If you are looking for free options to run on your local machine and the machine has enough resources then you could look at Virtual Box or if you are running Windows and depending on version then Hyper-V is an option.
If you prefer to run it in the cloud and grow your experience in this area then it is not going to be free but you can always shut down the instance when you are not using it. Take your pick from AWS, Azure or Oracle Cloud infrastructure. Trials are available and each have their own strengths. I have my own preference but I am not here to say which is the best or not like others will
I am having trouble with Virtual Box.
I have setup Oracle Compute before and know about the costs. Also, i have made AWS and Google Cloud instances as well. I am just not sure which is best. I want it cheap as possible but easy to use and i find Virtual Box unusual and slow.
4035892 Good afternoon Mark - welcome to our world of Oracle consulting!!!! Great time time to jump in as the 11.2 on-prem release is getting ready to drop. We use MacBooks here at our firm and run VMware Fusion on them when we need to test/sandbox systems at times. Each license of VMware fusion is between $50-$120 depending upon the version and time of the year you buy. always big discounts in October/November. VMware Workstation is the equivalent for Windows of course. I've tried using openSource/freebies for VM emulation in the past but found that time is money and as much fun as it is tinkering with openSource tools. VMware invented this space commercially and their stuff (not always the best) - works!
Then for guest VM OS's, being an Oracle partner we use the OEL for linux - or you could go free CentOS. For Windows, We purchase annually a Microsoft Action Pack subscription. it's like $470 USD a year - again look for sales and coupon codes. That gets us OS licenses for dev purposes of SQL Server and also Windows OS's. it also happens to et you 5 Office365 licenses and the office desktop tools as well. Great value and a solid tax write off.
So it's not "free" per se (approximately $600/year) but it's very real world like a customer would have without hassles.
If you go with a laptop/workstaions for local installs - my two suggestions are lots of memory (16GB so you can allocate a solid 12Gb to your VM) and Flash drives or external SSD's USB3.
As for Public Cloud IaaS providers, as JohnGoodwin very correctly said (Thanks John!!!). - everyone has their favorites and you should find what works best for you. We personally use all of the majors: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Not so much Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for our Oracle EPM/Hyperion clients. All have their pros and cons. and prices do vary. Lately OCI is the best value price/compute core, but there's a learning curve to any of these. In the infra world we support and manage all of them so we try to be agnostic.
Any more questions, just reach out!! and again, welcome aboard!!!
i find Virtual Box unusual and slow.
That is because it is developed by Oracle
I want it cheap as possible but easy to use
Sometimes you get what you pay for, if you are on windows then have a look at Hyper-V or if you want to pay then VMWare.
Hi Mark - hope all is well! Once you're good with this question please let us know by marking it answered so others in the community know you're all set.
Any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
Thanks for all of the answers. I prefer the idea of setting up a sandbox on Oracle Cloud Infra, Amazon WS or Google Cloud. I will probably go with OCI.
I do like OCI - shoot me a message if you need any help in it. Also - there are some good tips for OCI discussions as well if you're an Oracle Partner:
I wrote a blog on prepping for the OCI Architect exam and in there I've got a bunch of the getting started links if this helps at all.
If you have enough memory, in your system, you can do it without investing any additional. for example, if you have 16GB in your PC, in that 12gb allocate to VM install hyperion and test it. May be not all services once, one by one.
VM client free version is enough for practice. Windows server you can download trail version for practice. take snap shot fresh copy you can use it multiple times. Database you can download (Oracle), Hyperion is free for learning. you can install, migrate, upgrade etc etc.
This is what i started to do. I encountered a few errors when installing the apps. i think they were due to my laptop not having the proper server software or proper spec hardware. I didnt get to the bottom of the error yet.
While installing a database i was unable to bypass my works admin security and therefore have decided to stop that method and just look for a virtual place to install it. I think this is better anyway as i can choose a better spec of RAM and correct supported version of Windows to start from.
I think without having knowledge we can't install windows, database, hyperion and all on VM, so better to go with your options.
I am suggesting to people whoever coming to me that free practice suggestion only.