Five Reasons to use VMware Workstation instead of VirtualBox
[UPDATED 25-Feb-2008] After a little research, it looks like I'll be sticking with VMware Workstation a while longer even though I would prefer VirtualBox because it is free and open source [UPDATE: partially open source].
The post, "5 reasons why you should use VirtualBox, instead of VirtualPC or VMware," by mickeyckm -- and particularly the comments -- gave me a lot of good info. But I decided to take the flipside in this post.
1. VMware supports both 32-bit and 64-bit host and guest operating systems. VirtualBox supports 64bit hosts but only 32bit guests.
2. VMware supports moving virtual machines with their snapshots. VirtualBox does not support moving snapshots.
3. VMware supports two-way Virtual SMP and you can assign one or two processors to virtual machines. VirtualBox doesn't have immediate plans to support SMP.
4. I believe VMware has better support for DirectX graphics.
5. VMware makes it much easier to create a Virtual Machine from an existing native (installed) OS compared to VirtualBox.
There are also reasons to use VirtualBox. One is that, like I mentioned above, it is free and open source. VirtualBox is a good product and I would like to use it. However, if item number two above remains true (snapshots in VirtualBox are broken), that pretty much rules out any chance for me to use VirtualBox instead of VMware.
I'm hoping someone shows me I'm wrong and that VirtualBox matches VMware feature-for-feature on the requirements that are most important to me, but my research so far makes that seem unlikely.
[UPDATE] My theme in this post has been that VirtualBox is open source and that VMware is not. That is not completely true.
VirtualBox has both a closed source version and an open source version. VMware also supports the open source community and Linux. See this link: http://www.vmware.com/resources/opensource/projects.html
And, when it comes to VirtualBox, two absolute must-have features are not available in its open source version. USB support and Remote Desktop (RDP) as well as the USB over RDP and iSCSI initiator features are not available in the open source version! So even the most compelling (perceived) advantage of VirtualBox starts to break down a bit upon closer examination. VirtualBox is not completely open source. (And VMware is not completely outside the open source community).
Finally, Sun Microsystems has acquired VirtualBox as of this month (February 2008). This acquisition raises a few questions about the future open source status of VirtualBox. I think most of us expect that there will continue to be a free and open source version of VirtualBox, but there will probably be more and more features that get released only in versions that generate revenue -- otherwise a for-profit company would not be able to justify paying the cost to purchase the company making VirtualBox. Sun has to have a strategy for profiting from VirtualBox and that means their attention and energy will be placed on doing those things that generate revenue.
Sure, we'll have a free open source version of VirtualBox, but more of the resources will go into non-free versions.
Here are some resources: