Parallels RAS 18.1 simplifies user access to Remote PC, improves user session management, offers admins new Azure Virtual Desktop capabilities & introduces native support for Apple M1 devices
Bellevue, WA, USA – July 14, 2021 – Parallels, a global leader in cross-platform solutions, today announced an update to Parallels® Remote Application Server (Parallels® RAS, parallels.com/ras), that delivers an enhanced experience for both end-users and IT admins. Optimizing the cost-effective, flexible and scalable publication of virtual desktops and applications to any device, Parallels RAS 18.1 offers new productivity and management features to enable employees to work easily and securely from anywhere.
“Listening to our users’ feedback and learning about their remote working challenges especially over the last year, it’s clear that productivity and better management are top of mind for admins,” said Nick Dobrovolskiy, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Support at Parallels. “Parallels RAS 18.1 addresses these concerns head on by extending and maximizing performance for users while also improving the administrative experience. We’re committed to building on our Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop) capabilities as well as offering leading edge support for newly introduced features from Microsoft.”
Self-Service Remote PC Access
Among existing Parallels RAS customers, the huge increase in remote work as a result of the 2020 pandemic led to an over 200% increase in Remote PC usage - enabling businesses to build on their existing investment by utilizing their PC hardware located in shutdown offices. Parallels RAS 18.1 now offers a self-service feature that enables individuals to securely perform their own enrollment, which eliminates much of the pressure on IT admins that receive numerous requests to add standalone remote PCs manually. Remote PCs are automatically added to Parallels RAS as a published desktop, in a chosen location, with the specified user filtering preconfigured.
Additionally, this feature can be used by admis to auto-enroll remote PCs on users’ behalf. This reduces the IT burden and speeds up the on-boarding process to efficiently provide employees with remote access to office-based workstations.
Combined User-Session Management
Parallels RAS 18.1 builds on the advanced session details added in Parallels RAS 18.0 to solve the challenges of session management regardless of the delivery method. With different users requiring different workload session hosts (e.g., RD Session Hosts, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Remote PC through VDI or Azure Virtual Desktop), admins can now view all user sessions in a single pane of glass. In addition, a new resource view is also made available, which shows exactly what published resources are running in these sessions.
These capabilities, accompanied by the advanced session metrics, help improve management efficiency. Administrators and helpdesks can use this improved visibility together with a new search and filter capability to better understand what is happening in a session and take action to reduce downtime, improving the user experience through faster issue resolution.
New Features for Azure Virtual Desktop and New Apple M1 Support
- Azure Virtual Desktop Integration1: Parallels RAS 18.1 continues to bring more features to the existing Azure Virtual Desktop integration, first introduced in version 18, which enables customers to move swiftly to the cloud and benefit from cloud services and hybrid environments.
- Parallels Client for Apple Silicon (M1): The Parallels Client for macOS has been rebuilt and optimized to run natively on Apple M1 and Intel-based Mac devices to increase performance for Mac users.
Other Notable Features
- Dynamic session resolution update
- Bidirectional clipboard and file transfer control
- Granular multifactor authentication configuration
- Maintenance for published resources
- Yubico - YubiKey (PIV) support in the Parallels Client for Windows
Additional information and other features introduced in version 18.1 are available online on the Parallels RAS product page at parallels.com/ras. Stay tuned for more features to be added later this year that will further improve resource utilization, user productivity and administrative capabilities.
Webinar on Parallels RAS 18.1
The new features of Parallels RAS 18.1 will be covered in our upcoming webinar – Register now for free at b2b.parallels.com/parallels-ras-18.1-whats-new-webinar.html.
Availability and Pricing
Parallels offers a free 30-day, full-featured trial of Parallels RAS 18.1, including 50 concurrent user licenses, at parallels.com/ras.
Parallels RAS offers a concurrent user license at $99.99 USD per-year for a lower acquisition, support and training cost—with full functionality from the start, including a load balancer and support.
Parallels RAS is available online and from approved resellers. Additional information, including product details, resources, documentation, case studies and full-featured free trials can be found at parallels.com/ras.
1 Notes for Editors
- Override host size: Different users such as task users, knowledge and power users, may require the same base template, but use different sized resources. Parallels RAS 18.1 enables on-the-fly override of the VM host size per host pool, ensuring better resource utilization and cost optimization while targeting user-specific performance requirements.
- RDP Shortpath: This new Azure Virtual Desktop feature establishes a direct UDP-based communication between the Client and the session host. Parallels RAS enables administrators to extend this functionality from the RAS Console for Parallels customers using Azure Virtual Desktop. Direct connectivity reduces dependency on Azure Virtual Desktop gateways, improves connection reliability, and increases the bandwidth available for each user session.
- Support for SAML SSO with Azure Virtual Desktop: Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 Single Sign-On (SSO) has been supported since Parallels RAS 17.1. Version 18.1 introduces support for SAML 2.0 SSO with Microsoft Azure as Identity Provider (IdP) and Azure Virtual Desktop, enabling SSO experience. In this way, Parallels RAS 18.1 streamlines the management of user identities from different organizations, reducing the number of times users are asked for credentials when using Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Also new in Parallels RAS 18.1: Now, Azure Virtual Desktop resources can be launched from the Parallels HTML5 Client Portal using the Parallels Client for Windows. New template management features such as a repair option (tags), custom and predefined server tools and agent troubleshooting option.
Parallels® is a global leader in cross-platform solutions that make it simple for businesses and individuals to use and access the applications and files they need on any device or operating system. Parallels helps customers leverage the best technology out there, whether it’s Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or the cloud. Parallels solves complex engineering and user experience problems by making it simple and cost-effective for businesses and individual customers to use applications anywhere, anytime. Parallels, a business unit of Corel, has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Visit https://www.parallels.com/about for more information.
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