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VMware vSphere vs VirtualBox: What are the differences?

Differences Between VMware vSphere and VirtualBox


When it comes to virtualization software, two popular choices are VMware vSphere and VirtualBox. While both allow users to run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server, there are key differences between them that make them suitable for different use cases.

  1. Performance and Scalability: VMware vSphere is known for its superior performance and scalability compared to VirtualBox. vSphere is designed for enterprise-level deployments and can handle thousands of virtual machines with ease. VirtualBox, on the other hand, is better suited for small-scale deployments or personal use.

  2. Management and Administration: vSphere provides advanced management and administration features, such as vCenter Server, that enable centralized control and monitoring of virtual machines. It offers features like live migration and high availability, making it easier to manage large virtualized environments. VirtualBox, while it does have some management capabilities, lacks the robustness and scalability of vSphere in this aspect.

  3. Integration with Ecosystem and Third-Party Tools: VMware vSphere has extensive integration with a wide range of ecosystem partners and third-party tools. It offers compatibility with various storage systems, backup solutions, and automation tools, allowing seamless integration into existing IT infrastructures. VirtualBox, while it does have a reasonably good ecosystem, cannot compete with vSphere in terms of the breadth of integrations available.

  4. Cost and Licensing: VMware vSphere is a commercial product that comes with a licensing cost. It offers various editions with different feature sets to cater to different budgets and requirements. VirtualBox, on the other hand, is an open-source software that is free to use, making it an attractive choice for individuals and small businesses with budget constraints.

  5. Hardware Support: VMware vSphere has better hardware support compared to VirtualBox. vSphere supports a wide range of hardware devices and offers better compatibility with enterprise-grade server hardware, making it suitable for running mission-critical workloads. VirtualBox, while it does support a decent range of hardware, may face limitations or compatibility issues when dealing with newer or specialized hardware.

In summary, VMware vSphere is a powerful and scalable virtualization platform designed for enterprise-level deployments, offering advanced management features and extensive ecosystem integrations. VirtualBox, on the other hand, is more suitable for small-scale or personal use, with its open-source nature and cost-effective licensing.

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Pros of VirtualBox
Pros of VMware vSphere
  • 358
  • 231
  • 169
    Default for vagrant
  • 110
  • 73
    Starts quickly
  • 45
  • 42
    Running in background
  • 41
    Simple, yet comprehensive
  • 27
    Default for boot2docker
  • 22
    Extensive customization
  • 3
    Free to use
  • 2
    Mouse integration
  • 2
    Easy tool
  • 2
  • 8
    Strong host isolation
  • 6
    Industry leader
  • 5
    Great VM management (HA,FT,...)
  • 4
    Easy to use
  • 2
    Feature rich
  • 2
    Great Networking
  • 1
  • 1
    Running in background
  • 1
    Can be setup on single physical server

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Cons of VirtualBox
Cons of VMware vSphere
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    • 8

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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.

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    What companies use VirtualBox?
    What companies use VMware vSphere?
    See which teams inside your own company are using VirtualBox or VMware vSphere.
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    What tools integrate with VirtualBox?
    What tools integrate with VMware vSphere?

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    What are some alternatives to VirtualBox and VMware vSphere?
    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 (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V).
    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 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