The secure, easy to use, Work Anywhere solution for any sized-business
March 09, 2020

The secure, easy to use, Work Anywhere solution for any sized-business

Darrin Salt | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Parallels Remote Application Server

We are using Parallels RAS organisation-wide; connecting users in different ways. It's ability to delivery applications and desktop services means that it's not just a single solution, even though it's just one product. Whether it's our accounts department using it to run their on-premises accounting software in a remote desktop environment or publishing individual applications and web-links for our engineers to access on non-PC devices like tablets, it now forms a single hub for many of our needs at a really affordable cost.
  • Support for multiple application types (web, local, desktop, files).
  • Security - Delivering everything via a single secure gateway.
  • Integrates incredibly well into existing infrastructure.
  • Delivers a similar experience across multiple client types (PC's, Mac's, Tablets, Browsers).
  • Setting up MFA/2FA can be a little complex - I'd like to see a "security first" approach with guided setup at the time of deployment.
  • Already has produced a 200% saving on VPN client software and endpoints.
  • Has reduced travel and commuting, saving an estimated 1 day a week in lost productivity per user.
  • We estimate during the current Coronavirus (Covid19), it will enable us to carry out "business as usual" - and in effect reducing down time from 100% to zero.
We've used both Citrix Virtual Apps (aka XenApp) and both Microsoft Remote Desktop session hosts. Both are good products but they cannot compare with the ease and cost savings delivered by Parallels RAS:
Citrix is an excellent product but very expensive. Additionally, VDI and Remote PC access are not possible with Virtual Apps - you also need the desktops option as well.
Microsoft's solution is less expensive than Citrix's, but it's a pain to set up, requires a lot of hardware to "do it right" and you'll find numerous issues around things like printing and remote scanning, etc - all of which are pretty seamless and "just like being there" when using Parallels RAS.
Deployment is one of the easiest things with Parallels RAS, and that applies to both adding it to existing infrastructure or deploying in a green-field approach for a new solution. Whether you split the RAS roles across just a few servers or many, centralized management from a single console makes it so easy - all components are pushed out and managed from the console from a single, quick installation.
And once it's installed, it's just as easy to manage, publish apps, monitor and update all from that same location.
Users really appreciate being able to use their Active Directory credentials across any device. The HTML5 browser support is amazing as well - if they are using a company or BYOD device, full client download enhances the experience further and it's totally automated, so users self-service preventing calls for support. This again is a cost-saving but also really enhances the user experience by removing frustration. Whatever the device, new users just point their web browsers at the gateway and the rest is just like magic.
We started using Parallels RAS with Remote Desktops, running on a Microsoft RDS server (formerly terminal server). But it's support for many different VDI standards has allowed us to deploy VDI via our preferred hypervisor, Xenserver. In fact, we now use XCP-ng, the open-source Xenserver rather than Citrix's Hypervisor (originally called Xenserver) and it works just as brilliantly, with further cost savings. Organizations aren't just locked into the "big two" hypervisors when using Parallels RAS and if they have reasons to use more than one hypervisor type, they again get a single solution in the form of RAS without extra expense.
Every organisation should operate a security-first approach these days and Parallels RAS allows us to deliver applications without compromise. In fact, it helps us deliver internal resources and data to our users from relatively "insecure" applications (e.g. those that just use a single password) to the outside world, wrapping them in an encrypted, secure form. Adding MFA/2FA further bolsters this security with no access to the apps and data being allowed directly - it's all via Parallels RAS.
It's very good. We've only needed support once and they worked with us, escalating as needed, to get the issue resolved. But the biggest thing about RAS is it's ease of use, from installation to management. This means that although support is there if you need it, you probably won't, especially if your installer is tech-savvy or is a qualified Parallels RAS tech.

Do you think Parallels Remote Application Server delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Parallels Remote Application Server's feature set?

Yes

Did Parallels Remote Application Server live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Parallels Remote Application Server go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Parallels Remote Application Server again?

Yes

Parallels RAS is incredibly well suited to organizations that already use Remote Desktop Services (RDS), especially if they use multiple RDS servers or are planning on expanding their RDS farm. I'd also highly recommend anyone with legacy applications take a look at it, as it's a wizard at delivery these to modern client devices - effectively turning "Fat client" apps into cloud-ready applications. And if you are considering VDI, whatever the hypervisor, it will save you time, money and frustration.