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Oracle VirtualBox 5 vs VMware Workstation 12 Comparison

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Posted by Paul Wilson on 21.12.2015
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Features Oracle VirtualBox 5 VMware Workstation 12 Pro
USB 3.0 support Yes Yes
Open Source Yes No
Drag-and-drop support Yes Yes
UEFI boot and GPT drives No Yes
Host multi monitor support  with different DPI settings No Yes
Integration with server- or cloud-based virtualization products No Yes
Encryption Yes Yes
Tear Away Tabs No Yes
Live Migration No Yes
Support for Windows 10 No Yes
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Advantages of using VMware Workstation Over VirtualBox

- High end performance
- Superior Networking features
- More polished
- Configuration made simple and flexible
- Easy to install
- Very efficient tool to simulate any guest OS you desire
- Elegant integration with hardware
- Easy to use, customize, and share resources

Cons of VirtualBox

- Lacks Bluetooth
- No Multi-monitor support for guest operating systems
- Slow performance
- No Cloning Option

The survey results show that VMware is the trusted product by the majority, when it comes to selecting a virtualization tool for their enterprise.
virtualization software survey
User Interface

Even though the user experience of a Workstation is great, the VirtualBox gives the simple and attractive user interface. When compared to the older versions, VirtualBox has disregarded their clumsy appearance with striking-colors and cheerful-looking interface. 

The powerful UI of Workstation lets the techs to have full control over the setup. The user can also select the way to interact with the virtual machine, even you are running it in a cloud or on your PC.  The UI is made more interesting by the virtual machine library that lets the user to search and quickly view or access the VM. This indeed serves as a time saving factor.

Ease of use

The easy integration with other VMware products and efficient features have made the Workstation easy to handle. The setup and settings are automatic and can be done in a very few steps. The creation of complex virtual networks is much easy and hassle free.  When thinking about interoperability with other hypervisors, VirtualBox is a failure as it does not accept a second running hypervisor. Workstation offers the best support and integration with the host operating system. VirtualBox is a feature rich product that offers good support, if you need to run a single desktop hypervisor.

Installation

Installing the Workstation is very easy and even a novice can do it, just in a few steps. All the step-by-step instructions will guide you to install and use it in a few clicks. The novel features of the Workstation make the customization and sharing of resources facile.

Installation and configuration of VirtualBox will be hard if you do not have a basic knowledge in VB. However, it provides several customization options that can help the users to save time and customize it as per their need.

Graphics

Workstation 12 support DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3, which takes the user experience to the next level, while running 3D applications. The user can now run the most resource intensive 3D apps, such as SolidWork, Photoshop or AutoCAD, without any hinge. Workstation offers the user the best graphic acceleration of the two ( drag and drop exist) . Also, the exclusive mode of the workstation lets you have a real stretched full screen. The Unity Mode of Workstation integrates best between host and guest.

The scale mode of VirtualBox lets you have a stretched full screen, but while working in this mode, the graphics encounters some issues.

Latest Hardware

Workstation virtual tablets sensors combine with latest Intel based tablets and lets the applications running in the virtual machines to respond to the movements of the device. The use of Broadwell and Haswell microarchitecture ensures maximum performance and lets even the resource intense programs to work smoothly.

In addition to these, it is optimized to support high resolution 4K UHD and QHD+, which enables to user to have a clear and detailed view. The workstation can also support multiple monitors on the host with different DPIs.

The graph below gives the start up time of VirtualBox and Workstation in Windows Xp and Vista
start up time
See also

VMware Workstation 12 Player vs VMware Workstation 12 Comparison
Parallels Desktop 11 for MAC vs VMware Fusion 8 Comaprison Review
Conclusion

If you are a beginner and is learning about virtualization, then the best choice is VirtualBox as it will be packed with almost all essential features, at the best price tag. It helps you to create a VM which is similar to the original environment, and can be very useful while developing and testing code. If you are a professional and looking for the best virtualization tool that is ease to work with and can help you get the best from the two worlds, then VMware ÷orkstation is the right choice.  When VirtualBox offers flexibility, Workstation offers high end performance and convenience.