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Don’t know how to choose between VirtualBox, VMware Workstation Player, and Hyper-V is difficult. This complete guide on three virtualization concepts helps you with an in-depth Hyper-V vs VMware vs VirtualBox comparison.
In this era of virtualization, desktop virtualization is enormously leveraging the IT industry. The new IT trend involves storage, backup, and many more emerging and advantageous concepts and one of them is Virtualization. Through virtualization, various systems can be executed simultaneously collectively through a single device. It is quite useful from a number of perspectives and a few of them are:
Coarsely speaking approx 80% of x86 servers have been virtualized and even an average machine can easily run 16 VMs simultaneously. By comparing Hyper-v, VMware, and VirtualBox a desktop device based on the x86 platform is provisioned.
Today, we are going to talk about and compare the three most popular virtualization concepts include Hyper-V, VMWare, and VirtualBox. we will cover the following comparisons between all of these three visualization technologies including:
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Let’s start with an overview
Among all of the above listed three virtual system technologies, Hyper v is known as type 1 hypervisor, while VMware and VirtualBox are known as type 2 hypervisors. hyper v vs VMware difference can be spotted easily by their process. A small description of both the hypervisors is given below:
VMware is also a hypervisor-based server virtualization platform created by VMware that allows you to run multiple virtual machines on the same physical hardware. VMware allows multiple copies of the same operating system or several different operating systems to run on the same x86-based machine simultaneously
VMware is a set of associated tools and applications and is not a single product. It can be used to manage mobile or handheld devices, to set up any private cloud in your corporate network, and to virtualize any stuff. The workstation stuff is free and available as a trial version. After its expiration, you may be asked to provide the license key in order to use it. You can create encrypted virtual machines and manage even complex OS.
Oracle VM VirtualBox is a free and open-source hosted hypervisor that enables developers to deliver code faster by running multiple operating systems on a single device and facilitates x86 virtualization,
This is also an open-source and core application, which is available under a general public license. An additional upgrade package is free for a longer time period or under the PUEL. VirtualBox is used to provide a virtual version of any operating system.
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Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hardware virtualization product that enables you to create and run a virtual machine (VM). Virtual Machine is nothing but a software version of a computer. Hyper-V can have multiple virtual machines, each with its own operating system (OS), and allowing all VMs to run these multiple Operating systems simultaneously and eliminate the need to dedicating a single machine to a specific OS.
Hyper-V is installed on the operating system and is a hybrid hyper version. When it is installed on OS, it basically redesigns the operating system architecture and reflects only the hardware objects of the accompanying system.
The following table shows the features of these machines The following figure shows the comparison between features of three virtualization tools. For a number of features like USB support, booting capability on other OS, USB support for the tools, GUI, live memory allocation, and the capability of live migration through these tools
Microsoft deployed Hyper-V as a competitor of Windows Server 2008 and it was deployed for 64-bit machines. It was a cost-effective and appealing machine for a number of enterprises, especially for those which has Windows OS.
Let’s start comparing all three…
Software Virtualization: Software virtualization emulates a complete computer system and runs guest’s virtual machines on it. Virtualization software allows you to run two or more operating systems using one PC. One is physical, and the rest is virtual. VirtualBox supports software virtualization, while VMware doesn’t support it.
Hardware virtualization is the virtualization of computers as complete hardware platforms to create an abstraction layer over computer hardware that allows the hardware elements of a single computer—processors, memory, storage, and more—to divide it into multiple virtual computers, commonly called virtual machines (VMs). VirtualBox and VMware both support hardware virtualization.
VirtualBox can work on Linux, Windows, Solaris, macOS, and FreeBSD.
VMware Player and Workstation work on Linux and Windows. But for macOS, you need to install VMware Fusion/Fusion Pro.
Both VMware and VirtualBox support most guest operating systems including Linux, Windows, Solaris, macOS, and FreeBSD.In the case of macOS to run virtual machine VMware requires VMware Fusion/Fusion Pro.
UIs allows you to manage your virtual machines through the host command line, giving you a wider array of features. While VirtualBox has a graphical user interface (GUI) and a command-line interface (CLI), whereas VMware has a graphical user interface and a command-line (VMware)
A virtual machine (VM) snapshot captures the state and data of a virtual machine at the specific time when it is taken. By taking snapshots, you can save a copy of the VM disk file (VMDK). While VirtualBox provides a free snapshot feature, while VMware has this feature on its paid products (not on the free VMware Player).
A virtual disk is a file or set of files that appears as a physical disk drive to a guest operating system. VMware supports Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) on the other hand, VirtualBox supports:
Virtual disks can be pre-allocated or dynamically allocated. When you pre-allocate a virtual disk means you are reserving a specified amount of storage space that cannot be used by the host nor other guest machines. Whereas, dynamically allocated virtual disks initially do not take up a fixed space but grows over time, taking up as much storage as they need until they reach their assigned maximum size. Both VMware and VirtualBox support both pre-allocated and dynamically allocated virtual disks.
VMware supports the following network modes:
Network Modes supported by VMware are:
VirtualBox can only support 3D graphics up to
OpenGL 3.0, Direct3D 9, and requires manually enabling 3D acceleration. Offer limited video memory to 128 MB. While VMware leads in the case of graphics support. It provides 3D graphics with
DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3 support for all of its products and additionally provides video memory of up to 2 GB.
VirtualBox is a completely free, open-source virtualization software available under GNU General Public License (GPL). Can be used for personal, educational, or commercial use without any additional fees. While VMware Player is free only for personal and educational use, for commercial use it requires a $149.99 license.
Hope this VirtualBox vs VMware comparison helps you choose the best suitable one. Both VMware and VirtualBox have their pros and cons choosing the best among the two entirely depends on what you expect from your virtual machines. For example, if performance is your concern area, VMware’s virtual machines run faster than their VirtualBox counterparts.
We have seen the comparison of VirtualBox vs VMware, now let’s move to the comparison of VMware vs Hyper-v
Hyper-V and VirtualBox are both server virtualization products designed to run virtual machines, both serve businesses’ server virtualization needs, but they also have a few features that set them apart from each other.
Hyper-V is an example of a type 1 hypervisor that runs directly on a computer’s hardware while the VirtualBox is a type 2 hypervisor or hosted hypervisor that runs and is installed on the host operating system.
VirtualBox supports both hardware-assisted and software virtualization whereas VirtualBox can use software virtualization only.
Hyper-V can host VMs with Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD guest operating systems. On the other hand, Virtual Box can run on most operating systems such as Linux, Windows, Solaris, and Mac OS. It also supports guest operating systems including Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Mac OS, and others.
Hyper-V supports VHD & VHDX virtual disks formats that contain three types of disk allocation as Fixed, Dynamic, and Differencing.
While, VirtualBox supports VDI, VMDK, VHD, HDD, those are the virtual disk formats of VMware, Hyper-V & Parallels Desktop respectively.
VirtualBox snapshot is an equivalent of Hyper-V checkpoints. It allows the virtual machines to save and then revert back to their exact state. When a checkpoint is created, a differencing virtual disk is created for each VHD or VHDX. While a snapshot is created in VirtualBox, a new VDI file will be created as a differencing virtual disk.
Hyper-V supports live migration with zero downtime and allows you to move running VMs from one Hyper-V host to another. Similar to the live migration feature of Hyper-V, the VirtualBox Teleporting feature allows you to migrate the virtual machines from one host to another without any downtime.
Hyper-V offers high-performance virtual machines than VirtualBox. Its performance depends on the hardware that it is running on, since Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor, virtual machines are always running as long as the hardware is. Whereas VirtualBox performance depends on the host operating system.
VirtualBox installation method is the most common and easy to done process while Hyper-V also integrates well with Windows infrastructures, and is simple to use once it has been implemented, its integration can be simplified by using PowerShell cmdlets
VirtualBox is open-source software, available for free. It has been released under the terms of GPL version 2 licensing. While Hyper-V is also free to use but for that, you must have hardware running the correct version of Windows as the host operating system.
Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor while VirtualBox is a Type 2 hypervisor and both are attractive solutions for virtualization, and the choice between them may be difficult. Depends on the condition, if you are using a Windows-only environment, Hyper-V is the only option. But if you are in a multiplatform environment, VirtualBox could be the right choice for you.
Through virtualization, organizations can technically improve their efficiency even without increasing their budget. As per your preference you can opt for any of the available virtualization applications. These applications are available as licensed and in trial versions for a certain time period.
Hope this comparison of Hyper-V vs VMware vs VirtualBox helps you choose the best of the three most popular virtualization platforms. You should make a decision right for your use case after examining all the factors.
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