Parallels 7 vs VMWare Fusion 4
Desktop Virtualization Head to Head for Mac OSX
I started using Parallels 7 to run virtual machine labs to practice my security assessment skills. I've read a ton of reviews comparing Parallels 7 to VMWare Fusion 4, but I wanted to try testing the two myself. I'll save you the time and energy of this article and let you know now that Parallels Desktop 7 smoked VMWare Fusion 4.
- BackTrack 5: Linux-based penetration testing arsenal that aids security professionals in the ability to perform assessments in a purely native environment dedicated to hacking.
- Hackxor: Web app hacking game where players must locate and exploit vulnerabilities to progress through the story
- Metasploitable – Exploitable VM to test against
- Windows Vista
- Running Backtrack 5 alongside Metasploitable and Hackxor virtual machines
- Converting pre-made VMWare images to Parallels images
The following machines were using in the performance testing of the two products:
- 2011 Macbook Pro, 2ghz Core i7
- 8gb ram, OSX Lion 10.7.2.
- OSX and Applications running on OWC Mercury Extreme SSD
- VMs running on 7200 rpm Scorpio Black
- 2009 Mac Pro, Quad Core Xeon
- 8gb ram, OSX Lion 10.7.2
- OS and VMs running on separate 7200 rpm Scorpio Black hard drives
|Test 1: Running Backtrack 5|
|Test 2: Running a Backtrack 5 alongside Windows Vista|
|Test 3: Windows Vista Standalone Performance and Lion Integration|
|Test 4: Converting VMWare images to Parallels (and vice versa)|
Final Score – Parallels is the clear winner
Parallels Desktop 7 is the clear winner. VMWare's performance really doesn't even come close. VMWare has some nice features, especially in the department of Windows unity/integration. Unfortunately, VMWare just doesn't cut it when compared to Parallels' overall performance. With Parallels, Bootup and load times are significantly faster. Overall system performance is also better when running virtual machines. In my opinion, Parallels Desktop 7 is the clear winner.
Parallels Giveaway Contest
As a result of the incredible performance tests, I was able to contact Parallels and arrange for a giveaway to our audience. Starting later this week, We will be giving away 4 copies of Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac, 1 per week for the next 4 weeks. Stay tuned for directions and more information on the contest!