Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Overview

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Application Virtualization tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Remote Desktop Services: Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) vs Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

What is Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS)?
ApplicationServer delivers applications, data and virtual desktops from a central location, providing continuous availability, resource-based load-balancing and complete network transparency.

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) is also known as Parallels RAS.

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Buyer's Guide

Download the Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: March 2021

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Customers
Arsari Group _ PT Netmarks Indonesia, Izhevsk Elektromekhanicheskiy Zavod (IEMZ) _ Kupol, Abilene Diagnostic Clinic, Fylde Borough Council, YARSTROYREZE LLC, VSK Insurance House, Melenkovsky District of Vladimirskaya Oblast, Sofrigam SA, Antenna International, KingsGate Community Church, Norwegian American Hospital, Island Hotels Group, Medway Council, Medway Council, Voices of September 11th, MacDonald Training Center, Kansas Childrenês Service League, Scope,Next Generation Clubs, WTC Communications, Opera Australia, HSE Integrated, Danier, Bridgwater College, Kern County Mental Health, Tony Tiendas, Spears Manufacturing, Managed Insurance Services Inc., Intuitive Medical Software, M.J. Soffe, Mazda Motors, Israel Military Industries (IMI), Telfair, Upic Solutions, Teleflora, Fisher & Company
Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Video

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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MichaelCoxon
Technical Lead (Windows Desktops) / Senior IT Consultant at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Oct 31, 2018
Allows our Cloudpaging applications to be delivered to non-Windows machines

What is our primary use case?

To provide applications to Macs and standalone Windows machines, also Linux and Android devices from appsanywhere.

Pros and Cons

  • "We use Cloudpaging to package and deploy the vast majority of our applications to our standard Windows 10 desktops. With the use of Parallels integration into Software2 AppsAnywhere hub, this means we can use the same packages to deliver Windows applications to almost any device - Windows, mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, Xbox One, PS4 - just by ticking a box."
  • "It needs Windows scaling on Android/iOS devices. At present, the concept of delivering apps to Android and iOS devices is appealing, but the reality is the screen size on these devices is so small that, unless there is some scaling option, it is not really usable."

What other advice do I have?

Run a trial and see if it meets your requirements.
Christophe Jurdan
System Engineer at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Aug 1, 2018
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.

Pros and Cons

  • "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. Finally, client management is easy."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

Read the manual.
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Virtual Server vs. Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) and other solutions. Updated: March 2021.
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Jim Carlton
IT Director at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Jul 30, 2018
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.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has allowed us to centralize the software location so we don't have to update the software client on 70 computers."
  • "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."

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…
ITManagecd19
IT Manager at a recruiting/HR firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jul 25, 2018
Facilitates publishing applications to groups of users by integrating with Active Directory

What is our primary use case?

We use it for remote application installation in Terminal Servers.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the ease with which you can publish applications to different groups of users, by integrating with Windows Active Directory."

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure the initial installation is done by a vendor.
    ProjectMf444
    Project Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Jul 25, 2018
    Provides flexible access to Windows applications from many types of devices

    What is our primary use case?

    It provides flexible access to Windows applications from many types of devices.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It provides flexible access to Windows applications from many types of devices."
    • "A web-based management interface for administration and reporting would be nice, instead of needing to log into a remote server."

    What other advice do I have?

    Try it in a pilot first.
    Operatiofa69
    Operation Manager Servers and Central Infrastructure
    Real User
    Jul 25, 2018
    Streamlines publishing apps and desktops on Terminal Servers, and sharing printers

    Pros and Cons

    • "We can publish apps and desktops on Terminal Servers and seamlessly share printers. We also combine Parallels with Deepnet Security to get two-factor authentication."
    • "We use several gateways because access to our secret zone requires two-factor user authentication. It is a lot of hassle differentiating among users with or without two-factor. Of course, we could use two farms, but that would mean more management too."

    What other advice do I have?

    Read the docs, do a test, and plan well.
    Technicad953
    Technical Operations Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Jul 18, 2018
    The ability to easily publish resources to a subset of users is what we find most valuable

    What is our primary use case?

    Cloud-hosted desktop.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We use RAS to publish cloud desktops to our clients. The ability to easily publish resources to a subset of users is what we find most valuable."
    • "The management capability from the RAS portal provides greater control than using pure MS inbuilt into RDS capabilities."
    • "It would be great if there were more sophisticated GPO templates/options."
    • "We have had significant, ongoing issues with printing. It would be great to have a best practice for dealing with printing that we can offer to our customers."

    What other advice do I have?

    Understand what you want to get out of the product.
    Devraj Dedhia
    IT Analyst at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Jun 3, 2018
    Minimizes the man-hours that go into application installation and IT maintenance

    What is our primary use case?

    We publish applications and our users are scattered across different geographical locations. So we install the client on the end-user's laptop and then we publish their applications.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The connection is compressed so we don't need a lot of resources to run it."

      What other advice do I have?

      The implementation could be a bit complex because it is not a normal solution. It is not just a plug and play. But once it starts it is pretty easy to manage. The software is not that complicated, it is pretty easy to use. I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. If I had a local support person to talk to I would definitely give it a 10.
      it_user881112
      Network Administrator
      Real User
      May 31, 2018
      Robust, provides multiple users with access to multiple programs without lag

      What is our primary use case?

      We needed to access multiple programs, for multiple users, and it's like a virtual session that does that.

      Pros and Cons

      • "It is robust. We have some 75 users using it and it doesn't lag. It's very speedy."
      • "Since I've been here less than a year, I have had to upgrade the system three times. The first time was the major upgrade but they have upgraded twice since, and I think that's too many times in that time span."

      What other advice do I have?

      Do your homework. Call, see if you can speak to three customers who use it and get their opinion. Also get three different quotes, or three similar products, and see how they work. I would rate it an eight out of 10. As I said, when it's stable it's stable, it's very good. I find in the last year there were just too many upgrades. I still have an upgrade facing me now, and I haven't upgraded the main server because that means I have to go around to all the workstations.
      it_user879246
      Senior System Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      May 28, 2018
      Client compatibility with many systems makes it very versatile, reporting is awesome

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for remote access to applications.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Client compatibility with many systems makes it very versatile. The reporting that is included is awesome."
      • "The customization of the web interface could possibly use some improvement. Little things, like being able to place a background image instead of just choosing from a palette of colors, would be nice."
      • "We would like to be able to re-label the OTP (One Time Password) popup so our users can easily recognize that they are to put in their DUO code on that line. Most users see OTP and ask what that is."
      • "We would like the ability to provide a popup message, such as a maintenance notification. That same notification on the Parallels client would be awesome."

      What other advice do I have?

      Just try it out.
      it_user524217
      CIO at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Vendor
      May 28, 2018
      Allows us to publish apps for OS-specific clients, supports single sign-on and MFA protocols

      What is our primary use case?

      Alternative to Windows RDS (terminal services) supporting internal staff and remote access.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Allows us to publish applications accessible by current-generation HTML5 browser or OS-specific client (Windows, Android, iOS), and it supports popular single sign-on and multi-factor authentication protocols."
      • "Setup was straightforward. Our particular use case involved an Active Directory forest involving two data centers and three domains. User authentication against Active Directory was the easiest to set up and validate of any application installed in the last three years."
      • "Improvement is needed in performance monitoring of the client's endpoint, and automatic re-connection of the client in the event of circuit disruptions (this works well generally but can present challenges)."

      What other advice do I have?

      Take advantage of the trial version so that you can check out its feature set first-hand, get a sense of its performance on your hardware and over your network.
      it_user879249
      Systems Administrator at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      May 28, 2018
      Easy to install agent, publish apps, but doesn't enable me to see what app a user is using

      What is our primary use case?

      Remote app.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Ease of use in publishing apps and installing the agent. The Interface is fairly intuitive after some tinkering. Although I inherited the app only two-thirds deployed, I was able to complete the deployment and service it over the last year without referring to any documentation."
      • "Valuable features include the ability to set up security groups for accessing certain apps, and the ability to add apps easily and centrally without touching the servers they’re hosted on."
      • "Opening a ticket should be available from the actual RAS console. It is cumbersome to go to a portal, hunt around for five minutes for a link to open a ticket, answer questions meant to direct you towards FAQs instead of live support, then fill out information (license #, version #, etc.) which could more easily be supplied by sending a ticket straight from the console with all of that information automatically specified."
      • "Currently in the RD Session Hosts – Sessions section, I can see what server a user is logged into but not what app he is using. Being able to do so would be immensely helpful when a non-technical user is complaining of issues, but I can’t tell which app he is using, and he is actually logged into multiple servers since they serve multiple apps."

      What other advice do I have?

      Test extensively, especially with custom-built apps, as these can have issues, though overall the experience is smooth.
      it_user877116
      Founder and CEO at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
      Reseller
      May 24, 2018
      Enables us to seamlessly distribute applications to users' desktops

      What is our primary use case?

      It is our primary remote access solution for remote desktop.

      Pros and Cons

      • "It permits us to control the applications that our users are able to get to, in a seamless manner. We're able to distribute applications to users' desktops, just like those applications are on each user's computer, but they're not."

        What other advice do I have?

        Everything can be improved, so I give it an eight out of 10. It does everything we need it to do, it's stable; with the caveat that there is no perfect solution. If you're doing a thin-client environment, where you want to publish applications, then of all the products on the market right now, this is the product to use.
        James-Russell
        Professional Services at a tech services company
        Real User
        May 23, 2018
        Provides a stable, reliable client gateway for access to our cloud platform

        What is our primary use case?

        We are an MSP and use Parallels RAS as the client gateway for accessing our cloud platform.

        What other advice do I have?

        Install a demo and give it a go. It is very quick and will generally be all you need to be converted to a user of Parallels RAS.
        it_user4164
        Manager of System Security at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        May 1, 2014
        I have been using 2X for a while...
        It almost two years that I have been familiar with 2X ApplicationServer XG. 2X ApplicationServer XG is one the best and easiest software to implement a Private Cloud organization. Your users will simply get use to it and work with it. You can reduce your network support costs up to 80 percent. 2X is quick and easy to install. With a variety of devices compatibility such as smart phones, tablets, Facebook apps, thin clients & ... users can make use of it. It is the best tool for teleworking. R&D Group of 2X is ever expanding and enhancing its facilities. Cost and feature comparison of 2X Application Server vs Citrix XenApp 6: http://lukenbaugh.com/archives/271 Unfortunately 2x prices in the Middle East region is 25 percent higher than world prices, and it is incomprehensible for…
        it_user4314
        IT Administrator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
        Vendor
        Feb 14, 2013
        Very fast, easy to setup and manage.

        Valuable Features:

        Very fast, easy to setup and manage. Works great on Android and IOS. Amazing.

        Room for Improvement:

        None that I can find. So far this product is working great.
        it_user4266
        IT Administrator at a local government with 501-1,000 employees
        Vendor
        Feb 13, 2013
        Great Product - does anybody run Terminal Server without 2X (-:

        What other advice do I have?

        If you have Terminalservers (or Remote Desktop Session Host) and you haven't 2X, then go buy it.