Oracle VM VirtualBox is a great entry to virtualization
March 17, 2021

Oracle VM VirtualBox is a great entry to virtualization

Aaron Pinsker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle VM VirtualBox

Oracle VM VirtualBox is being used by various clients for a combination of different uses. The main use is simple virtualization of Windows in a production environment. These virtual machine are typical single-use machines (e.g., running a specific database or server software), that don't require too many resources. In addition, Oracle VM VirtualBox is used as both a test bed for different pieces of software and operating systems and as an easy way to experiment with virtualization.
  • It supports virtualization of many, many different operating systems, including Windows and a plethora of Linux variants
  • It provides a large amount of customization to emulate different types of hardware
  • Its licensing terms are very generous
  • Its cost to entry is fantastic in that it is free
  • While free, it is very unpolished with numerous interface quirks and general lack of user friendliness
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox's virtualization technology is relatively slow compared to competitors (VMWare, Hyper-V, Parallels, etc.)
  • Abysmal GPU performance under virtual machines
  • Being free, it provides a very low bar of entry into virtualization. This has allowed for the purchase of single high-end machines that can support multiple virtual machines vs. purchasing multiple low-end machines for multiple single-use purposes.
  • There is an active and helpful support community making it easier to solve some common issues.
  • While free, it can be more difficult to use than competing alternatives, thus costing more man hours to get a VM up and running.
  • While the support community can be helpful, finding solutions to more obscure issues can take a lot more time--and thus more man hours spent.
The main benefits of Oracle VM VirtualBox are its licensing terms (it is free), its open-source nature, and its active community. However, its various competitors do a much better job when it comes to both ease of use and, most importantly, speed. For example, Parallels Desktop on the Mac is advanced enough to support DIrectX 12, Hyper-V integrates extremely well with Windows and especially Windows server, and VMWare's plethora of products are infinitely scalable.

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Oracle VM VirtualBox is very well suited for low-profile virtual machines that are not doing much heavy lifting, and is ideally suited for virtualizing databases that can be run in a headless mode. On the other hand, Oracle VM VirtualBox is not good for running any kind of VM that requires extreme or even just good performance, and especially any VM that requires adequate GPU support.

Oracle VM VirtualBox Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
Management console
Live virtual machine backup
Live virtual machine migration
Hypervisor-level security