Server virtualization and cloud computing are fast becoming the de-facto standard for delivering IT services. The increased flexibility and can benefit multiple types of workloads including enterprise mobility. However, virtualization on mobile devices is increasing to meet the following enterprise needs:
- Accessing virtual applications (e.g. Citrix Receiver, VMWare View). Access Microsoft Windows applications from smartphones and tablets. The applications themselves are running on remote servers. This approach provides secure access to legacy applications (since no data is stored on the device). Negatives include lack of disconnected access and an end-user experience that some users may have issues with since the application isn't native
- Virtualizing the smartphone/tablet (e.g. VMWare, Red Bend). Multiple virtual machines on the same physical device. Why is this important? With increasing numbers of devices being used for both personal and work data, is can be useful to segment the mobile device into two parts - work and personal with different security polices for each (e.g. lock down the work half). One of the biggest pain points for enterprise users is enforcing a device password and wiping an entire device (not just he work data). YouTube has a great video of VMWare's solution. Challenges include support for multiple platforms/carriers/phones and the overhead of software hypervisors relative to bare metal.
Native, web and hybrid applications remain extremely popular with end-users. With the demise of Adobe Flash, HTML5 is poised for rapid adoption in 2012.