Virtual machine software refers to those programs or tools that could create virtual instances of various hardware components in its computer. The virtual machine is a type of emulation software that emulates and simulates other full-fledged computer systems within an underlying computing platform. We can quickly access and test different operating systems using virtual machines as real machines. Virtual Machines are platform-independent so they are very helpful. We look into various best virtual machine software for Windows in 2021.
What is virtual machine software?
Virtual machine software, hereafter VMs, are used for hosting applications and servers. The term virtual machine comes from the idea of a machine being virtual and not physical. These VMs can be hosted on physical servers or computers to host the applications or can be used as standalone machines to run certain applications. You will usually find VMs running in networks so one of the other benefits of VMs is they allow these networks to be partitioned in case if there are certain systems that are not meant to have access to each other. Some of these VMs are used for hosting the virtual operating systems while there are some others that use the operating system within them for different purposes.
Virtual machines provide many benefits. Whether you want to test certain applications that aren’t compatible with your current operating system or want to be able to test your website from multiple locations, virtual machine software can help. There used to be a lot of different types of virtual machine software available, but as technology has advanced it has become easier than ever to set it up. While all these types work in a similar way, some have slight differences in how they function.
10 best virtual machine software
1.VMWare workstation 16 pro
VMWare Workstation 16 Pro is the ideal tool for developers who need a flexible, reliable, and scalable solution for virtualization. Workstation Pro 16 comes with support for multi-gigabyte guest operating systems, new features for enhanced performance monitoring and analysis, as well as ongoing optimization of hosted OS awareness.
Workstation 16 Pro is the industry-leading solution for physical and virtual machines. With comprehensive solutions for desktop, mobile, and cloud workloads, VMWare Workstation 16 Pro has the tools you need to develop, deliver and maintain business-critical applications and clouds. Workstation 16 Pro is designed to help you build, test, demonstrate and deliver applications with confidence in any IT environment.
- Virtualization increases security
- Expands server capacity on a physical machine
- Slow start of virtual machines
- Takes up a lot of space
- You need to run VMware Workstation in order for it to work, which adds more software and increases system instability, and more important is that you can’t make any benefit out of this without upgrading your operating system.
2. Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager :
Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager is independent software that you can use to manage your virtual machines. The good thing about Oracle VM VirtualBox is that it supports many types of operating systems. You will have no problem running almost all the operating systems (such as Windows, Linux, or Mac) on any of your devices (computers, laptops, phones, and various other computers).
- Storage access
- Increase performance
- Extend virtual machine’s life span
- It is not easy to use
- There are no standard controls for plug-ins
- Changing the hypervisor itself is a tough task
3. Microsoft Hyper-V
Microsoft Hyper-V is one of the most essential tools that a person can use to run any Windows-based operating system. It allows you to expand and contract the virtual memory of your computer, meaning that if you have a small amount of RAM available, you can use it for faster functions. It also gives access to hard drives located in other rooms of your home or small office, which can help with data recovery should something happen to your primary drive. Hyper-V is included with every copy of Windows 10 Home and is also available as a free download from Microsoft’s website.
- Allows your computers to use the same Windows license
- Virtual machine co-location
- Replica server support
- Resilient storage
- Distributed virtual switch
- Difficult Installation for Developers
- Lack of GUI Management Tools
- Limited VM templates from Microsoft
- Storage Requires Managing the Software RAID or IIS Application
4. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
SolarWinds offers virtualization solutions to help users become more efficient in working. Because the company grows so rapidly, it is difficult to keep a consistent accounting system and infrastructure in place. Therefore, SolarWinds created a system that would allow anyone to create their own accounting policies for their company with just a few clicks.
- Enables monitoring and managing of multiple virtual environments
- Configures with VMware vCenter
- Works with SolarWinds Log & Event Manager
- Software is expensive
- Software needs regular updates
- Limited functionality buys the full version
- Monitoring multiple VMs can be difficult
5. Citrix Hypervisor
Citrix, a virtualization solution provider, is highlighting its latest offering for business. The new Citrix Hypervisor 7 provides the ultimate in simplifying business IT infrastructure by providing complete disk and memory-resident security and storage services through an easy-to-use, web-based user interface. The new release also includes numerous new features and functionality improvements, including recurring diskless wipe functionality that provides instant data recovery when configured for disaster recovery.
- Provides low cost, high availability
- Easy to upgrade and simple to manage
- Enables remote access
- Provides an exceptional user experience
- Less functionality available
- Difficult to implement on existing servers
- Unable to run certain programs
Quick Emulator, an open-source tool for testing purposes of embedded devices, was designed primarily to be used with hardware projects. It allows you to flash new, non-root binaries onto an existing system or to install a custom operating system on a virtual device.
- Save time and effort
- Works like an emulator machine
- The internal cache saves you time and money
- Sometimes slower RAM
- Does not run on all devices
- Expensive emulator
7.VMWare fusion PC migration agent
These proactive tools utilize the latest technologies to provide seamless functionality between your current operating system and any future releases. The benefits of utilizing a Fusion PC Migration Agent include; saving time during the migration process; preventing data loss during storage transfers; and, empowering you with the flexibility to make these changes at any time
- Easy to use
- Better computer migration experience
- Enhanced performance
- Time & Cost-saving
- It only works with virtual machines from a VMware server
- The user’s data is not copied over
- It is quite heavy on resources
8. Genome Boxes
GNOME Boxes is a virtual machine manager for GNOME, that allows you to create, manage and connect to virtual machines whether they are running on the same computer or are somewhere else on the network. For example, with GNOME Boxes running on your laptop, it should be possible to run and manage a virtual machine hosted on your desktop computer as if it was directly attached to your laptop’s local screen.
- Easy to install
- Faster than traditional virtualization
- No agent required
- GNOME Boxes not available on Windows
- Some of the programs are very limited
- GNOME Boxes not being popular
9. VMware Workstation Player
VMware Workstation Player is a free desktop virtualization application that runs on Windows and allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single host machine. For end-users, it is an easy way to try out different operating systems, such as Linux or Windows Server 2012. For developers who need to test or demonstrate their applications in different environments, it allows you to quickly install and run multiple operating systems. You can also use VMware Workstation Player for testing various network configurations without modifying your hardware.
- All the features of the Pro version with the exception of remote desktop and replication
- User-friendly interface
- Ability to convert between VMware formats
- They offer limited functions as compared to other VMware software
- Not ideal for larger businesses
- You have to pay for the product
10. VMware monitor
VMware monitoring is important for the virtual infrastructure architectures which are being built up in the digital data centers and cloud environments. Hence this is critical to virtual machines to ensure the availability of applications and business continuity in case of hardware failure or any other condition which causes application downtime.
- Control over the hardware
- Increased security
- Easy ability to troubleshoot and control the virtual machines
- VMware monitoring can be expensive
- Lack of comprehensive VMware monitoring
- Requires skilled resources