Parallels launched RAS v15.5 in November 2016, enabling organisations of all sizes the easiest solution to securely deliver Windows® desktops and applications to employees on any device. The latest version offers support for cloud-ready deployments for on-premise, hybrid and public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, giving IT administrators increased agility with better performance. Version 15.5 is also Windows Server 2016 ready. New iOS and Android clients enhance end user experience with simple natural touch gestures on their tablets and phones when they access virtual desktops and apps.
The essential question is – what is Parallels RAS? RAS, which stands for Remote Application Server, is Parallels solution to organisations IT department’s search for the perfect delivery tool to provide access to applications to their rank and file employees. To explain why solutions such as RAS is needed, we will need to do a quick recap.
Remote client computing, since the early 2010s, comprise of central management of technologies and components, which will then be utilized by end users. The most workable solution has been found to comprise of the following factors;
• Virtualized Client — Hardware and software components, are sieved and separated, in view of enhanced security, high availability and disaster recovery requirement.
• Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) — Instead of physical hardwae components, the VDI created a layer of software abstract of the hardware, virtualizing the operating system, applications and data. From thenm all applications and/or services run from servers in datacenters.
• Support for Infrastructure — For IT departments to embark on virtualized client, they will need to change the view of resources from personal computers to servers. With this new policy change, they will then be able to ascertain the cost required and impact of migrating to a new infrastructure.
• Management of Softwae— A license management system to monitor software licences, ensure proper tracking and acquisition of new licenses.
Parallels is most known for its PC virtualization of MAC operating systems. Having acquired Remote Application Server from 2X Software in 2015, it wasted no time to integrate the product into its range of products for the corporate organisations. Parallels RAS has gained the general acceptance as an application publishing platform – however, customers can use it to use full Windows virtual desktops such as Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware ESXi hypervisors.
The image above came from an IDC report, titled,“IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Virtual Client Computing Software Assessment” excerpt which includes “IDC Opinion” and “Essential Buyer Guidance”. As can be seen from the image, Parallels is playing catch-up to industry incumbents such as Citrix XenServer and VMWare ESXi hypervisors. The following list proceeds to establish why Parallels stands a higher chance of being accepted.
- Parallels RAS costs $99 per year per concurrent user license, while Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise edition costs $250 per user or $535 per concurrent user for a perpetual license. VMWare Horizon 7 Advanced starts at $484 per concurrent user for a perpetual license.
- It is easy to install. With Parallels RAS v15.5, IT administrators can set an application ready to deliver to clients, in just four steps.
- With Parallels RAS support for touch devices such as Android and IOS based devices, organisations that have installed Parallels RAS, are now more ready than ever, for their staff to not be based in the office, yet can support clients at their residence.
- To expand further, RAS offers client applications based on Apple iOS, Google Android, ChromeOS, Windows and Linux. The use of HTML5 based in a client in version 15.5 allows a user to access published apps and their virtual desktops, simply through an Internet browser.
- No man is an island – and this proverb applies to Parallels RAS too. Parallels RAS is ready to work with Microsoft Azure, even Citrix and VMWare hypervisors.
Parallels RAS remains available to be employed on organisation’s on-premise private cloud infrastructure, or, via SaaS cloud delivery model. The above screengrab from their introduction video provides a good gist on their core competencies. To further provide emphasis on the ease of installation and use, Parallels RAS can be installed and fully configured, without messing about with firewall configurations, in thirty minutes. As if to underscore its capability, Parallels provide APIs to work with Microsoft Powershell. A seasoned IT administrator will proceed to install and configure via Command Line and PowerShell, while newer IT managers may use GUI for installation and configuration.
Click here to view the video a short training video on introduction, installation and configuration of Parallels RAS.
If you require more information, please head to http://www.parallels.com/products/ras/remote-application-server/.