Parallels RAS and Microsoft WS2012

What are the key differentiators of using Microsoft WS2012 with Parallels RAS ? Let’s do a comparison:

 

Key Differentiators of Microsoft WS2012 with Parallels RAS

What Parallels RAS Does Better than Microsoft WS2012 alone:

Now, let’s do an even deeper comparison…

 

Installation & Setup 

Microsoft WS2012

To install and setup a Microsoft RDS 2012 virtualization solution, an administrator has to:

Parallels Remote Application Server

Microsoft WS2012To install  Parallels Remote Application Server (Parallels RAS), administrators only have to run a single Windows MSI installation and do not need to be highly specialized in virtualization or similar.

Setting up servers and other components needed for desktop and application delivery is also simple, and can be done via wizards from a single location—Parallels  Application Server Console.

 

Publishing Applications

Microsoft WS2012

Administrators cannot publish an application from an out-of-the-box installation of Microsoft RDS 2012. Another Microsoft component/application called RemoteApp has to be installed. Once installed, a lengthy procedure has to be followed to publish the application. Administrators can only publish applications which are installed on the server where RemoteApp is installed.

Parallels Remote Application Server

To publish an application via the Parallels Remote Application Server, administrators have to follow one simple wizard. They also have the option to specify from which server/s in the farm will the application be published. Additionally, they can also configure different settings for each individual server, or a group of servers.

Publishing applications from all servers in a farm is done via a centralized location—Parallels Remote Application Server Console.

 

Filtering

Microsoft WS2012

Microsoft RDS 2012 allows administrators to filter connections by active directory users and groups only.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Parallels Remote Application Server allows administrators to filter connections by users and groups (both from the location machine and Active Directory), Client, MAC address, IP address and gateway.

 

Security & Authentication

Microsoft WS2012

Parallels Remote Application Server

 

High Availability

Microsoft WS2012

Microsoft RDS 2012 does not have any built-in features related to high availability. Administrators have to use and rely on other Microsoft components, such as Microsoft NLB,  to ensure that published resources are always available. Most of these components are complicated to install and configure, and one must be specialized to be able to set them up.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Parallels Remote Application Server overcomes the limitations of existing redundant routers by adding load balancing and high availability functionality. Besides being able to set priorities on different gateway routers, Parallels HALB allows distribution of connections based on workload. Operating in a high availability configuration, Parallels RAS intelligently directs traffic among healthy gateways in order to remove single-points-of-failure, optimize utilization, and guarantee always-available applications.

 

Load Balancing

Microsoft WS2012

Parallels Remote Application Server

 

Reporting

Microsoft WS2012

Microsoft RDS 2012 does not provide any type of reporting and logging capabilities.

Parallels Remote Application Server

The new Parallels Reporting engine is capable of providing information that helps administrators adjust systems for better performance and efficiency. The intuitive reporting interface boasts 14 new reports in total, separated into 5 groups for easy access. Below are the available groups:

1. User Reports group provides insight into how end users are interacting with Parallels RAS.

2. Group Reports indicate how groups of users are interacting with the system.

3. Devices Reports yields information about the devices connecting to Parallels RAS.

4. Server Reports generate Parallels RAS server component usage statistics including server health, showing CPU and RAM usage in a graph.

5. Application Reports show which applications are being used.​

 

Client Software, Shadowing & Client Management

Client Software

Microsoft WS2012

Parallels Remote Application Server Advantages

Helpdesk Support Shadowing

Shadowing is a cool feature that allows an administrator to work and simultaneously control – remotely – the desktop of an end user, usually in an RDS environment. This is limited to the remote session and not the workstation. If the end user has issues outside the RDS session, traditionally, they cannot be solved using the shadowing concept.

Session shadowing enables a given user session to be displayed in real time on an administrator’s workstation. This functionality can be used either for troubleshooting purposes or watch a user’s activities to confirm suspected misuse.

Microsoft WS2012

Shadowing has been reintroduced in Windows Server 2012 R2, but with limited functionality. Shadowing is possible, but it is complex to implement and doesn’t support most of the tasks required by a Helpdesk agent. As a matter of fact, Windows Server 2012 R2 can only shadow an RDS remote session; if the workstation needs to be fixed outside the remote session, you cannot use this tool.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Shadowing is easy with Parallels Remote Application Server. The feature is installed and ready to use from the very beginning, without complex and specific configuration. However, intuitive and easy management is not the main differentiator. Parallels RAS shadowing allows complete control, not only of the remote desktop session, but the entire workstation. IT Helpdesk and support have never been easier: Helpdesk agents can support the end user completely, from their own desktop.

Client Management

Microsoft WS2012

The only type of client management an administrator has through Microsoft RDS 2012 is checking who is connected on the server itself via a specific MMC console.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Hypervisors and VDI Support

Microsoft WS2012

Parallels Remote Application Server Advantages

 

Scalability – Multi-Site Support

Microsoft WS2012

Microsoft RDS 2012 does not provide any such features and concepts thereby making it difficult  to scale the solution into different geographical locations.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Parallels Remote Application Server supports sites. Sites allow administrators to expand their farm in different geographical locations and still easily manage them from a centralized location. It also allows different administrators to collaborate and share resources.

 

Administrator Roles & Collaborations

Microsoft WS2012

Microsoft RDS 2012 does not provide out-of-the box collaborations and administrator roles.

Parallels Remote Application Server

Parallels Remote Application Server administrators can manage and configure the farm and sites within it. Permissions can also be configured to limit access to specific categories and sites.

Parallels Remote Application Server is installed in an Active Directory environment; any user that has elevated privileges and write access to the installation directory can be configured as a Parallels Remote Application Server administrator.

Parallels RAS is the best integrated solution to virtualize your applications, desktops and data. Learn more today.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to try Parallels RAS for free today.

References:

Microsoft WS2012: Windows Server 2012 | hyperv.veeam.com

Microsoft WS2012: WS2012 Licensing Pricing FAQ | highergroundtech

Microsoft WS2012: Wikipedia

Microsoft WS2012: searchwindowsserver

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