What’s New in Parallels RAS v16

The latest version of Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) streamlines virtual desktops provisioning by empowering administrators with PowerShell API and VDI templates. Version 16 introduces customization capabilities for Parallels HTML5 Client, improves the mobile experience, supports Remote PC Pools, and provides a performance monitoring dashboard. In addition, we introduced a new Drag & Drop feature, allowing users to easily drag and drop files from their local workstation to remote applications. 

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Parallels HTML5 
Client Customization

White labeling is now offered with the Parallels HTML5 Client. This feature allows organizations to customize the Parallels HTML5 Client to match their branding, using custom themes, colors, and corporate logos. Users may see different themes in the Parallels HTML5 Client depending on the user or user’s membership in Active Directory.

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Enhanced VDI

Parallels RAS has added Nutanix Acropolis (AHV) and KVM to the portfolio of supported hypervisors, alongside Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, and Citrix XenServer. Version 16 has made significant effort into enhancing features of VDI templates management; in addition, the support for linked clones has been implemented, empowering the IT administrator to save time and resources while provisioning virtual desktops. For instance, before starting the deployment, it is possible to check the operability of the virtual machine template by the Test Template Wizard.

In addition, Parallels RAS introduced a customized version of SysPrep—called RASprep—to automatically prepare and configure the virtual desktops. Administrators can create VMs on the fly, knowing that their templates have been duly tested and prepared for production and have all the system requirements automatically configured.

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New Parallels Client for iOS and Android

User experience on mobile devices has improved by adding Quick Keypad and Swiftpoint mouse support for iOS and Android. For iOS, TouchID® and passcode is now offered.

  • By using a SwiftPoint mouse, transform your iPad® or iPhone® into a workstation on the fly.
  • Added “Quick keypads” that map keyboard shortcuts to buttons or mobile device toolbar.
  • Reintroduced the Dumbo mouse, which provides an alternative to the mouse mode with a better precision on mouse clicks and selection.

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Application Provisioning and Containerization

Parallels RAS v16 introduces integration with TURBO.NET, allowing administrator to publish containerized applications and automatically provision them to RDHS servers.

The provisioning and installation is completely transparent for users and administrators. For instance, once a user tries to launch an application for the first time, Parallels RAS installs TURBO.NET runtime, loads the application to the server, and connects the user. By integrating with TURBO.NET, users can run multiple versions of the same application without adding additional resources.

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Security Enhancements

Client Policies enable administrators to have full control over the Parallels Client settings. Administrators can remotely manage and support their employees with the configuration of the Parallels Client by enabling, disabling, or even pre-configuring the settings for them. Parallels RAS v16 extends the management of the Client Policy to iOS and Android. This can be easily enrolled to groups or individual Active Directory users. Parallels RAS v16 also added the ability to disable clipboard and automatically log-off inactive clients.

Version 16 further improved security by adding extra layers of protection when a user accesses data on HTML5 and Parallels Client. Smart card authentication has been introduced to the Parallels Client for Mac, including support for eToken smart cards.

A new encryption algorithm, CryptoPro (FIPS140-2 complaint), was also introduced for the Parallels RAS Gateway and HALB.

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Automation with Microsoft PowerShell API

Parallels RAS deployments and updates can be automated using PowerShell scripts, including installation, settings, and updates. Most of the essential functions can be performed via the PowerShell API by using PowerShell cmdlets with the corresponding parameters.

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.

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Performance Monitor

Parallels RAS Performance Monitor is a lightweight web-based application that allows administrators to gain real-time insight into key performance metrics for Parallels RAS and Windows server-hosting Parallels RAS components.

Remote PC Pools

Parallels RAS now allows the deployment and assignment of hundreds of remote PCs to users by creating a Remote PC pool for publishing multiple remote PCs instead of publishing each remote PC one by one.

The pool management enables administrators to effectively manage Remote PCs deployed on a Hosted Desktop Infrastructure (HDI), such as HPE Moonshot or Atrust Remote PC Array.

Drag & Drop

Parallels RAS v16.2 introduced a new Drag & Drop feature. Users connected to Parallels RAS through Parallels Client for Windows and Mac can easily drag and drop files and images from their local workstation to remote applications.