Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Review

Allowed us to centralize our software, making scalability and updates easier

What is our primary use case?

It's our financial software. From the server side, we got it set up and, for the most part, it has been working. I haven't really changed the configuration in some three years.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to centralize the software location so we don't have to update the software client on 70 computers. It's just the one or two servers that we have, and when people connect to it, it goes from there. It allows for ease of scalability, ease of update, etc.

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of use
  • Ease of setup
  • Stability

Those would be the three things I really like about it.

What needs improvement?

The main issue we have with all of our users is printing. Randomly, a printer will disconnect or someone won't connect to it and I will have to reset the print service and then nobody can print. That's the big headache we've had over the course of the five years, printing.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not generally encountered any issues with stability and, usually, it is more server-based than software-based. Generally, it's some hardware failing in the server which causes some instability. But we get that replaced and everything gets back to normal. I would say it's a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not noticed any issues with scalability. Generally, again, that goes back to servers. When we noticed that one server was not enough for us, we added another server. We were able to add it to the farm within the software, and it flowed pretty easily. It allowed us to scale up really easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

The few times I have used tech support, they have been really good, quick response. They're really knowledgeable about the software and are able to find a solution and get it going for me.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not have a previous solution. The company I worked for before was taking over IT and we realized they were going to need this kind of solution. I don't know how the decision was made. I came into it after all the decisions had been made about the software. Because the companies were merging together, they were going to have more users. They needed a more centralized software system.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. In this environment especially, it's just two or three programs that we have that a lot of people need to use, so it was just getting it set up, installed the right way, and making sure that everybody was able to get connected. We made sure everybody could get the right client software. Then, upgrading software versions, we made sure we got that taken care of on everybody's computers, and went from there.

With a different client that I had set it up for, it was a little bit more complicated but that was the nature of their environment, not so much the software.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I feel the product's pricing is of good value. We have reviewed pricing on other software products, Citrix and products like that, and we realized that for the same basic functionality, we're paying pennies on the dollar, so we do appreciate that pricing level.

In terms of licensing, I don't want to call it an "issue" but the one thing we've run into is, sometimes not having enough licenses. So you have to be on top of that, be ahead of that game. Don't wait until you've completely run out. Always stay five ahead.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't really test out anything else that I know of. When I came in, the decision had already been made. We have reviewed other solutions in the past, like Citrix but, again, we felt that the functionality that we needed was in this solution. For the price point and for the service, we just want to stick with Parallels.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have security groups set up for who's going to be using which applications. Other than that, it's stable, it's easy to set up. Once it's set up, you don't really change in a lot of things, unless you're adding to it. You don't have to worry too much. You can get alerts. You have real, in-depth control of everything, so it's a great solution.

I give this product an eight out of 10 and it just comes down to the printing. We've tried several things to get that resolved and nothing has really worked. It will work well for a little bit and then something will hiccup. We have had a lot of hassle for a while. Otherwise, it's a great product.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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