Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) Demystified
What is Virtual Mobile Infrastructure?
VMI is the equivalent of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for the modern - and mobile - world. Compared to hosting desktop operating systems like Windows and allowing users to access them remotely, VMI hosts mobile operating systems like Android or individual mobile application instances, allowing users to access them remotely. VMI is sometimes also referred to as Android-based VDI.
Is Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) only limited to mobile apps with touch input?
No, VMI is not limited to applications with touch input. Virtual Mobile Infrastructure applications can support traditional mouse and keyboard apps as well as touch based apps. Enabling enterprises that use traditional VDIs to migrate to VMI. It is completely transparent to the end user. Apps can be accessed from traditional thin clients, mobile phones, tablets, and PCs.
Virtual Mobile Infrastructure can be hosted on low cost microservers using Intel Atom, ARMv7 (32-bit ARM) or ARMv8 (Cortex-A53, Cortex-A57) to traditional Intel Xeon based servers. They are not very resource intensive and doesn't need a lot of storage space like traditional VDI. VMI can easily achieve 10x higher density compared to traditional VDI deployments.
Does VMI need specialized thin clients?
Given the proliferation of low end tablets and platforms like Rasberry PI, VMI clients can be purchased at a very affordable price. Unlike VDI, specialized hardware or complex management systems are not needed for Virtual Mobile Infrastructure clients. Any device with a HTML5 browser can be used as a VMI client.
Watch a two-minute demo of SierraVMI.
Yes, Virtual Mobile Infrastructure instances can be hosted on public cloud. How ever to control cost and ease manageability it will be better to use mobile app virtualization. Mobile app virtualization allows multiple users to share a single Android Virtual Machine. Compared to traditional VMI which will require a Virtual Machine per user, mobile app virtualization allows thousands of users to be hosted via a single virtual machine. Providing substantial cost savings compared to traditional Virtual Mobile Infrastructure.
Does VMI provide traditional VDI features like multimedia redirection or client GPU offload?
Yes, Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) allows for OpenGLES redirection, enabling clients to fully utilize the GPU on their end device for feature-rich applications. Multimedia redirection at the OMX layer of Android allows for compressed streams to be redirected and rendered directly on the client device. This architecture offers better audio and video performance compared to rendering and recompressing on the VMI gateway. OpenGLES redirection may be limited to native clients running on Android or iOS devices.
What are the advantages of using ARM-based microservers for hosting VMI?
ARM microservers using traditional mobile SOCs like Samsung Exynos, or Marvell ARMADA XP offer a unique advantage compared to traditional servers as they include a GPU, an audio video decoder for codecs like H.264, and hardware accelerated compression and crypto engines on each chip, and allowing Virtual Mobile Infrastructure to host feature-rich apps and games.
How bandwidth-intensive is VMI compared to traditional VDI protocols like RDP?
Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is designed for LAN environments and uses JPEG and tile-based compression. RDP does not use pixel compression or the latest generation video compression standard, H.265 video coding. VMI is also optimized for mobile applications and can scale from low bandwidth 2G/3G environments that use low-bit pixels to high-end 32-bit textures on WiFi network. And it can be done with no need for additional configuration or management from IT administrators. Virtual Mobile Compression schemes will adapt to the environment and provide the best possible results all mobile users.
What are the typical use cases for VMI and Mobile App Virtualization?