I recently stumbled across a new (to me) option for virtual machines called Virtualbox, provided for free by Oracle. Like VMWare and Parallels, Virtualbox allows you to create a virtual computer that runs inside it’s own window on your desktop. You can install Windows, Linux, etc., on these virtual machines, and even have multiple virtual servers running on the same computer – though that takes a LOT of memory.
Cons compared to its non-free cousins, VMWare and Parallels perform better and handle 3D graphics better. Pros: it’s a solid product from a reputable company, and it’s free. if you need to test and see if a virtual machine might be the solution for you without shelling out $80 or more, this is definitely the way to go.