Oracle VM VirtualBox Review

I am able to develop and test my infrastructure automation scripts locally before running in production.


What is most valuable?

It allows me to run VMs on my laptop. I am able to develop and test my infrastructure automation scripts locally before running in production. Also, I do Java programming, so I can set up VM for my projects and scrap it once projects are finished -- with backup, of course.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to be making changes on servers, especially for infrastructure changes. It is difficult to maintain and roll back. Sometimes there are multiple possible solutions and we want to try all of them to find out the best one. Virtualbox gives us the peace of mind to try whatever crazy things that we want to. Just take a snapshot, try it, and restore. Easy and fast.

What needs improvement?

Networking options need improvement. Once I had an idea to move my development work into Ubuntu, however it is not possible to run VM within VM. The solution is to play around with the networking so that all VMs run within the same network and use one of them as a master node. But sometimes I need to test the scripts to run in a different network. I couldn't find an easy solution for that situation.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for two years at work, and if you consider exploratory work, close to three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes a VM doesn't start normally and I have to reinstall the product. It could be a combination of Windows' and Virtualbox's issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't scaled it as I'm only using it on my laptop.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I've never had to use customer service.

Technical Support:

I've not had to contact technical support, but the community support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware. Virtualbox is easier to install when I already have a host OS. I don't need another client to connect to it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Just download the installer and install.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house. For infrastructure-as-code, try to combine Virtualbox with other tools such as Chef and Vagrant.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not using the paid version so I can't comment.

What other advice do I have?

Just go ahead and try it out. Again, combine it with Chef, Vagrant and Git, which will make your life much easier in the long run.


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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