Developing a type 1 hypervisor that interacts directly with the hardware is impractical, argues Ben Goodman, lead evangelist for VMware Horizon. "We moved to a type 2 hypervisor because the speed at which mobile devices are being revised makes it nearly impossible to keep up."
As to security, VMware is working on an encryption approach similar to the Trusted Computing Group's Trusted Platform Module standard as well as jail-break detection.
Performance won't be a problem, Goodman promises. "VMware Horizon is optimized to run extremely well, and performance is exceptional." However, VMware declined to provide the names of any of early adopters who might speak publicly about the product.
Israeli startup Cellrox Ltd. offers its own twist on virtualization for Android devices. The technology, called ThinVisor and developed at Columbia University, is neither a type 1 nor type 2 hypervisor but "a different level of virtualization that resides in the OS and allows multiple instances of the OS using the same kernel," says CEO Omer Eiferman. It offers the product to cellular service providers and smartphone manufacturers, as well as to large enterprise customers.
Problems and promise
Not all containerization products support iOS, which powers the iPhone and iPad, the smartphones most commonly found in enterprises. While Apple has 22% market share worldwide compared to 50% for Android, in the enterprise those numbers are reversed: The iPhone commands a 60% market share versus just 10% for Android, according to Gartner.
For the products that do support iOS, Apple's legendary secrecy about OS enhancements means containerization vendors receive no advance notice and must scramble every time Apple releases an update. The bottom line: Users may have trouble accessing corporate resources if they upgrade their personal iPhone too quickly or frequently. "iOS changes often cause service interruptions while Good Technology's products are modified, tested, then released for our end users," says Terry at University Hospitals.
"We can't afford to delete things of a personal nature or impede [end-users'] ability to use their personal asset," says Ryan Terry, division CIO and CSO at University Hospitals Health System.