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VMware preps vCenter management client for Apple iPad

VMware has demonstrated a new client application for its vCenter management tools that runs on the Apple iPad.

The application will be available before the end of the year from the App Store, said Steve Herrod, VMware’s CTO, at the company’s VMworld Europe conference on Tuesday.

It won’t offer all the management features of the vCenter desktop client. It has been designed from scratch for Apple’s tablet and will have the features admins are most likely to use while on the road. They’ll be able to see the status of virtual machines and whether there are any alerts, for example, Herrod said.

The main interest around smartphones and tablets is using them to access enterprise applications and desktops, he said. To allow that, VMware is working on versions of its View client, which allows users to access Windows desktops virtually, for the iPad and the iPhone. They will show up in the first half of next year, according to Herrod.

One nice feature with the View client for the iPad is a virtual trackpad that appears on the screen for navigation.

A View client for Android is also on the way, Herod promised, even if it is not at the top of VMware’s priority list. Herrod didn’t commit to a time frame when it will arrive.

While VMware View provides access to applications running on a central server, Vmware is also working to bring full virtualization to mobile devices, allowing them to run multiple operating environments, much as servers and desktops can today.

For that technology, Android is its platform of choice. Product announcements will be made early next year in that area, with part of the goal being to provide a safe, separate work environment on the devices. The product will be called the Mobile Virtualization Platform.

VMware had to learn the hard way that developing a bare-metal hypervisor that runs directly on smartphones is not the way to go. It limited the number of devices on which mobile virtualization could be made available, Herrod said.

VMware has been late to the game in the mobile space, but Herrod said enterprises should expect a lot more announcements going forward. The company has seen the same growing interest in mobile as everybody else and now has a team in place to look at this area, he said.

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