Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Review

Accelerates deployment of thin clients and remote desktop servers

What is our primary use case?

Providing load balancing to our RDS infrastructure, publishing RDS applications and desktops.

How has it helped my organization?

Accelerates deployment of thin clients and remote desktop servers in the farm.

What is most valuable?

  • Thin client management (Windows 10 client) provides an easy way to lock down client connection to the remote infrastructure.
  • Policies are very helpful for preconfiguring client behavior.
  • Client management is easy.

What needs improvement?

HALB is not stable in our environment. When running two HALBs we have stability problems, so we use an active one and a passive for backup.

Also, it would be nice to implement an upgrade of the environment without having to stop the servers. As it is, this must be done during off-hours.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been a few stability issues, mainly around configuration.

I use GPO preferences to push configuration of Windows 10 thin client parameters for Parallels. Each device can have status “managed” in Parallels, meaning that the client is managed by the administration console and policies are applied. But these thin clients were not able to be managed because we discovered that we had already installed the RAS client on the SysPrep-ed machine, and a registry setting was used by Parallels to know the client’s MAC address. This MAC address was the same for all clients and the SysPrep-ed machine, so communication between newly installed clients and the administration server was not possible.

I had to create a script to collect the client’s MAC address during login and replace the registry value with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is an eight out of 10.

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

Native remote desktop.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was of medium complexity. We initially purchased a RAS server to provide more advanced load balancing capabilities between our remote desktop servers. This configuration was quite simple. We added another gateway server later and that was straightforward too.

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

Pricing is good.

What other advice do I have?

Read the manual.

**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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