Every since I became a Mac user, I needed a virtualization environment for my work. The buzz was very big on Parallels, so I joined the band wagon to give it a shot. (Granted, I did not know about VMWare products for the Mac at the time.)
Parallels 2.0 was a joke. the products was not stable. the problems were small, but the frequency at which they occurred was extremely annoying. Here’s a couple…
- I use Locations on my Mac to choose the network settings depending on where I am (home, work, other). If Parallels is running, and I switch locations, I get the beachball of death, and the resources on my machine get sucked by parallels until a full crash. I posted an issue on the parallels forums with this. the solution was to suspend the VM, switch locations, then resume it… Bah! that’s quite an slick solution. (This problem remains in 3.0, latest version of Parallels)
- Every so often, the resizing handles of the parallels VM just plain disappear, which get me stuck with an incomplete window where I can’t reach most of the elements, not even a force quit would resolve it. I have to restart my Mac. Hmm.. that’s pretty sweet… This was resolved in 3.0 version.
- Resources on my Parallels were peaked out everytime I started a VM … and performance was sluggish at best. even with a VM that has 1Gb of RAM, and my mac has 3Gb, I always end up with about 400Mb of RAM left when a VM is running. There is not even an option to run more than one VM at the same time. On my VMWare workstation instance, this was a no brainer. the physical RAM was indeed all (minus host OS RAM requirement) available for the VMs.
- Hard disk space with parallels has been exceptionally bad. I’m not sure what causes it, and why the Parallels compressor has such a big foot print, but it was bad, and I never was left with more than 6Gb of space on my hard drive, even after running Compressor. In my last episode of my Parallels VM horrors, I had done enough to restore 11Gb of space back on my hard drive, and every time I turned on my VM, my hard drive would start chirping along, with my system pretty much unusable, and I watch my hard drive space being eaten away by the VM for no reason at all. I would turn on my VM at 7:30am with 11Gb of space, by 9:00am, I have about 500Mb of my drive left, at which time, I just had to terminate the VM in order to avoid crashing my system. Very nice! Parallels!
Yesterday, I decided to try VMWare fusion after seeing it at one of the shows, and after experiencing a VM corruption, for the 3rd time with Parallels. This is where my apology comes to VMWare.
I have to say, I apologize for ever doubting your products, and trying a product from a company that just started out, and has no prior experience in virtualization, where VMWare has been in this business for years.
As always, they were no disappointment. VMWare fusion was a snap to install, their OS installation wizard was exceptional, they use an answer file for the installation, asking for the user, and product key. In 5 minutes flat, I had a new Windows XP Pro installed and running. Performance was snappy, memory usage was fantastic, and was able to run 2 VMs in parallel (ironic) with no glitches. my Mac is acting happier than it ever was, and my hard drive space has been recovered!
Now I am operating with 31Gb of free space on my host drive. the Shrink process of Fusion is very efficient and faster than Parallels, and actually recovers space that “remains” recovered! what a concept!
I feel much better now that I layed out my gripes about this very poorly made product. perhaps in the future, as I use Fusion more, I will post some more about any tips and tricks that made the product work better for me. But for now, I’ll be satisfied with this.
Has anyone experienced bad stuff like this with Parallels? or am I just having a bad experience with a product??