Parallels Remote Application Server is our go-to Citrix replacement because of it's easy implementation and security options (SAML)
Updated August 21, 2023

Parallels Remote Application Server is our go-to Citrix replacement because of it's easy implementation and security options (SAML)

Jan Mangelschots | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Parallels Remote Application Server

We are an MSP Provider, we use Parallels Remote Application Server in our own Workload but also provide it to customers. Ranging from small use cases up to 200+ user deployments. The main reason we switched to Parallels Remote Application Server coming from its competitor was its ease of deployment and its security options. Especially when SAML MFA came into the picture we increased our deployments.
  • SAML Integration
  • Customization
  • High Availability
  • We had a bug present for many months before a fix was implemented
  • Better integration with Azure functionality would be a plus
  • We were able to providde a customer with a PaaS solution for their software
  • This made this a lucrative solution for us.
  • The lingering software bug we had did cause a negative effect on deployments and cost us a lot more time and money in support-related questions.
Parallels were our preferred solution because of a more robust Client App solution instead of only an HTML5-based solution. This made it possible to make a more flexible solution. The use of shared drives, printers, and other hardware for example. It also made a more seamless user experience possible.
Our organization does benefit from the ease of use because almost all our technicians are able to deploy the solution and are certainly able to maintain and support it. Little to no formal training is needed for our juniors to get up & running with the workings of the product solution
While the added HTML5 functionality is a bonus when quick access is needed, in our configurations we mainly rely on the full client solution to provide a seamless deployment of the applications. On mobile devices, the HTML5 option does provide a quick solution to work "on the go". If the HTML5 option ever supports more hardware passthrough option we will probably use it more extensively
For us Parallels RAS is HyperVisor agnostic, it does not really matter which is the underlying technology, we deploy on HyperV, VMware, ... This gives us the ease of mind that this is not something that has to be scoped during technical analysis and there doesn't need to be a upsell to switch to a certain hypervisor.
Especially the addition to making login possible via SAML and Azure Active Directory we switched to this method, this makes it possible to secure logins with the MFA capabilities of Microsoft Azure and its whole security stack behind it. This made the product much more secure and comes at no additional cost in the product itself.
Overall a good rating, we had some issues with a long-lasting bug but in general, support was very helpful. In some cases, the response times could be a bit better but this might be a result of COVID and workload, all in all, good support with extensive knowledge base documents.

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In our company when a customer has an out-of-date Citrix installation we always recommend switching to Parallels Remote Application Server, cheaper in-licensing and cheaper in infrastructure needs. It's also a lot easier to implement and maintain. When using Azure Virtual Desktop we currently don't see the need to augment it with Parallels Remote Application Server.

Using Parallels Remote Application Server

200 - We user Parallels RAS to offer a "PaaS" solution to our end customers.
They use the CRM application we provision with Parallels RAS , their business functions vary greatly but is made up of the whole stack of a company
3 - One of the big advantages is it's ease of use and easy implementaton.
Compared to other products (Citrix for example) the deployment is straightforward.

Management and troubleshooting is comparably straight forward, so much so that one of our junior engineers is also tasked with this.
  • Provide secure access via SAML Login (With M365)
  • Mixed workload of Full Desktop / "Remote App"
  • Ability to access the Published apps via a tablet
  • Parallels was the first to offer us Security benifits through SAML and Logging in.
  • The ability to use our published App via Tablet gave us a lot of flexibility
  • We are slowly moving off Full Desktop to Remote Apps only
It's core to our workflow at this moment and offers us good functionality

Evaluating Parallels RAS and Competitors

Yes - Standard Windows Remote Desktop Solution
  • Product Features
We were using the standard Microsoft Remote Desktop solution, but we were looking for more features.

The universal print , the SAML Login , better statistics on userload/load balancing , mixed workload (Full Desktop/RemoteApp) were some of the features that were a reason to switch
The evaluation and implementation went smooth , after using it inhouse for ourselves we also deployed it in our PaaS offerings

Parallels RAS Implementation

Our implementation went very smooth, we switched during a weekend of our Windows Remote Desktop enviroment to our Parallels enviroment without issues. Our endusers got a small manual how to switch over and this went very smoothly.
  • We only stumbled into one mayor issues implementing , this was later confirmed to be a bug. Without this implementation would have been even quicker

Parallels RAS Support

Knowledgeable team
Problems left unsolved
Escalation required
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
We have premier support, we reckoned that because we use it in our production we would be safer having it
Yes - No, this has become a pet peeve, we issued a bug that was reproducable and later acknowledged in a KB article. But after 2 years there is still no solution... That is pretty frustrating.
We had issues implementing a SAML solution for the product, we ran into an issues that it did work for x amount of employee's but it also didn't work for a rather large group of other employees.

The support person at the time was also not sure what it was right away, we started looking at the issue together and were able to find the problem together , this was later acknowledges as a bug and eventually was fixed.

Using Parallels RAS

Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Main Deployment works great (also pushing the RDS roles and such)
  • Monitoring logged in users, their processes, and such
  • Adding additional Published Applications
  • Achieving Load Balancing with the additional Appliance
  • Reporting
Compared to other products Parallels RAS is very easy to get into. It doesn't require long training.