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VirtualBox vs VMware vSphere: What are the differences?

What is VirtualBox? Run nearly any operating system on a single machine and to freely switch between OS instances running simultaneously. VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

What is VMware vSphere? Free bare-metal hypervisor that virtualizes servers so you can consolidate your applications on less hardware. vSphere is the world’s leading server virtualization platform. Run fewer servers and reduce capital and operating costs using VMware vSphere to build a cloud computing infrastructure.

VirtualBox and VMware vSphere belong to "Virtualization Platform" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by VirtualBox are:

  • Portability
  • No hardware virtualization required
  • Guest Additions: shared folders, seamless windows, 3D virtualization

On the other hand, VMware vSphere provides the following key features:

  • Powerful Server Virtualization
  • Network Services
  • Efficient Storage

"Free" is the top reason why over 357 developers like VirtualBox, while over 6 developers mention "Strong host isolation" as the leading cause for choosing VMware vSphere.

According to the StackShare community, VirtualBox has a broader approval, being mentioned in 724 company stacks & 975 developers stacks; compared to VMware vSphere, which is listed in 56 company stacks and 24 developer stacks.

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What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

What is VMware vSphere?

vSphere is the world’s leading server virtualization platform. Run fewer servers and reduce capital and operating costs using VMware vSphere to build a cloud computing infrastructure.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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      What are some alternatives to VirtualBox and VMware vSphere?
      Docker
      The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
      KVM
      KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V).
      Vagrant
      Vagrant provides the framework and configuration format to create and manage complete portable development environments. These development environments can live on your computer or in the cloud, and are portable between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
      Hyper
      Hyper.sh is a secure container hosting service. What makes it different from AWS (Amazon Web Services) is that you don't start servers, but start docker images directly from Docker Hub or other registries.
      VMware Fusion
      It gives Mac users the power to run Windows on Mac along with hundreds of other operating systems side by side with Mac applications, without rebooting. It is simple enough for home users and powerful enough for IT professionals, developers and businesses.
      See all alternatives
      Decisions about VirtualBox and VMware vSphere
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      Interest over time
      Reviews of VirtualBox and VMware vSphere
      Avatar of SauloNunes
      Business Analyst with skills in FullStack Development Desktop Web and Mobile at LeanWork
      Review ofVirtualBoxVirtualBox

      Sometimes you will need to customize your virtualbox and you can easily add virtualbox commands inside your vagrantfile

      Example of USB connection Share Between Host and VM

      #Use $VBoxManage list usbhost To list Usb Ports and Get Your Device VENDORID and PRODUCTID
      
      v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--usb", "on"]
      
      v.customize ['usbfilter', 'add', '0', '--target', :id, '--name', 'ESP', '--vendorid', '0x22b8', '--productid', '0x2e76']
      
      How developers use VirtualBox and VMware vSphere
      Avatar of ShadowICT
      ShadowICT uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

      We use VMWare vSphere to allow us to virtualise our environment. This means that we don't have to have as many physical servers to split our infrastructure as we would otherwise. vSphere also enables us to move our virtual machines between different servers as required such as if we need to perform essential maintenance on a host while keeping to our belief of having high availability of all of our services wherever possible.

      Avatar of Ana Phi Sancho
      Ana Phi Sancho uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

      Network and security programs. install and run multiple operating systems. Good to understand computer networks - internet and multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication (combine a variety of software and services)

      Avatar of Dynamictivity
      Dynamictivity uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

      We use Virtualbox in combination with Vagrant during development to ensure a consistent test/development environment. This helps to reduce the number of defects when our software goes to production.

      Avatar of Cyrus Stoller
      Cyrus Stoller uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

      For running a VM locally with Vagrant. It can be a little irritable, but it's open source and free, so I'm not complaining. I would probably use VMWare, but I don't want to pay for it right now.

      Avatar of The Independent
      The Independent uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

      vSphere provides a central management interface for the entire stack. In addition to application level redundancy, VM level redundancy is offered through HA and DRS.

      Avatar of davidk01
      davidk01 uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

      Virtualbox is managed by Vagrant and it sets up a local development environment so that anyone can test their changes before pushing the changes upstream.

      Avatar of Tim De Lange
      Tim De Lange uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

      Development test boxes. I dont like virtualbox that much - but for a while it was the only free vmware alternative.

      Avatar of POROWNEO.PL
      POROWNEO.PL uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

      Hypervisor used in a private cloud platform

      Avatar of Codeweavers Ltd
      Codeweavers Ltd uses VMware vSphereVMware vSphere

      Hybrid Physical/Virtual Datacentre

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