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VMWare vs Parallels: What is the Best Virtual Machine?

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Yuri Musienko
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All virtual machines work on the principle of virtualization. This is the process of creating a software-based or virtual representation of virtual applications, servers, networks, and the like. This way helps to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency.

Benefits of virtualization include the following:

  • increase of the level of app agility;
  • the process helps to reduce capital costs and development costs;
  • increase of performance of resources;
  • automation of operations;
  • speed of employees’ response to emerging problems increases;
  • it’s possible to run a business without fearing system failures.
Due to virtualization, IT infrastructure becomes more manageable.

Fundamental principles behind virtualization

Many servers are limited, which is why it’s necessary to deploy multiple servers. They start operating at a fraction of their capacity to keep pace with high storage and processing demands. This method leads to huge inefficiencies of servers and excessive energy expenditure.

Virtualization is intended to simulate hardware functionality and work in the created computer system. This enables to run multiple apps or operating systems on a single server. This significantly lowers total company costs by saving energy.

A virtual computer system is known as a «virtual machine» (VM): a tightly isolated software container with software that contains data about apps and an operating system. Putting multiple VMs on a single computer enables several applications to run on just one physical server.

VMWare vs Parallels

Characteristics of machines
Virtual machines operate on certain principles:
  1. Fragmentation. It provides the division of resources to all VMs and allows working on multiple operating systems on one computer.
  2. Isolation helps to maintain the performance level and protect the system from malfunction and faults.
  3. Encapsulation. A virtual machine is in the form of software files so it’s possible to move and copy virtual machines as easily as moving and copying files.
VMs are fully autonomous and independent of the equipment. This allows initializing them on the server and moving the machine to any of them.

Network and its virtualization

By completely reproducing a physical network, network virtualization allows applications to run on a virtual network as if they were running on a physical network — but with greater operational benefits and all the hardware independencies of virtualization.

Desktop PC can be virtualized as well. Deploying desktops as a managed service enables IT organizations to respond faster to changing workplace needs and emerging opportunities. Virtualized desktops and applications can also be quickly and easily delivered to branch offices, outsourced and offshore employees, and mobile workers using iPad and Android tablets.

Cloud computing

Although equally buzz-worthy technologies, virtualization and cloud computing are not interchangeable. Virtualization is software that makes computing environments independent of physical infrastructure. Cloud computing is a service that delivers shared computing resources (software and/or data) on demand via the Internet.

Two technologies work together greatly complementing each other. Therefore, many companies use them jointly: launch the virtualization process and move to cloud computing. This increases the opportunities and helps to achieve a higher level of machine agility.

VMware Workstation

VMware is software, which is suitable for х86-64 computers, which run on the operating system Windows or Linux. This program allows for the installation of one or several virtual machines on one PC launching it along with the installed virtualized apps. Each virtual machine can work on a separate operating system: Windows, Linux, BSD, or MS-DOS.

Capacities of the VMware program include:

  • support of bridges with an adapter for a desktop PC;
  • it can create common folders for a computer and a virtual machine;
  • software moves the images of real CD/DVD to virtuality;
  • user has a possibility to take a picture of a virtual machine to keep its state at this stage;
  • with the help of a program it’s possible to work with virtual machines by combining them into one group, which can be connected, disconnected, you can resume its operation and fully control it.
Besides the standard program, the so-called Player is available, which is almost the same program but consists of fewer features. It’s meant for personal use and is publicly available to download.

VMWare vs Parallels


Parallels Desktop


The Parallels company was found in 1999 and it started developing software, which was technology-savvy and advanced. A same-name company exists now to work with virtual machines, simplify tasks for IT specialists, and accelerate the work pace.

The main tasks that the program is able to carry out are the following:

  • possibility to develop and test programs in multiple operating systems at once;
  • access to Office and Windows products on the Mac and the possibility to work in the Internet Explorer browser;
  • launch of all the above-listed apps without affecting the operation speed of the Apple computer;
  • files and apps move quickly with no hang-ups.
At the moment, the official version of this program has over 7 million users worldwide already. It suggests the development quality, ease of use, creators’ credibility. Some of the users have noted that the operation speed of Windows products is very high. It’s enough to simply click on the icon of the program and the user can start working within seconds.

VMWare vs Parallels

Features of Parallels
The program is endowed with several main features.
  1. It’s possible to open the Office 365 products in the «Safari» browser now. The interface of Word, Excel, and other programs remains in the standard form.
  2. Boot Camp is embedded into the program. At startup, it’s necessary to follow the instructions, which will be appearing on the screen. Due to them, you can start converting a virtual machine from Boot Camp easily and quickly.
  3. Smart resizing and independent screen resolutions.
  4. The program will optimize your VM settings and performance for your needs: software testing, design, record management, and the like.
  5. Saves disk space on PC due to automatic optimization.
A lot of ordinary users and IT professionals face the need to administer several diverse systems, which aren’t compatible with each other, at once. Nowadays it’s not a problem because virtualization technologies make it possible to do it quickly, simply, and without extra equipment costs.

VMWare vs Parallels

VMware Fusion vs Parallels Desktop

These two programs have a lot in common, but also a lot of differences. They both are intended for virtualization and are powered by the Macintosh system. Almost every user has had experience with Macintosh PC in his life because people of lots of professions work with it: designers, artists, analysts, programmers.

Each program provides access to a full Windows package, which is opened on Mac devices. They also allow integrating systems into the created infrastructure quickly and easily and establishing their interaction.

Despite the little experience of the VMware company in this field, it managed to achieve a high level of development. The quality of this product can be judged by numerous clients’ reviews, who use the software regularly and have left their opinions about the program’s work by specifying its strengths and weaknesses.

A separate VMware Fusion package was developed when the company’s specialists decided to introduce their know-how into the market of Apple products and cooperate with them.

VMWare vs Parallels

At first glance, it might seem that the feature Unity or Coherence is negligible, but it’s not the case. It may help to hide a part of the operating system from other users. This works if you want to hide some elements installed in Windows from the Macintosh user so that the guest doesn’t have access to the whole system. Herewith the productivity of the computer doesn’t suffer just like in the performance of other operations. The Fusion package can support more than 50 guest systems without loss of operation speed.

The Parallels company had spent a lot of time on the development of its virtualization products and the last one of them became version 4.0. It has not yet been sufficiently well developed and it’s in a testing phase; however, the users haven’t noticed serious malfunction.

Compared with the latest one, Parallels has the greater flexibility to set a graphic accelerator and it has the support feature of OpenGL. It makes this program more preferable for downloading to the computer to work with Windows products.

Apps and programs operate without malfunction and problems. According to the feedback of many specialists, Parallels has a little higher data processing speed, works with files faster, and manipulates large documents.

The regular version of «Parallel Desktop» has additional support programs, which you don’t have to spend money on because they are included in the package.

These are the following:

  • a system, which allows creating and restoring backups;
  • collection of utilities to manage the disks;
  • software to protect against viruses, which is developed by «Kaspersky Lab»;
  • support of the Windows Server system;
  • feature that enables to get remote access from other devices.
This also includes other improvements aimed at the more convenient collective use of the program.

Choice of the system to use

Both products are developed by specialists – real professionals. Each of them has many practically identical advantages. The difference for the user is the interface, which he might like better, and personal preferences.
  1. More specifically, the Parallels system operates a little faster, which is an advantage for IT specialists, who work quickly and expect instant responses. The difference in speed is almost impossible to distinguish during the usual work so this point may be irrelevant.
  2. The Windows company’s apps, which are included in the standard package «Parallel», are a useful and necessary complement. It can also include more affordable additional programs, which are a great solution for a small business.
There is a lot of examples of similar competition in the world: «Pepsi» and «Coca-Cola», «Chevrolet Camaro» and «Ford Mustang», but there is nothing wrong with it. On the contrary, such a race for technologies will make it possible for companies to constantly improve their products, offer the users more advantageous conditions of purchase, achieve goals, and upgrade the programs.

Customized programs

You can enhance the employees’ effectiveness not only with the help of bought software. Custom options are widespread because they allow the client to select necessary features, which are suitable for the specifics of the business and not to overpay for unnecessary components.

Unused features create the additional load on servers, take place, and herewith they are useless to a particular individual. Developments «to the user» fully solve this issue by giving the client what he needs. In addition, custom development provides more opportunities for improving software and remedying shortcomings. The client will be able to make any changes, implement his ideas, and follow modern technologies.


VMWare vs Parallels: What is the Best Virtual Machine? key takeaways:

#1. Fundamental principles behind virtualization
#2. Network and its virtualization
#3. Cloud computing
#4. VMware Workstation
#5. Choice of the system to use
#6. Customized programs

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Yuri Musienko
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