Here’s What You’ll Get in the Newly Released Parallels RAS 18.2

In the newly released Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) 18.2, users get an optimal user experience (UX) regardless of their location on the globe, while IT administrators acquire even greater user and application visibility as well as performance monitoring capabilities. We discuss the features that make these improvements possible along with several other additions and enhancements to Parallels RAS in this post.

Optimal Routing

Some organizations with global operations have datacenters around the world to support regional offices that might otherwise be too far from a single, centralized datacenter. When users are too far from their datacenter, resources delivered from that facility exhibit poor response times due to latency. A datacenter in their locality solves that problem.

In support of this distributed datacenter architecture, multiple deployments of Parallels Secure Client Gateway, as well as resources, may likewise be distributed across these geographically dispersed facilities. While this certainly helps enhance the user experience, there’s still room for improvement.

Previously, when a user attempted to launch, say, a published application, Parallels RAS would simply tunnel the user session through the Parallels Secure Client Gateway that handled the initial connection request. Therein lies the problem. If that Secure Client Gateway was hosted in a datacenter different from the location of the resource, the UX would be suboptimal. This issue is addressed in Parallels RAS 18.2.

In Parallels RAS 18.2, IT administrators can leverage Optimal Routing and specify the preferred route when tunneling the user session between the end client and published resources. Instead of using the Secure Client Gateway that handled the initial connection request, preferred routing (if configured) redirects the user to a gateway closest to the requested resource. Since this reduces latency between the gateway and the resource, the response times and the overall user experience are significantly faster.

Optimal Routing works irrespective of the front-facing access layer components that are used to connect and tunnel the user sessions in Parallels RAS. Administrators can leverage preferred routing regardless of whether users are accessing the Secure Client Gateway directly or they’re going through High Availability Load Balancing (HALB) virtual servers or third-party load balancers.

Parallels Client: Support for Latest Operating Systems

We know how IT teams of companies implementing bring your own device (BYOD) or choose your own device (CYOD) policies often get stumped when users come in with a device running a recently launched OS. That’s why we always make it a point to keep the Parallels Client up to date. This helps customers avoid compatibility issues—and the ensuing user downtimes—resulting from unsupported OSs.

Users whose devices are already running the latest and greatest versions of their operating systems can now install a Parallels Client that’s suited for these new platforms. In particular, the Parallels Client now supports the following newly released operating systems:

Parallels HTML5 Client: Native Clipboard Experience

Another new feature that boosts end user productivity is the native clipboard experience on the Parallels HTML5 Client. In Parallels RAS 18.2, users can now copy, cut, and paste plain text from a remote session to their device (and vice versa) by using the context menu or well-known keyboard shortcuts such as:

The new feature, which is fully supported on Chromium-based browsers, enables Parallels RAS users—especially those who need to move or copy data between their devices and remote sessions—to maintain a high level of efficiency. This holds true even when they’re using a laptop, PC, tablet, or phone that doesn’t have the native Parallels Client installed.

So far, we’ve been discussing new features that improve the end user experience. As always, there are new features that improve the administration experience as well.

Extended and New Reports

Some of the most notable administrative improvements in Parallels RAS 18.2 are found in the Parallels RAS Reporting with new and enhanced reports. These improvements can come in handy in billing and security audits, providing IT administrators crucial information that allows them to carry out these processes in a more thorough and empirical manner. They include the following:

These new features and updates supplement what administrators can already do on Parallels RAS Reporting, such as running and viewing predefined and custom reports.

New Administrative Capabilities in the Web-Based Management Portal

For IT administrators to be effective in maintaining the performance of their Parallels RAS infrastructure, they need to gain insight into the health of various components of that environment. This will help them determine which areas are most likely to cause disruptions and, consequently, enable them to act preemptively and prevent potential downtimes.

To help administrators in this regard, the Parallels team added a new Monitoring category to the Management Portal and enhanced the existing Sessions category. These improvements exist already in the Parallels RAS Management Console but have now been added to the Management Portal.

Updated Support for Hyperconverged Providers

Customers who use Nutanix AHV or Scale Computing HC3 as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) providers will be happy to know that Parallels RAS 18.2 added support for Nutanix AHV 5.20 Long Term Supported (LTS) and Scale Computing HC3 8.6.5 and 8.8. This means you can now combine the new features of Parallels RAS 18.2 with the new capabilities of those versions of Nutanix and Scale Computing.

Check out the complete list of new features and improvements in Parallels RAS 18.2.