Oracle VM VirtualBox: The Bottom Line
Pro: Oracle VM VirtualBox is a free, open-source virtualization software product that can create emulated machines on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Oracle Solaris systems. Its high customizability makes it a popular choice for tech-savvy users. While there are fewer automated conveniences and a less elegant user interface than costly virtualization software tools, it makes up for these drawbacks with speedy performance, flexibility and a large library of third-party prebuilt VirtualBox emulated systems.
Con: If you’re looking for a fully packaged solution, this option probably is not for you. But for highly technical teams who can leverage online resources to troubleshoot and configure your software, Oracle VM VirtualBox is a great option. Plus, it’s free.
What to Expect from Oracle VM VirtualBox
Oracle VM VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization engine for both enterprise and individual use. Its flexibility makes it a dynamic tool for many applications when utilized by technically skilled teams for testing, developing, demonstrating and deploying solutions across multiple platforms from one machine.
This cross-platform virtualization product allows users to run multiple operating systems simultaneously, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Oracle Solaris, as well as a number of guest operating systems. You can transport live VMs from one host or cloud to another without interrupting any current operations.
VirtualBox is already a feature-rich solution but because it is supported by a dedicated community and backed by a powerhouse company, it receives frequent releases that continue to add features that are reviewed by Oracle to ensure professional quality.
VirtualBox also takes security seriously. The engine includes Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) authentication and an SDK for creating further authentication requirements to help boost security.
It is the only professional solution that is freely available as open-source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. If you can’t find a virtualization solution in the paid software market that can provide all of the functionality and features you want, VirtualBox may be the best option for you.
Supported Servers/Operating Systems
VirtualBox’s supported server/operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Oracle Solaris and a variety of guest OSs.
Implementing VirtualBox is relatively straightforward. VirtualBox automatically uses the most common method for installing each host platform according to the OS.
VirtualBox is split into two main components:
- Base package: Contains all open source components.
- Extension packs: Extension packs can be downloaded to extend the functionality of the base package.
VirtualBox can present up to 32 virtual CPUs to each VM, irrespective of how many CPU cores are physically present on a host. Can also provide support for hosts with up to 1024 CPUs.
5% to 15%
Managing Your Virtualization Software
VirtualBox can be completely controlled using the command-line interface, VBoxManage. This command-line supports all features that can be accessed from the graphical interface that is unified for all host supporting systems and exposes features that cannot even be accessed from the GUI.
Patching and Backup
VirtualBox can take snapshots of the state of the VM. These can be used to revert the VM to previous configurations. Other tools are also available via alternative Oracle applications.
Migrating Vms can be performed over secure SSL links, without interruption. VirtualBox can also perform live migrations of running virtual machines that have virtual disks on local storage.
VirtualBox can perform secure live migration and disk image encryption. It also includes Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) authentication and an SDK for creating further authentication requirements to help boost security.
Oracle application users running x86 and SPARC. Due to its flexibility and price, VirtualBox can be used by everyone from small businesses up to enterprise.
|Product||Oracle VM Server|
|Scalability||Can provide support for hosts with up to 1024 CPUs|
|Overhead %||5 to 15|
|Markets||Oracle app users, organizations that need to support a variety of operating systems|
|Migration||Move over secure SSL links|
|Key Differentiator||Free and open source|