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Reduce complexity and costs with Oracle VM VirtualBox

Simon Coter
Senior Manager, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Product Management

IT organizations strive to provide the most efficient development platforms that enable their developers to develop and deploy solutions faster. At the same time, they have to support and keep a growing number of software releases and complex environments up to date across the organization. Desktop virtualization can be the answer to these challenges.

Virtualization is generally known as the ability to run multiple virtual machines on a single piece of hardware. The hardware runs software that enables you to install multiple operating systems that run simultaneously and independently. Each virtual machine has its own virtual CPU, network interfaces, storage and operating system. Virtualization is usually associated with server-side solutions but the same concepts apply to desktop-side solutions.

Today, application developers are used to working on their own device and a server is generally not required. But this means that while one developer might have a Mac, another has a PC, yet another could be running Linux, all with different versions. What’s more, these developer environments might be completely different from the quality and production environments that need to be supported and tested, on-premises or in the cloud. 

By using a virtual machine as developer platform, individuals as well as teams of developers, can develop and test applications on different platforms using their own device regardless of the OS and version that runs on their device.

Virtualization provides the following advantages for developers:

  • Use their favorite device or operating system on the host
  • Run multiple other operating systems on their device at the same time
  • Run the emulated server solution on a desktop virtual machine and use the host as the client
  • Run the same environment as other developers, quality assurance teams and customers
  • Get hands on experience with other operating systems and/or programming languages

IT teams can use virtualization to distribute standard virtual machines (VMs) across the organization, without needing to keep an arsenal of physical hardware and OS versions up to date.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is a powerful, award-winning, open source cross-platform virtualization solution that is easy to use with very little overhead. It provides all the benefits mentioned above plus additional benefits such as:

  • Runs on almost any x86 laptop running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, or Oracle Solaris
  • Supports a wide range of Windows, Linux, Oracle Solaris, Mac, and Unix versions on VMs
  • Easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) and a powerful command line interface
  • Supports up to 32 virtual CPUs per virtual machine
  • Easy import and export of VMs in standard OVF format, on-premises or in the cloud
  • Quick provisioning of development VMs with preconfigured Oracle software, using Vagrant boxes
  • Secure and encrypted workspaces

Reduce Complexity

Oracle VM VirtualBox is game-changing software for developers trying to reduce complexity.

VirtualBox allows developers to:

  • Create virtual machine images that can easily be shared within a team of developers
  • Automate the creation of development environments
  • Help ensure that the development environment is the same for all developers on the development team and in the production environment where the application will be deployed
  • Get a development environment running on top of almost any x86 operating system (VirtualBox is the same product for Linux, Windows, MacOS and Oracle Solaris)
  • Share existing development images with others (thanks to the export/import capabilities)

Thanks to all of these capabilities, the common issue of "it works on my machine," while it doesn't on other devices, can be avoided.

Reduce Costs

When an application is virtualized, it runs on a shared device equipped with the appropriate hypervisor or virtual machine management solution. With this capability, the need for a dedicated device and any other support equipment for a given application is virtually eliminated. This not only reduces the initial cost of hardware acquisition and installation, but also the ongoing cost of time and maintenance by the IT team.

With Oracle VM VirtualBox developers can run almost any x86 operating system on a single device. They do not need additional devices, shared or dedicated, to develop and test applications. A single machine can run nearly any operating system, any application and/or different programming languages.

Savings on hardware procurement and on-going maintenance costs can be huge. Think of an application that is required to run on both Linux and Windows – which is very common – and all the possible Windows releases or Linux distributions that need to be tested.

Without a solution like Oracle VM VirtualBox you will have to multiply your infrastructure and maintenance costs!

A standard configuration across the company

Complexity and cost reduction is a must for IT organizations. Complexity reduction saves resources, which in turn provides further cost reduction.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is the DevOps solution that addresses both these requirements. Leveraging VirtualBox as the de-facto standard for development allows IT organizations to remove the usual complexity of development environments and, at the same time, reduce operational, hardware procurement, and maintenance costs. 

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