Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oracle VirtualBox - first (short) impressions

I am using Oracle VirtualBox now since a couple of weeks in order to establish if it can replace my VMWare Server.

I want to put down a couple of quick impressions - which will hopefully be followed up by some more insight.

Speed:
It seems that Oracle VirtualBox is faster than the VMWare Server. Creating an image as well as starting it up and shutting it down are pretty fast. However if your machine is pushing the limits on memory the shutdown process of an image can easily take 5 minutes.

FAT/NTFS:
I have not yet found the possibility to create a disk file in chunks of 2GB. VMWare offered this OOTB. Now when I move my image from my Windows7 NTFS filesystem to the FAT external disk it complains about a 20GB file. More research is needed here.

Distributing images:
I copied the images and gave them to some colleagues during several trainings. My experience is that the different laptops we use are not handled well by VirtualBox. E.g. I had to remove a network from the vbox-file in order to just start an image on a different laptop.

Stay tuned for more.

6 comments:

Martien van den Akker said...

Hi Andreas,

Are you still on VMWare Server? Didn't you look into VMWare Player? I found (under Linux) that it is faster and more flexible. And has a by far smaller footprint. I also found that VMWare Server was not compatible with the latest FireFox. Actually VMWare Player is quite comparable to VirtualBox.

You should be able to use VMWare Virtual Disks in VirtualBox. Did that in VB3 once.

Main reason I use VB more is because of the appliances of Oracle. But I have VB and VMWare Player side-by-side.

Andreas said...

Hi martien!

I never used the VMWare Player as it is not supporting what I do most - creating images.

The firefox issue bugged me, but I use the IE for that.

eMarcelCom said...

Hi Andreas,

I know Virtual Box from old days. It was always fast but compared to VMware is still missing some features, like mentioned disk files splitting for FAT file systems.

I'm surprised you are saying that VMware Player doesn't support image creation. I've just created an image on my laptop and I run VMware® Player 3.1.3 build-324285.

The only one minus I've found in Player vs. vmware server is that you can't run vmplayer as a service - an application has to be running while vmserver works as an OS service.


Cheers!!

Andreas said...

Hi Marcin!

I didn't know that VMWare Player supports building images. Previously that was something that only worked in the VMWare Server or Workstation.

cu
Andreas

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