I apologise if this question seems to be unprofessional, but i am new to the topic of Virtual machines. I am a student developing a web application which uses MySQL and Virtuoso databases.My university allows the students to host PHP web applications but does not allow students to install other applications on the limited alloted server space and in my case i would like to install Virtuoso. Therefore my professor suggested that i should develop my application on a virtual machine, meanwhile he would discuss with the university to come up with a possible solution.He also suggested that by developing the website on virtual machine it would be easier to deploy to the live server once we find one.
I have looked up free virtual machine servers like VMServer and VirtualBox but i am not sure if this is what is required in my case.Also i am still not clear how developing website on virtual machine is different from developing it simply on my PC.
I would greatly appreciate any help and suggestion for my above query.