Oracle: VM VirtualBox Review

Oracle VM VirtualBox is an x86 and AMD64/Intel64 desktop virtualization and cross-platform that allows multiple operating systems (OSs) to run on a single device.

Developers use it to deliver code faster by running and testing different operating systems on their personal computers.

As such, VirtualBox can run on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Oracle Solaris systems. It is an ideal solution for testing, developing, demonstrating, and deploying across multiple platforms on a single device.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is an open-source software solution under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2, and organizations can streamline operations by purchasing Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise. VirtualBox was initially developed by Innotek GmbH in 2007, which was acquired by Oracle in 2010.

See below to learn all about Oracle VM VirtualBox and where it stands in the desktop virtualization sector:

Growth of desktop virtualization market

The global virtualization market value was $62.7 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach $120.41 billion by 2026, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5% from 2021 to 2026.

The desktop virtualization market, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), and remote desktop services (RDS), is increasing with the demands of organizations. The desktop virtualization market value was $12.3 billion in 2022, and it is expected to reach $20.1 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 10.3% from 2023 to 2027.

VM VirtualBox features

VirtualBox is a feature-rich virtualization software product designed for enterprises, IT professionals, and developers. With a formidable reputation for speed and agility, it contains features to deliver tangible business, benefits, such as significant performance improvements and a wider range of supported guest operating system platforms.

VirtualBox Manager

The VirtualBox Manager allows virtual machines (VMs) to move on local storage and import Oracle cloud infrastructure instances to VirtualBox. In addition, the Guest Control File Manager enables a guest user to transfer files between the guest and host, and the Cloud Profile Manager enables and configures details of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service account to be configured using VirtualBox.

Sharing and networking

Oracle VM VirtualBox allows a host platform’s file system to be shared with the guest to facilitate cross-platform computing. Hosts supporting multi-touch interfaces can deliver this capability to their guests. A wide range of networking models include easy-to-use NAT, fully functional bridged, specialist internal, and host-only networking. VirtualBox offers IPv6 as an option in most networking modes alongside IPv4.

Virtual media and graphics

VirtualBox’s Virtual Media Manager supports a wide range of virtual disk formats, including .vdi, .vhd, .vmdk, and .vdd, and VirtualBox GUI allows conversions between formats. Video Capture is a built-in recording mechanism of the guest’s screen contents. It is easy to start and stop, recording one or more virtual screens to the standard WebM format. VirtualBox support for displaying 3D graphics in a guest improves VBoxSVGA and VMSVGA boosts 3D performances.

Differentiators

Some of the key areas of differentiation for Oracle VM VirtualBox are below:

Reduces cost

Oracle VM VirtualBox is an open-source and low-overhead desktop virtualization software solution, which lowers operational costs for enterprises, IT professionals, and developers by reducing the number of additional desktop and server configurations. Moreover, Oracle VM VirtualBox for home use is available as a free download, including the VirtualBox base package and the VirtualBox extension pack. Oracle offers cost-effective pricing for purchasing Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise. VirtualBox also helps to reduce operational costs.

Easy to adopt

VirtualBox comes with an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) and a powerful command-line interface (CLI) that makes it easy to adopt, allowing enterprises and developers to work with multiple OSs on the same system. In addition, Oracle VM VirtualBox supports massive workloads of up to 32 virtual CPUs. It also supports the exporting of VMs to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as emulated or para-virtualized instances and allows creating multiple VMs without re-uploading.

Variety of hosts

Oracle VM VirtualBox helps to simplify development environments by running on any x86 host OS. VirtualBox can be installed on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris, and OpenSolaris, and there are also ports to FreeBSD and Genode. It also supports guest virtual machines running Windows, Linux, BSD, OS/2, Solaris, Haiku, OSx86, and macOS. Moreover, its guest automation APIs allow host-based logic to drive operations in the guest, and the web service API enables remote control of VirtualBox by authorized clients.

VM VirtualBox use cases

Oracle VM VirtualBox is designed for use on systems ranging from ultra-books to high-end server-class hardware, and VirtualBox is lightweight and easy to install and use.

The virtualization software is used by organizations of various sizes in different industries:

“Oracle VM VirtualBox is used by our internal IT department to test various operating systems and applications. It’s a very useful tool to stand up to a virtualized environment for testing. It’s easy to use and manage.” -Mauro Carrillo, chief information technology officer, Drummond Community Bank

“It might be used across the organization, but the only use I’m familiar with is in my department. We use VirtualBox so that students can work on platforms other than the ones that their computers natively support.” -Barry Burd, professor, Drew University

“I use Oracle VM VirtualBox to build isolated virtual workstations and for building development and test environments. Isolated virtual workstations allow me to access customer environments without the need to reconfigure my primary workstation to match the specific remote access requirements of each system. This dramatically speeds up access and prevents unintentional damage to my own system and access to my primary environment. I can also quickly spin up entire virtual environments to test specific design scenarios.” -David Currier, senior communications engineer, CPI

User reviews of VM VirtualBox

Oracle’s VM VirtualBox receives mostly positive reviews and recommendations from several user review sites. Users at G2 rate VirtualBox at 4.5 out of 5, and according to GetApp, users rate VirtualBox at 4.6 out of 5, with 94% positive reviews and the likelihood to recommend 8.84 out of 10.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is rated well in several customer experience categories, and according to TrustRadius, users’ rate VirtualBox at 8.6 out of 10, with features ratings, such as:

  • Live virtual machine backup: 8 out of 10
  • Management console: 7.3 out of 10
  • Virtual machine automated provisioning: 6.8 out of 10
  • Live virtual machine migration: 6.5 out of 10
  • Server Virtualization: 7.1 out of 10

VM VirtualBox pricing

Oracle VM VirtualBox for home use is open source and available as a free download from the VirtualBox website. There are two packages for home use, including the VirtualBox base package and the VirtualBox extension pack.

Oracle allows organizations to streamline operations by purchasing Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise, which includes commercial licenses and technical support. Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise pricing is $50 per Named Workstation User Perpetual, with Software Update License and Support (first year) costing $11.

Oracle VM Premier Support starts from $1,199.00, and Oracle VM Premier Limited Support starts at $599.

Conclusions

Oracle VM VirtualBox is one of the top tools for desktop virtualization. It is easy to install and test various operating systems on virtual machines. It offers ease of use, full features, and the possibility of different configurations for OSs on the same machine without installation. It also consumes little resources and can host multiple guest OSs at the same time.

The right virtualization services help companies achieve their business goals by enhancing hardware functionalities. Depending on the features applications and company needs and their budget, VM VirtualBox can be a good open-source desktop virtualization solution.

Al Mahmud Al Mamun
Al Mahmud Al Mamun
Al Mahmud Al Mamun is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. He earned his B.S. in computer science and engineering from Prime University, Bangladesh. He attained more than 25 diploma courses and 100 certificate courses. His expertise and research interests include artificial intelligence (AI), artificial neural networks, and convolutional neural networks.

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