Step-by-Step Guide to Deploying Parallels RAS from Azure Marketplace

By moving services and resources to the cloud, organizations are freed from having to acquire and manage server hardware and other equipment needed in a typical on-premises datacenter. According to ZDNet, Microsoft Azure is one of the world’s leading Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and ranks in second place as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, outranked only by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Azure compute is the part of Azure Cloud that is responsible for facilitating application management over your servers via virtualization and similar services. Also, multiple Azure compute services can be combined to handle more complex requirements.

Microsoft Commercial Marketplace

Microsoft Commercial Marketplace is the marketplace for the solutions provided by Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners of Microsoft. An ISV member of the Microsoft Partner Network can create, manage, and publish commercial marketplace offers, list their solutions in online stores alongside their own Microsoft solutions, and connect to different government agencies and organizations.

There are two online stores of the commercial marketplace, Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace. When partners create a commercial marketplace offer, it can be listed in either of the marketplace’s online stores.

Microsoft AppSource

Suitable for business solutions such as software as a service (SaaS) applications, and apps that extend directly into Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Microsoft Power Platform. Offerings in Microsoft AppSource helps customers get started with Power BI and Dynamics 365.

Azure Marketplace

Suitable for built-in solutions or for solutions that are built-in for Azure, it is intended for developers and IT professionals. Azure Marketplace lists professional service offerings and listings for consulting and managed services. Offerings in Azure Marketplace help customers get started with Azure.

What is Azure Marketplace?

An Azure Marketplace is an online catalog containing thousands of applications and services designed and optimized to run on Microsoft’s Azure public cloud. Microsoft and its technology partners are responsible for developing the products and services you find on Azure Marketplace. However, Microsoft Azure Certified program must certify any product or service before it becomes available on the platform.

You can install Parallels RAS from Azure Marketplace, which offers third-party applications and services that have been preconfigured and certified for use with Azure. Everything offered on Azure Marketplace has been optimized to run on Azure. Thus, there is nothing more reliable than Azure Marketplace when it comes to sourcing applications and software for your Azure instance.

How to install Parallels RAS from Azure Marketplace

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) streamlines application and desktop delivery within your Azure instance. Parallels RAS is a Microsoft Azure preferred solution, meaning that Microsoft attests to its quality and performance.

A fully functional Parallels RAS deployment in Azure can be tested for 30 days using the Azure free trial account, which includes access to certain Azure products for 12 months and $200 credit to spend within the first 30 days after subscribing. To deploy a virtual machine using the Parallels Remote Application Server image, follow the steps described below:

Step 1: Azure subscription and Marketplace

Log on to your Azure account. If you do not have an Azure subscription, you will need to create one before proceeding to the next step. Enter Parallels Remote Application Server into the search bar, and click on the Azure Marketplace link when it appears.

Azure Marketplace provides additional information about Parallels RAS, including an overview, available plans and pricing. Complementarily, you can also view Quick Start documentation or watch an introductory video on your Azure Dashboard prior to creating the virtual machine.

Step 2: Machine settings configuration

On the Parallels RAS product page, click on the Create button.

Figure 1 - Azure Marketplace

Other deployment options for Parallels RAS are pre-set configuration and programmatic deployment, which can be accessed by clicking either on the Start with a pre-set configuration or Get started links on this page. All these options will also guide you through the virtual machine creation page.

On the Create a virtual machine page, you will find different tabs to configure your virtual machine settings:

Figure 2 - Azure Marketplace

When all the tabs and fields are configured, click on the Review + create button. If you miss a required field, the virtual machine creation process fails to validate. You then need to go back through each tab to see which of the required fields you missed.

Mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk. Additionally, you can click on the icon to the right of each field name on the page to get more information about each field. Different fields require resources that you may have not created yet, but you can create them from this same page by clicking Create new at the bottom of the field.

Step 3: Machine creation

If the validation stage is successful, a summary page appears displaying the product details (subscription credits required), terms and a machine configuration summary. Check that all the information is correct, and click on the Create button.

Figure 3 - Azure Marketplace

Once the deployment procedure is complete, click on the Go to resource button to check the machine’s public IP address.

Figure 4 - Azure Marketplace

Step 4: Finish Parallels RAS installation, and test applications

Establish a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) session to the server using its public IP address and the administration credentials set up when the virtual machine’s basic settings were configured. A Windows Installer pop-up appears showing the progress of the Parallels RAS installation:

Figure 5 - Azure Marketplace

Once the installation is complete, the Parallels RAS console opens. The Windows Desktop image provides all login information. Enter your credentials, and click on the Connect button.

A Parallels RAS deployment with the following topology has been installed, and certain built-in features, such as HTML5 access or universal printing, have been configured and enabled:

Figure 6 - Azure Marketplace

You can test any of the published resources by entering https://**PublicIP**/RASHTML5Gateway in the address bar of any HTML5-compatible browser. Log in with your user credentials, and double-click on the application or desktop icon you want to open.

Parallels RAS on Azure Cloud

Parallels RAS on Azure Cloud provides organizations secure access to their resources across the internet from any location and from any device. Parallels RAS is fully compatible with hybrid deployments, increasing its flexibility under certain scenarios to distribute workloads between on-site and cloud setups.

Parallels RAS supports Microsoft Azure Hypervisor as a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provider. By combining Azure’s flexibility and scalability with the auto-scaling and auto-provisioning features of Parallels RAS, companies can provision and scale VDI, Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) and Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) workloads directly on Microsoft Azure. Some of the benefits include:

Another benefit includes enhanced security with multifactor authentication, advanced granular filtering and client policies. Security Today awarded Parallels RAS a gold award for Application Security in the 2021 Government Security Awards, or The Govies.

You can try out Parallels RAS by downloading your 30-day Parallels RAS trial.