Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS).
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
Generally, it is a very good solution. The main thing that I would improve is their presence here in Mexico. They don't have strong local support here in Mexico. They should have a worldwide presence so that we don't have to do everything through the people in the US. The initial setup was a little bit complex because we were migrating from Citrix. For customers who are migrating from another platform, such as VMware or Citrix, it would be great if they can provide an automated migration solution.
When the customer is connected, they use a specific publishing agent and if that agent fails, the customer loses their connection. From a usability perspective, it would be nice if there was an automated way that the connection would fail-over to a different publishing agent so the user would not lose their session. That is not an option now so if that publishing agent crashes, then all the customers connected through that agent lose their session.
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.
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.
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.
All areas of the product could be improved especially for the IT department, facilitating the deployment of applications and their maintenance. They also need to offer more options, flexibility, and to keep the price as low as possible.
A web-based management interface for administration and reporting would be nice, instead of needing to log into a remote server.
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. It would be great if there were more sophisticated GPO templates/options.
They don't have any local support here. It's not that we need it much because for us it is very stable, the upgrades/updates are quite good, and they come at regular intervals. But all the other OEMs in this region have their own local support here, either through the vendor, or in-house. But Parallels, I have never found any local support here. I think tech support needs to be improved because whatever support I get is through email, so it takes a very long time for them to reply.
One area which I would say needs a lot of improvement: 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. I'm the only one doing IT, so I have over 75 users that I actually have to touch every time they upgrade, which is a lot of work. I would roll up the updates in a group, rather than as they come out.
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 that the screen size on these devices is so small that, unless there is some scaling option, it is not really usable.
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 also like the ability to provide a popup message, such as a maintenance notification. That same notification on the Parallels client would be awesome.
* Customer support * Ease of end-user use 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.
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).
We all know it's really hard to get good pricing and cost information.
Please share what you can so you can help your peers.