Citrix VDI Box vs Parallels Remote Application ServerCitrix VDI Box is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software built specifically for small- to medium-sized businesses. While it cannot be compared to Parallels Parallels Remote Application Server (Parallels RAS) as a complete virtual desktop and application delivery solution, many ask why they should invest in Parallels Remote Application Server when they only need a VDI solution.

Below is a comparison of the two products, highlighting the advantages of Parallels Remote Application Server.

Read more about Citrix VDI Box End of Life

Installation, Setup & Hypervisor Support

Citrix VDI Box

It is relatively easy to install and set up Citrix VDI Box. It has to be set up as an appliance or a virtual machine on one of the supported hypervisors: Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer or VMware vSphere ESXi/ESX. Once set up, the administrator has to follow very simple web-based wizards to create virtual guest images.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Paralles Remote Application Server is very easy to install, by running a standard MSI file installation. Once installed, the administrator can easily add a hypervisor of choice by following a simple wizard. Documentation on how to add each hypervisor is available from the following URL:

Why Parallels Remote Application Server?

Hypervisor Support

Citrix VDI Box

Citrix VDI Box  supports three hypervisors: Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere ESXi/ESX, but a single installation of Citrix VDI Box can only support one hypervisor.

Parallels RAS – Multiple Hypervisors

With Parallels Remote Application Server, you can integrate and manage multiple hypervisors of different brands all together from a central location, the Parallels RAS Console.

High Availability

Citrix VDI Box

Citrix VDI Box supports multiple servers to ensure high availability. However, the process is quite complex because each extra server has to be added manually as in the original installation.

Paralells RAS – Easy high availability

Parallels RAS not only supports multiple servers and gateways, but also has a set of automatic wizards that shrink the time required to add a new server and have it up and running almost to zero.

Load Balancing

Citrix VDI Box

To enable load balancing in a Citrix VDI Box implementation, administrators have to manually configure a virtual IP for all servers in the grid and manually configure the DNS server.

Parallels RAS – Effective Load Balancing

Parallels Remote Application Server comprises an enabled and preconfigured load balancer. Administrators can choose from two different load balancing methods, round robin or workload-based.

Applications Publishing

Citrix VDI Box

With Citrix VDI Box, administrators can only publish virtual desktops.

Parallels RAS – Seamless Application Virtualization

With Parallels Remote Application Server integrated with a hypervisor or multiple hypervisors, administrators can publish desktops, virtual desktops and applications from the operating systems available on the hypervisor.


Citrix VDI Box is a VDI management solution for small and medium businesses that is very easy to set up and use, though the system is very limited in terms of functionality. For example, users cannot scan and print from all types of devices; administrators can only create guest image clones and cannot do any other managerial tasks related to the hypervisor.Also, to implement some of the basic functionality included in a standard Parallels Remote Application Server installation, additional components have to be installed and configured, some of which are third party and available at an additional cost. With Parallels RAS, load balancing, high availability, client management, remote assistance and reporting are up and running as soon as the software is installed, with no extra settings or costs required. Parallels Remote Application Server is a complete VDI, remote desktop and application virtualization solution that meets your company’s needs, whether you are a small- to medium-sized business or a large enterprise. Download your free trial today



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More information
Filtering Access to Virtual Hosts
Citrix VDI Box

Citrix VDI Box allows administrators to filter access to a virtual guest or a number of virtual guests by username, group or IP address.

Parallels RAS – Flexible Filtering

Parallels Remote Application Server allows administrators to filter access to a virtual guest by username, group, IP address, MAC address, gateway and client used, thus offering more flexibility.

Complete Virtualization Solution

With Citrix VDI Box, administrators can ONLY prepare virtual desktops for their users.

Parallels Remote Application Server

When using Parallels Remote Application Server, administrators have a complete remote desktop, VDI and solution. Also, with desktop management Parallels RAS allows an IT administrator to manage Windows workstations, local and remote applications, and client configuration. Also embedded in the product is a very practical remote assistance solution for easy troubleshooting.

Other Parallels Remote Application Server Advantages

Backup: While Parallels Remote Application Server configuration can be backed up easily from the console, Citrix VDI Box configuration cannot: there is no such available solution – one has to switch off the server and make a manual backup.

Secure Access: To provide desktops securely and easily over a single secure port (and not have conflicts with firewalls) with Citrix VDI Box, the administrator has to use a third party application called Citrix Access Gateway. Parallels Remote Application Server can provide this functionality with an out-of-the-box installation.

Printing: Citrix VDI Box only redirects printers connected to the client machine. Therefore, if printers are not supported by the device, printing is not possible unless the administrator installs and configures a third party component: Citrix Universal Print Server. With Parallels Remote Application Server, universal printing is available in an out-of-the-box installation, so that all users can print on any type of printer – even network-attached printers – from any type of device.

Scanning: Scanning is not supported by Citrix VDI Box, whereas Parallels Remote Application Server has a built-in universal scanning service which allows users to scan documents using Twain supported scanners.

Second Level Authentication: Citrix VDI Box does not support any sort of integration with one-time password authentication mechanisms, so authentication is limited to a normal username and password. Parallels Remote Application Server supports integration with DeepNet and SafeNet servers, so that a one-time password can be implemented to ensure stronger authentication.

Access via HTML5: Published resources on Parallels Remote Application Server can also be accessed via an HTML5-capable browser. This means that users do not have to use a native client to access their published resources but can use any modern browser, such as Chrome or Firefox. Once the HTML5 portal is accessed, published resources will be streamed over HTTP.


What went wrong for Citrix VDI-in-a-Box – Tech Target

Citrix decides to end sales on VDI-in-a-Box: brian madden

Citrix Kills Off VDI-in-a-Box: virtualizationreview

Citrix VDI Box:

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