by Lyle Smith

Parallels Remote Application Server Version 17.1 Will Preview at Microsoft Ignite 2019

Parallels has announced that it will preview version 17.1 of Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) at Microsoft Ignite 2019, from November 4-8, which is slated for a full release this December. Parallels RAS is designed to simplify end-user computing for service providers and enterprises and helps to boost admin capabilities on Microsoft Azure. RAS version 17 was released back in June.

Highlighted updates in version 17.1 include: 

  • Tenant Broker for multi-tenant architecture, allowing users to share the same Parallels RAS infrastructure 
  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), reducing admin and operational costs 
  • Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) provisioning, allowing organizations to scale VDI workloads on demand. 

Tenant Broker is a multi-tenant architecture that allows organizations to share the same infrastructure for different customers while ensuring that user data is kept separate and costs are optimized. Parallels indicates that organizations will see these savings due to a reduction in Secure Client Gateways and High Availability Load Balancers (HALBs). 

With SAML authentication, organizations can streamline user identity management between different organizations (without having to share the local identity database). Parallels claims that this will reduce admin and operational costs, as organizations can safely outsource user-identity management to independent identity providers (IdP), which will allow service providers to concentrate on more essential activities. Moreover, it is expected to improve overall user workflow, as users can log on using the same set of credentials their IdP automatically provides—essentially, no more having to re-enter credentials.

With Microsoft Azure Hypervisor, admins will be able to provision and scale VDI workloads on-demand directly on Azure. Again, Parallels says this new feature will be a big money saver for organizations and will create more effective workflows in public and hybrid deployments. It does this by improving the flexibility of VDI and RDSH deployments by “mixing and matching on-premises, hybrid, multi- and public cloud environments.” Parallels adds that organizations will now be able to scale computing resources on Azure whenever they need via Version 17.1’s auto-provisioning and auto-scaling capabilities. 

Parallels indicates the following other new features in RAS 17.1 

  • Apple iPad Multitasking Support: Parallels RAS now supports iPad multitasking features such as Slide Over and Split View, allowing iPad users to use Parallels client along with other apps. For example, use a Parallels RAS published resource and FaceTime at the same time. Also, users can now work with up to three apps at the same time—use two apps in Split View and one in Slide Over mode. 
  • Simplified VDI and RDSH Deployment: IT admins can easily manage, rapidly deploy and quickly scale out their end-user computing (EUC) environment to the improved management capabilities of Parallels RAS for larger deployments (such as a dedicated VDI management control pane and group-wide settings). Additionally, Parallels RAS now fully supports Scale Computing's KVM-based hypervisor with the addition of RDSH auto-provision along with VDI. Watch this demo video
  • Drag-and-Drop Support: Parallels RAS provides bidirectional support for drag and drop, allowing users to move files, images and text from published resources (applications and desktops) down to the local device and vice versa. 
  • SQL 2017 and 2019 Server Integration: Parallels RAS now supports the latest Microsoft SQL releases with support for deployments with SSRS and SQL installed separately. Admins can also reutilize existing 2017 and 2019 SQL servers with additional support for SQL database as a service (PAAS/ DBaaS and IAAS for SSRS or full IAAS) on the cloud and/or on-premises. 
  • SSL Certificate Manager: Version 17.1 simplifies the management of Parallels RAS installations by introducing the SSL Certificate Manager, providing a centralized location to push certificates to all gateways. 

Availability and pricing 

A free 30-day, full-featured trial of Parallels RAS 17 that includes 50 concurrent user licenses is available at parallels.com/ras, while concurrent user license is priced at $99 per year for a lower acquisition, support and training cos.

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