VMware to VirtualBox

Since Oracle acquired Sun, and several of Sun products changed hands and management, there are a growing number of people asking questions about the products future. We will not be getting into all that discussion, but will focus on using one of the products that has already gained much out the new environment. Sun VirtualBox is claiming to be the world’s most popular open source virtualization software. The latest version of the open source hypervisor developed by Sun, released after the acquisition from Oracle, offers numerous bug fixes and compatibility with the next version of Ubuntu.

This is the first update marked by Oracle to the open source hypervisor developed by Sun Microsystems. The new version 3.1.6 of VirtualBox follows a grind of major importance to migrate virtual machines from one physical machine to warm to another without requiring the shutdown of the guest environment.
This version fixes stability issues related to Linux kernel 2.6.31 and some processors. Problems with crash the operating system Mac OS X have also been resolved. Similarly, with some bugs caused Intel Core and Xeon, as well as the VT virtualization technology have been corrected. Note also that the hypervisor supports the latest version 10.04 of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, scheduled for April 29 next.

Between February 2008 and the release of version 3.1, VirtualBox has been downloaded 20 million times, at a rate of 40 000 downloads every day, according to Sun. The hypervisor, which is capable of supporting virtual machines 32 and 64 bits, mainly uses OVF format virtual machines (Open Virtualization Format). Several of the people downloading VirtualBox end up with a very specific question:
How do I move a VMware virtual machine into VirtualBox?

So I though this could be a useful guide since plenty of us have invested significant time installing a guest OS together with a software stack and we don’t don’t really want to go through all this again. Still, such a move move can be tricky and have hidden pitfalls.

So here are 2 handy blogs on the subject:

So why would somebody be moving from Vmware to Virtualbox? What are the benefits?

  • Free to Use

Yes, it’s a cool advantage in VirtualBox. It’s completely free to use at home for personal use. You have to buy license if you are going to use in production environment. But, VMwareworkstation is not free to use anywhere.

About vmware pricing check  here

About Sun Virtualbox pricing for Enterprise License check here

  • Open Source Virtualization Software.

Its an open source virtualization software, so if you know programming, here we go, you can develop and customize it.

  • Patches and Updates Available

Since it’s a open source software with Enterprise Support and Organization; patches, fixes and updates are more quickly available. Everybody likes Open source and develop it. So, all bugs fixed very quickly.

Download the latest version with patches

  • Less Resource Usage in Host

Compare to VMware workstation, sun virtual box uses less memory and processor utilization of host computer.  Without powering on any virtual machines in both software, virtual box uses fewer resources in host, which will not affect your host and its applications.  It helps you to run this desktop virtualization software with less memory and processor utilization.

  • Performance of Virtual Machine

Virtual machine (guest OS) works faster in VirtualBox than VMware workstation. You can feel the booting speed, working speed and shutting down speed  quicker than VMware. This is another main advantage of VirtualBox, when more than three virtual machines started, you can feel the performance of each machine better in sun VirtualBox.

  • Saving and Resuming time of Virtual machine.

Time taking to save and resume a virtual machine is very less in VirtualBox compare to VMwareworkstation.  Even though, this performance is improved in VMware workstation 7, still VirtualBox 3.1 feels better.

  • VirtualBox Supports VMDK

You can directly use VMDK (VMware Hard disk file) in VirtualBox. So any virtual machines created in VMware workstation can be opened easily in VirtualBox without any conversion. But, VMware doesn’t support VDI (VirtualBox Hard disk file). Further information on these formats on wikipedia
Read the blog posts mentioned above for more about accessing vmdk in virtualbox and transfering virtual images.

  • Start Virtual Machine from Shortcut

Virtual machines in VirtualBox can be easily started from shortcuts. You can place shortcuts of each virtual machine on desktop and start them directly, without opening main console and start from it. It makes accessing virtual machines easy and quicker.

Above advantages are very basic and with no real foundation by i feel they are quite useful to an ordinary user. Share your comments about more advantages of VirtualBox and your experience with it.