So, as many of you know, I've been working out different ways to host my Oracle labs and demos instances without chewing up phenomenal amounts of disk space and processing power. Lately, I've been diving into Docker.
Docker has turned out to be pretty cool and very easy to learn. And it's lightweight. The idea is that you run containers - your app, your operating system, and your virtual machine - bundled together in a single container. The big win is that containers abstract the operating kernel, so the total overhead of all the container is much, much less than the sum of the parts.
I'm still digging in, so I'll keep you posted as I progress. But it looks pretty promising in terms of fulfilling my non-production needs. One example...
I downloaded and installed the Oracle XE database...with APEX...from scratch in about 22 minutes earlier today. All done with Docker (and because I run OS X, I also use boot2docker).
Game. Set. Match. Pretty easy. Run fast. Low overhead. You may want to check it out.