An excellent fusion of great virtualization features, high performance, and pricing that fits the bill for almost everyone.
Overall Satisfaction with VMware Fusion
VMware Fusion is used in a multitude of development scenarios including spinning up Linux servers for early-stage development before the code is pushed to an internet-facing dev server for clients to see. It allows easy maintenance of different VM images to test different application environments easily and safely. It is also a great "lab rat" to test code against bleeding edge versions of PHP and popular web apps. Fusion is also used to run Windows-only business-related applications on the intel mac platform, thereby eliminating having to reboot or run maintain multiple physical hardware. While the Mac software library has grown, Windows counterparts from the same developer are often still better so Fusion helps eliminates this shortfall.
- The option for a perpetual license makes it a cost-effective option for occasional-use scenarios.
- Features like "Unity" are well implemented to make windows applications appear as if they were native macOS apps.
- Support for external USB devices (especially audio) runs more stable than Parallels.
- Snapshots are helpful in quickly returning to a previous state if a setting or application causes issues.
- The low power footprint makes it a great option for laptops on battery power. (Idle power consumption of the VM is negligible when measured at the wall using a Kill-A-watt).
- Configuring a boot camp install to run inside macOS via VMware fusion can be tricky to configure and sometimes leads to license/activation issues depending on the application.
- Some apps become sluggish/do not behave well when running the VM in "Unity" mode.
- Fusion lags behind its competitors in terms of graphics API support.
- Although early at this time, lack of M1 support is an area of concern for the future.
- Perpetual licensing option as our use-case is mostly occasional. We can upgrade on our own terms as needed.
- VM performance.
- Eliminated the need to maintain separate windows hardware as well as multiple OSes for testing.
- Saved a lot of hours needing to configure VM instances to serve specific needs (e.g. can create an image and use it as an image template for similar projects going forward).
As mentioned previously, perpetual licensing was the #1 reason. The interface is also cleaner, simpler, and less bloat. Parallels also seem to run a bit slower. Fusion was also more stable and significantly faster in both raw performance and graphics compared to Virtualbox. Virtualbox also had a tendency to random freezings on some of our Linux instances on occasion.
Do you think VMware Fusion delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with VMware Fusion's feature set?
Did VMware Fusion live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of VMware Fusion go as expected?
Would you buy VMware Fusion again?
Due to its perpetual licensing model, VMware Fusion is a great option for users whose needs do not change as much over time. It is also great for occasional-use scenarios such as testing and preparing code to run on newer platforms. Fusion is not really recommended for running graphics-intense applications as graphics acceleration in Fusion is fairly limited in both performance and API support. It has, however, come a very long way and offers near-native performance for many tasks.
Using VMware Fusion
Sometimes the best surprise is no surprise and Fusion is just that. It's reliable and generally just works as expected every time (the only exception was running a boot camp install directly but that use-case scenario opens a can of worms due to how product activation works) The interface and settings are clean and simple and there is no hide and seek games to play.