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★ Parallels 7 destroys VMWare Fusion 4 in Windows and Linux Pen Testing Environments

Posted by | Software | 4 Comments

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.

Tests Performed

Tools Used

  • 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

Tests Performed

  • Running Backtrack 5 alongside Metasploitable and Hackxor virtual machines
  • Converting pre-made VMWare images to Parallels images

Performance Results

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
System Details Score
Parallels 7
  • Using only a live instance of Backtrack 5, both virtual machines performed equally.
  • No visible signs of virtual machine lag or OSX performance degradation.
  • Tested with various scanning tools scanning and password brute forcing using John the Ripper.
10
VMWare 4 10
Test 2: Running a Backtrack 5 alongside Windows Vista
System Details Score
Parallels 7
  • OSX and both VMs performed great.
  • Boot up time for Windows Vista VM significantly faster with Parallels.
10
VMWare 4
  • Boot time & performance for Backtrack seemed to be about the same
  • Boot time for Vista VM measured at 3x SLOWER than parallels
  • Noticeable performance lag noticed when trying to run multiple VMs
7
Test 3: Windows Vista Standalone Performance and Lion Integration
System Details Score
Parallels 7
  • Even in a single instance, Parallels 7 performed faster booting Windows Visa
  • Lion Integration performed very well. No complaints or issues.
  • Running heavy applications like Visio booted very quickly. Performance continued as large documents were opened.
  • Startup and Shutdown times seemed normal compared to a normal Windows machine & suspend time only took a few seconds.
9
VMWare 4
  • Boot time & performance for Backtrack seemed to be about the same
  • Boot time for Vista VM measured at 3x SLOWER than parallels
  • Lion Integration performed well. No complaints or issues. 
  • Startup and Shutdown times seemed normal compared to a normal Windows machine & suspend time only took a few seconds.
  • Running heavy applications like Visio started quickly, but performance quickly degraded as large visio documents were opened.Performance became choppy and sluggish.
  • I really like the idea of having the “Start Menu” present from the task bar (as opposed to having it on the dock)
7
Test 4: Converting VMWare images to Parallels (and vice versa)
System Details Score
Parallels 7
  • Converting both Backtrack and Metasploitable VMs to Parallels virtual machines was extremely simple. Just select the VMWare file to be opened and Parallels automatically converts it.
  • Total time to convert the Backtrack 5 image (8gb) was about 90 seconds.

 

10
VMWare 4
  • Conversion process just as painless with VMWare
  • Conversion time for the Backtrack 5 image was about the same at 100 seconds. 

 

10

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!

★ How to create a bootable USB Flash Drive with UNetBootIn and use it to install Mac OSX, Linux, or any other Operating System

Posted by | OSX, Software | 5 Comments

I no longer have a CD drive in my macbook pro, so I wanted to create a bootable USB key in case I ever needed to reinstall the operating system. This method also works great if you want to create a bootable USB Drive to load any other operating system. This method will work on Mac, Windows and Linux systems.

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