Parallels Remote Application Server Review
March 24, 2020
Parallels Remote Application Server Review
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Parallels Remote Application Server
We provide application access over the HTML5 client for users at remote sites, home, etc. We specifically publish the Microsoft Office Suite, Information Technology Administration and Management Tools, and several legacy applications that would otherwise only be available on the corporate LAN or would have significant performance issues over traditional VPN technologies.
- Positive ROI at go-live (Opportunity cost analysis of agent-based and SSL VPN solutions vs Parallels RAS solution)
- Increased access to legacy applications across the business
- Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly XenApp) and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly XenDesktop)
Parallels Remote Application Server competes against Citrix on a one-for-one feature setlist. It provides many of the same services and capabilities. It is, overall, a simpler product to use and configure. It does not compete perfectly in the VDI space, as the Citrix offering is designed for a much larger organization, but for the mid-size enterprise, it fits the 80/20 rule perfectly and works very well.
Our use of Parallels Remote Application Server is directly related to the delivery of virtual desktops and applications. In reviewing the options of an SSL VPN solution, IPSec VPN solution, and Citrix solution, Parallels was chosen for its ease of deployment, speed of implementation, lower upfront cost, lower maintenance costs, and ease of use for both IT and end-users. The end-user gets their apps in a simple website, while IT gets an easy to manage, secure, and monitor tool for providing access.
We provide applications via iPad, Android tablet, phone, and web browser to our users. This mobile and web flexibility has allowed us to keep providing access to LAN-only apps to users displaced from the office by the COVID-19 outbreak and enabled us to go from office-based to home-based in under two days.
Our organization began on VMWare and deployed on that platform for the initial pilot. During the implementation we had a separate project to involving a migration to SCALE HC3 hyperconverged infrastructure. The migration from a VMWare cluster to hyper convergence had no impact on the Parallels implementation and we were able to continue unfettered.
We audit every logon, application launch, and file access throughout the organization as part of company policy (we are healthcare non-profit). Parallels Remote Application Server also allows us to separately log and record application access, launch, and use for granular auditing. It's easy integration with other tools also allows our central alerting system to pick up and monitor it.
We've only needed to contact support a single time regarding a transfer of licenses from our pilote server to our production server. The process was straightforward and easy. Our issue was resolved on the first call. As the system has been very reliable we haven't needed direct support. Their knowledge base and other resources are well-stocked and helpful.
Do you think Parallels Remote Application Server delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Parallels Remote Application Server's feature set?
Did Parallels Remote Application Server live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Parallels Remote Application Server go as expected?
Would you buy Parallels Remote Application Server again?
Parallels Remote Application Server is well suited for smaller shops with a need for the initial foray into application virtualization, especially those that do not need or want to distribute client software to enable access. Competitively, it is well-suited for organizations looking to replace Citrix XenApp, and in some cases XenDesktop or other application presentation software or virtual desktop infrastructure tools.
Using Parallels Remote Application Server
50 - WIthin our organization we provide access to Parallels Remote Application Server to our Program Managers, Administrative Staff, IT, and Executive Team members in order to perform their work remotely. We are expanding to additional staff in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to shift into more remote work (which Parallels has been pivotal in enabling)
4 - Our IT Team supports Parallels RAS and the installed applications. Each of the four people with access to Parallels RAS admin can service the entire range of applications and the server itself. This does not need to be fifty words, but the tool doesn't want count it unless I do.
- The state has an IPSec VPN app that ONLY works on our LAN. We can publish it to our remote users with Parallels by pushing it out as a web-app. This has been huge with the recent pandemic and lack of people in our admin office.
Evaluating Parallels Remote Application Server and Competitors
- Product Features
- Product Usability
- Prior Experience with the Product
- Vendor Reputation
Return on Investment was the most important factor. We could have accomplished the core needs of providing remote access through a VPN solution (and we looked at both IPSec and SSL VPN options) or through Citrix, VMWAre, or Microsoft options, but the Parallels solution came in at a lower price with more features than any one of the other options.
Parallels Remote Application Server Implementation
Expect word of mouth to result in additional applications being requested very soon after go-live.
Change management was minimal - Once the application server was up it was trivial to add applications through our standard ticketing process - with the right authorization, new apps are approved and added in near real-time.