VirtualBox is 'virtually' the best free VM engine out there!
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 29, 2017

VirtualBox is 'virtually' the best free VM engine out there!

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle VM VirtualBox

Used by a wide range of employees both individually and within teams to create and manage test networks for new software. Allows the end user to implement and explore new software, to test suitability for business needs, and even the compatibility of said software into the system already in place.
Additionally, we can create internal networks or similar environments which are not on the business network and then use them for training exercises and the like with no risk to the wider network.

And, of course IT'S FREE.
  • Manages multiple VM's simultaneously. As a software used to create environments with several machines, this is a great strength.
  • Allows a bridged network to be built with extreme ease.
  • Central dashboard is concise and informative, without being cluttered.
  • Seriously easy to pick up as a first time user. Never counter-intuitive.
  • Can be run across a range of OS - not restricted to Windows !
  • Full screen mode - it is not always the easiest job getting out of a machine when in full screen mode.
  • Network settings - all new VM's use NAT by default, which whilst ok for most may be an annoyance if you want a Bridged network in place - you have to power down the machine to change the network settings each time.
  • Lacks in system integration features that paid-for competitors do have, such as printing direct to host's printer. Minor annoyance for network building purposes however.
  • + Allowed for cost saving solutions to software testing and environment creation
  • - Not as good as paid-for alternatives that also don't break the bank.
Considering it is free, the comparison seems slightly unfair, however my personal preference is still Virtual Box. The added features within Fusion are nowhere near important or useful enough to justify spending budget money on it. Therefore, despite VB being less aesthetically pleasing, and at times clunkier and slower to use, it doesn't cost anything and thus is a limitless tool in terms of applications throughout the business.
Well suited for small network building - dependent on host RAM and how much RAM you allocate per machine, you can only run a finite number of machines simultaneously. I use a 16gb host with 6 machines, each with 2gb RAM, but a seventh is a struggle. This is a drawback.

Allows a 'safe' environment for experimentation with new OS or software.

Practice exercises for systems assurance employees.

Oracle VM VirtualBox Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
7
Management console
6
Live virtual machine backup
Not Rated
Live virtual machine migration
Not Rated

Evaluating Oracle VM VirtualBox and Competitors

Yes - For me personally it replaced VMware Fusion, as it was free and fulfilled all of the necessary requirements for my purpose.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Third-party Reviews
Oracle are a hugely successful brand - even a household name. I knew that a piece of software released by Oracle was highly likely to be reliable and user-friendly, and was not proved wrong.
Trial more alternatives than just the one, and give longer to trial each product to ensure it actually is as good as it seems at first use.

Using Oracle VM VirtualBox

Easy and quick to use. Runs at sufficient speed even with 5/6 VMs running, and can handle a bridged network with ease.
Easy to disassociate from the host to ensure the environment built within VB is quarantined should anything happen, meaning no risk to physical hardware.
Quick to pick up. Quick to add new machines. Cloning feature very quick and comprehensive. I've never had a VM crash or freeze.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
None
  • Running and switching between multiple VMs.
  • Dashboard gives more than enough info on each VM.
  • Quick to install and boot, simplistic design allows for immediate VM launch.
  • Running several VMs simultaneously.
  • Changing settings for a machine in the middle of a job as each machine must be powered down first to do so.
  • Connecting to the host machine for uses such as printing or USB redirection.