Cloud Automation for IT Infrastructures with Parallels RAS

Learn how Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) streamlines the deployment and maintenance of IT infrastructures with a set of automation tools, freeing administrators from lengthy and repetitive tasks.

Parallels RAS, an all-in-one VDI solution, empowers organizations to centralize IT infrastructure management, integrate with Azure Virtual Desktop, streamline multi-cloud deployment, reinforce data security and improve IT process automation.

Streamlined Application and Desktop Delivery

When deploying Parallels RAS, IT administrators can configure a farm and all its components centrally from the Parallels RAS Console, which includes Remote Desktop Session Hosts (RDSH), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Azure Virtual Desktop, Remote PC, Publishing Agent, Secure Client Gateway and VDI providers. Setup wizards help IT teams smoothly perform essential tasks, such as adding RDSH servers, publishing applications, and inviting users to Parallels RAS.

Automated Image Optimizations

Parallels RAS provides a more efficient and streamlined delivery of virtual apps and desktops with more than 130 built-in automated optimization capabilities. With increased flexibility, administrators may leverage different pre-configured optimizations for RDSH, VDI, or Azure Virtual Desktop workloads depending on the server type.

The pre-configured optimizations can be easily updated to support future releases of Windows operating systems (OSs). Administrators may also use pre-configured scripts, including those from third-party tools, saving time in optimizing images.

RDSH Configuration

The Parallels RDSH Configuration Wizard quickly enables published applications and desktops to be provisioned to end users. Only a few simple, guided steps are enough to add RDSH to the farm.

Administrators can select an available Windows Server host in the network or manually add one by using the IP address or server hostname (or FQDN). The wizard can detect if the RDS role is present on a remote server. If the RDS role is not enabled, the wizard can install it without extra configurations.

Load Balancing

Server load balancing is readily available through the Parallels RAS Console and can be either resource-based or round-robin. It distributes traffic load among the RDSH hosting the same application, which improves response time, guarantees full optimization of the computing resources, and prevents bottlenecks.

Parallels RAS offers the option to also load balance the Secure Client Gateways for large networks with separate, fully automated High Availability Load Balancing (HALB) components, inclusive in the single license. HALB appliances act as a dedicated host to load balance the connections forwarded to the gateways, improving the overall performance of the infrastructure.

Third-party load balancers, such as AWS Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) and Azure Load Balancers, may also be used.

Auto-Provisioning and Auto-Scaling with Parallels RAS Templates

Administrators may create Parallels RAS Templates to automate the provision of virtual machines (VMs) from either an RDSH or a VDI host. “Keep-alive” and “always keep in the available buffer” are a few configurable options to make sure that you have an available free VM, depending on business needs. Those templates stay in the Parallels RAS database, and scripts can request them to accommodate or remove VMs automatically on demand.

Parallels RAS automatically generates and deploys RDSH and VDI desktops using customized templates. This enables administrators to create and deploy guest VMs on the fly, saving a great deal of time. Administrators only need to create a virtual desktop once—then it can be replicated as many times as needed.

Moreover, Administrators can decide on the default power state upon VM creation. For example, it’s possible to create 100 session hosts with the power state off—once created, they remain powered off, not costing compute money. When all VMs are powered off, session hosts can be automatically powered on by user request.

Additionally, the Test Guest VM Template Wizard automates VM testing and VM deployment to ensure that custom-built templates work smoothly, reducing the need for administrators to complete manual tasks.

Client Autoconfiguration

The Invite Users Wizard enables administrators to effortlessly onboard employees so they can quickly start working with published applications and desktops. The wizard sends an invitation email with links to download Parallels Client for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iPadOS, Android, Chrome OS and Linux.

The invitation email includes steps designed to reduce the complexities involved in the installation and client rollout process, along with the necessary server details to connect.

Microsoft PowerShell API

With the use of a PowerShell API, IT administrators can manage Parallels RAS Farms using Microsoft PowerShell scripting. Essential configurations and management capabilities are available through the use of Parallels RAS PowerShell cmdlets.

The PowerShell API automates complex and repetitive tasks. It provides the mechanism to set up and manage the Parallels RAS environment without having to use the Parallels RAS Console.


Parallels RAS supports REST Application Program Interface (API) protocol, which enables organizations to streamline their web services by integrating Parallels RAS operations within their product ecosystem. Automate features such as the configuration and management of the Parallels RAS environment, publish resources and manage user sessions.

Server Console Tools

Through the Parallels RAS Console, administrators can manage servers and remote PCs using Windows Remote Management Tools or custom tools of their choice. It’s possible to perform standard Windows computer management tasks without leaving the Parallels RAS Console. The tasks include Remote Desktop Connection, Computer Management, Service Management, Event Viewer, PowerShell, Reboot, and others.


Parallels RAS integrates with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) to allow identity providers (IdP) to transfer authorization credentials to service providers (SP), in this case, the Parallels RAS environment. SAML provides single sign-on (SSO), and users can use one set of credentials to log in to many different systems. It’s simpler to manage one login per user than to manage separate logins by email, customer relationship management (CRM) software, Active Directory and more.

Parallels RAS Scheduler

The Scheduler tab in the RD Session Hosts view enables IT administrators to reboot or temporarily disable servers according to a schedule.

System Notifications and Scripts

IT administrators can set automated trigger notification messages according to performance counters—such as the number of RDSH sessions, CPU and memory usage, VDI events, and more. In addition, it’s possible to set self-executed custom scripts when a configured value is outside the predefined range.

Just-in-Time VDI Access

Parallels RAS can automatically add users to the Remote Desktop Users group or Administrators group on the fly when the session is set up and then remove them from these groups upon logoff or disconnect. This makes logins more secure and prevents unauthorized access.

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