Sep 06, 2011

Will Oracle keep VirtualBox? Is it safe to deploy for critical business functions?

How committed is Oracle to keeping VirtualBox running? Does it fit into their long-term strategies? Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison is known to be as mercurial as Apple's Steve Jobs, and so there is some resistance to using VirtualBox instead of Microsoft Virtual PC because some people are not confident that VirtualBox will be supported under Windows 8 or whatever new host OS comes out. 

I've seen no sign that Oracle is getting ready to get rid of VirtualBox. It's an asset for them and I doubt they would do anything directly to hurt or destroy it. I use it frequently for Linux distro reviews and it seems to be being updated regularly.

You can snag a copy of it here for free:


"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. See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria."

Oracle needs VirtualBox to allow enterprise customers the ability to run Oracle databases in a virtualized environment without forcing them into a competitor's product (Hyper-V) and although enterprise customers might prefer VMWare, Oracle doesn't own them (yet). Ellison's constant battles vs. Microsoft dictate a good deal of their market positioning.

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