Welcome VirtualBox

February 4th, 2010 10 Comments

Have you noticed the subtle change to the VirtualBox logo? Probably not, but thanks to ReadWriteWeb for pointing out the change.

VirtualBox is one of several open source projects that Sun oversaw, and in his strategy briefing last week, Larry Ellison announced that VirtualBox images will be deployable on Oracle VM, which is great news.

If you read here, you’ll know VirtualBox is my virtualization client of choice, and I’m geeked at the prospect of having VBox images of all the software I need readily available. No more building VMs.

I also hope that having a full virtualization stack will lead to more images for developers and customers. In many ways, virtualization trumps cloud-based offerings, so this makes a lot of sense.

I’m excited about this. How about you?


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10 Responses to “Welcome VirtualBox”

  1. jpiwowar Says:

    I'm pretty stoked. I usually like getting the experience of building out a server and bringing all the moving software parts in line. Nonetheless, there are times when the prospect of starting from scratch makes it harder to dive into a project. Having prebuilt (and, dare I hope, pre-patched) VMs with the latest versions of the RDBMS and Application Server products available on OTN would be a huge win.

    To take it further, you could take these pre-configured building blocks from a dev environment, clone them to promote to test, and if things weren't too crufty from all the testing, clone again to deploy a new production service on Oracle VM. Maybe that's going a bit too far for the real world, but hey, it'd make a good whitepaper. :)

  2. Jake Says:

    Exactly. I'm expecting big things from virtualization. I tend to agree with the assertion that cloud computing is marginalized by virtualization, especially in large enterprises. Control is a big deal, and so is the ability to roll back and start over with minimal effort.

    Of course, your mileage will vary, and if you're taking VMs, they become something of a black box, which could make troubleshooting issues more difficult. Still, I think the benefits far outweigh those negatives.

  3. jpiwowar Says:

    >Of course, your mileage will vary, and if you're taking VMs, they become something of a black box

    I'm thinking that VMs for “break it, roll it back” scenarios in test and dev are a no-brainer. Production's a bit of a harder sell for me, but that might just be my lack of experience w/ Oracle VM talking. I'm not as familiar with OVM's resource management features, so I don't know how they stack up against, say, VMware's. Even with VMware, at my last gig we had some performance management problems that were not easy to tune…though frankly we were probably just trying to cram a bit too much into the cluster. ;-)

  4. jpiwowar Says:

    >Of course, your mileage will vary, and if you're taking VMs, they become something of a black box

    I'm thinking that VMs for “break it, roll it back” scenarios in test and dev are a no-brainer. Production's a bit of a harder sell for me, but that might just be my lack of experience w/ Oracle VM talking. I'm not as familiar with OVM's resource management features, so I don't know how they stack up against, say, VMware's. Even with VMware, at my last gig we had some performance management problems that were not easy to tune…though frankly we were probably just trying to cram a bit too much into the cluster. ;-)

  5. Jake Says:

    Wholeheartedly agree, tuning VMs is an art. I think they work just fine for production, ask any cloud service provider, e.g. AWS :)

    What I meant was if you're taking VMs all the time for development, you never need to install/configure the guts (i.e. database, app server, etc.) which lets you focus on the important stuff like app development or deployment.

    That's also the negative, in that you lose all your skill w/the guts.

  6. Kiran Says:

    I am a huge fan of virtualization, especially within an enterprise virtualization wins where there so many doors that block the clouds.
    I am hoping to see build level integrations where the builds that generate the installers also generate the vm images with everything pre-installed and configured. We struggle to get enough number of machines with enough power to validate 100's of combinations. The internal cloud test framework helps QE orgs probably but not so much to developers.
    We have a huge chunk of releases, patch sets going on and so many customer issues we deal with, I hoping we get a standardized central repository with VirtualBox vm images for each any every combination that goes to customer. We do that somewhat individually but nothing organized, nothing that is centrally driven and push to the complete org.

  7. Jake Says:

    All excellent ideas, I hope we get all those things too.

  8. oraclenerd Says:

    I seem to be a bit late to the party.

    Someone noted the change in the logo, I believe, the day after the merger was officially announced. I should have written it up and beat you to the punch. :)

    As you probably are aware, I love VirtualBox. I have 5 VMs currently configured on my machine:
    Windows Vista Ultimate (didn't want to throw away the license, plus, everyone uses Windows so I need to as well apparently)
    Windows XP Professional – same
    Fedora12 – felt like test driving
    Ubuntu 9.10 – testing out an SVN/Jira/FishEye configuration
    OEL 5.4 – 11gR2
    OEL 5.4 – OBIEE

    I am sure there are a few others.

    I think developers would benefit greatly from virtualization, VirtualBox or other. We (I) spend half my time setting up my environment…would be nice (though I wouldn't learn as much) if my environment were pre-built. I even suggested recently that developers should be using VMs to do their OBIEE development (difficult tool to version control) so they can play around and blow things up. Need to start fresh? Either snapshot the thing or go back and get the original vdi file. In fact, I think I'll propose that now.

  9. Jake Says:

    Interesting point about the Windows licenses, i.e. create a VM to keep them vs. throwing the license key in a drawer or (gasp) running a host instance.

    Developers can benefit greatly from the ability to blow up an instance and quickly restart. Similarly, operations can benefit greatly from both a preconfigured instance that's plug and go and from a staging VM to install, configure and test.

    That's the beauty of virtualization. It's always useful. You can have speedy deployment. You can have a sandbox for development and testing. You can mess up and start over quickly. Everyone wins.

  10. Jake Says:

    Interesting point about the Windows licenses, i.e. create a VM to keep them vs. throwing the license key in a drawer or (gasp) running a host instance.

    Developers can benefit greatly from the ability to blow up an instance and quickly restart. Similarly, operations can benefit greatly from both a preconfigured instance that's plug and go and from a staging VM to install, configure and test.

    That's the beauty of virtualization. It's always useful. You can have speedy deployment. You can have a sandbox for development and testing. You can mess up and start over quickly. Everyone wins.

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