Getting Started on VDI Installation with Parallels RAS

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a simple and secure virtualization solution to deliver published applications and desktops to any user device.

Throughout this blog post, we introduce how to carry out a VDI Installation with Parallels RAS, describe how to add Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) servers and publish applications and explain in detail the Parallels Client connection flow when opening a published resource.

Parallels RAS Installation Phases

Parallels RAS allows companies to build a desktop and application delivery solution in a very easy manner with its simple and wizard-driven installation process. Parallels RAS also includes remote software installers to push out the installation of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and other Parallels RAS agents through the Parallels RAS Console.

The Parallels RAS installation process can be divided into the following phases:

Once all phases have been accomplished, you can start delivering applications to your clients. End users can access published resources either by using the Parallels Client or the Web Client.

Parallels Client Connection Flow

The diagram below shows a typical scenario where published resources need to be accessed from local networks and the internet. The client connection flow consists of two stages: application enumeration and application launching. The points illustrated below describe each stage in detail.

Note: The following resources can be published in Parallels RAS: applications, containerized applications, desktops, documents, web applications, and network folders.

Application Enumeration

Application enumeration is the process of getting the list of published resources that a particular user can use. During this stage, the following steps take place:

  1. A user launches Parallels Client on a device and double-clicks a Parallels RAS connection (provided it has been configured).
  1. Parallels Client connects to the Parallels RAS Secure Client Gateway or the High Availability Load Balancing (HALB) appliance if one is installed.
  1. If a HALB virtual server is configured, the primary HALB appliance forwards the Parallels Client to the Secure Client Gateway according to load balancing rules.
  1. Parallels RAS Secure Client Gateway builds a connection tunnel with a Publishing Agent to initiate client authentication.
  1. The Parallels Client transmits user credentials to the Publishing Agent.
  1. If the user authentication is successful, the Publishing Agent returns the application list to the Parallels Client via the Secure Client Gateway Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) tunnel. Parallels RAS allows you to use multi-factor authentication for access control. When multi-factor authentication is used, users will have to authenticate through two successive stages to get the application list.
  1. The Parallels Client window displays the application list on the user’s device so the user can select an application to launch.

Application Launching

This stage comprises the following steps:

  1. The user launches an application.
  1. The Parallels Client sends the request via the Secure Client Gateway tunnel to the Publishing Agent.
  1. The Publishing Agent selects the least loaded RDSH and then sends its IP address back to the Parallels Client via Secure Client Gateway.
  1. The Parallels Client connects to the RDSH directly or via RAS Secure Client Gateway and passes the user credentials to it, depending on the connection mode selected on the client side.
  1. The RDSH verifies the received credentials and, if they are valid, starts a remote desktop protocol (RDP) session.

Give Parallels RAS a Try

Following the five phases described above, you can install and deliver applications to clients quickly and in an easy and effective manner. Thank you for going through our web tutorial on the installation and configuration of Parallels RAS.