or
describe architectures as using virtualization, because it’s becoming an implied
part of technology,” says Chris Wolf, a Gartner Inc. analyst.

Indeed, virtualization already is well on its way to dominating the server
realm and is edging onto the desktop. In no time at all, virtualization’s reach
will expand across the application landscape, hit the mobile arena and land in
the data tier. Here’s a closer look at its journey across the IT infrastructure.

“We’re almost to the point where we don’t even have to say virtualization or
describe architectures as using virtualization, because it’s becoming an implied
part of technology,” says Chris Wolf, a Gartner Inc. analyst.

Indeed, virtualization already is well on its way to dominating the server
realm and is edging onto the desktop. In no time at all, virtualization’s reach
will expand across the application landscape, hit the mobile arena and land in
the data tier. Here’s a closer look at its journey across the IT infrastructure.

Mobile Opportunities

Indeed, the mobile realm is the next frontier for VMware, says Srinivas
Krishnamurti, the company’s senior director of mobile solutions.

For one thing, as mobile phones morph into powerful computing devices with
fast CPUs and a lot of memory, they’re becoming the next-generation PCs,
Krishnamurti says. Second, market watchers expect annual mobile phone sales to
exceed PC sales within two years. “As more data, applications and services get
consumed on mobile phones, that makes it an important endpoint to address,” he
says.

VMware has been actively promoting the idea of mobile
virtualization
for more than two years, since its 2008 release of VMware
Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP), which is designed to be embedded in
smartphones. It lets handset makers design applications for multiple operating
systems and lets customers use two profiles on a single phone. VMware gained the
technology through its acquisition of Trango Virtual Processors in 2008.

The first manifestation of mobile virtualization will likely appear in
open-source Android devices, as a result of the December 2010 partnership
between VMware and LG Electronics. The companies’ mobile virtualization
initiative embraces the idea that people would like to carry a single phone,
rather than one for work and one for personal use, Krishnamurti says. Initial
efforts will focus on enabling LG smartphones to run corporate and personal
accounts on a single device. IT could secure and manage the corporate “bubble,”
which would run in isolation from the personal account, he says.

However, even as VMware touts mobile virtualization, Gartner’s Wolf cautions
that no major carrier has committed to supporting VMware MVP.

“One of the concerns that I’ve heard about mobile platforms is providers want
to ensure they’re not leaving money on the table because they support this
technology,” he says. Right now, users might feel inconvenienced because they
have to carry two phones. But that doesn’t necessarily bother the carriers,
because it means they sell more phones. “They aren’t necessarily motivated to
support a hypervisor that would have them selling one less phone and perhaps one
less contract to a user,” says Wolf.

That’s the sentiment VMware heard from server vendors when it introduced its
first virtualization product — but now many of them are actually embedding
virtualization in their systems, Krishnamurti points out.

“They’ve discovered that virtualization gives them the opportunity to sell
higher-margin, higher-end machines and leverage technology innovations like
multiple cores,” he says. “We think mobile virtualization will go down a similar
track, especially since we’re already seeing multicore ARM [processors] that
will let customers leverage hardware innovations on mobile phones.”

Craig Wilson, IT director at Winthrop & Weinstine, a Minneapolis law
firm, says he’s not convinced that virtual desktops will be running on mobile
phones in the near future, but he’s closely watching what VMware is doing to
support its desktop virtualization product, VMware View, on iPads and other
non-PC devices.

“That’s one of the nice things about VMware: Whatever gadget comes out, we’re
probably going to be able to test and use it,” Wilson says. “That’s appealing to
us, since our firm always looks at being flexible with attorneys for balance of
work and home while still meeting our clients’ needs.”

Seeing other companies introduce data virtualization products wouldn’t be
surprising, Taneja says. After all, he adds, it’s “absolutely brilliant”
technology.

Schultz is a longtime IT writer and editor. You can reach her at bschultz5824@gmail.com.

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