Oracle VM VirtualBox Review

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


Valuable Features

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.

Improvements to 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.

Room for 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.

Use of Solution

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

Deployment Issues

We had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

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.

Scalability Issues

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

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.

Previous Solutions

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.

Initial Setup

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

Implementation Team

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

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

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

Other Advice

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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