What’s New in Parallels RAS

From technology advancements to usability enhancements, learn what’s new in the latest release of Parallels RAS.

  • Enhanced flexibility and security
  • Agility for service providers and independent software vendors
  • Improved simplicity and usability for administrators and end-users

Parallels RAS 19

The release of new Parallels RAS 19 builds on the features and innovation that has earned it a reputation as a top-rated pick for delivering secure access to virtual applications and desktops on any device.

We’ve improved deployment flexibility and security while enhancing the simplicity and usability for administrators and end-users alike. Our goal is to enable enterprises, independent software vendors (ISVs), and managed service providers (MSPs) to be more agile and to extend their service offerings, all from a single management console.

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Highlights include:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud provider
    Parallels RAS 19 extends its list of supported cloud computing providers by integrating with Amazon EC2. Use Parallels RAS templates to deploy and auto scale instances on demand, directly on cloud, or via hybrid environments with a unified administrator and end-user experience.
  • MSIX app attach integration
    Deliver the right application to the right user with Parallels RAS 19 MSIX app attach integration. Discover and import MSIX packages, use built-in version tags to simplify package updates, manage certificates used for package signing, and assign application packages to session hosts for dynamic application delivery.
  • Let's Encrypt certificate management
    Parallels RAS 19 simplifies secure user access by integrating out-of-the-box SSL certificate creation with Let’s Encrypt—an award-winning global Certificate Authority (CA) that provides free SSL and TLS certificates. Parallels RAS 19 automates the renewal process and makes certificate management easy—you can issue, renew, and revoke certificates directly from the Parallels RAS Console.
  • Specific URL redirection
    In addition to existing URL and mail redirection capabilities, Parallels RAS 19 now includes the ability to redirect specific URLs. Redirect from server to client to optimize end user device resource usage. For example, redirect to a local version of unified communication tools, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to optimize audio and video delivery for calls and meetings.
  • Multiple Multi-factor authentication (MFA) providers
    Administrators can now use multiple MFAs. No need to deploy different Parallels RAS environments—reuse the same resources and streamline the IT management.
  • Parallels Client for Windows on ARM64
    The Parallels Client for Windows has been rebuilt and optimized to run natively on machines that use ARM64 processors, providing users of these lightweight systems with efficient access to their x86 and 64-bit applications.
  • Expression-based filtering and policies
    Expression-based filtering uses a natural language format to reduce complexity for administrators while giving them more flexibility. Use expressions to set up rules and criteria for more granular management of user access, apply a Parallels RAS client connection policy to specified objects, set logon hours to restrict user access to farm resources, manage multifactor authentication (MFA) requirements, and more.
  • Power management
    A key feature of running virtual machines (VMs) in the cloud is that businesses pay only for the computing resources they use. VDI VMs are typically used only during business hours. Parallels RAS power management enables administrators to set a schedule to power existing VMs on or off the supported provider platforms, including Microsoft Azure, Azure Virtual Desktop, and Amazon EC2.
  • Email-based account discovery
    Getting users connected to their virtual apps and desktops through a Parallels client is easier than ever. End users can now enter their email address to get connection details—they no longer need to enter a lengthy server address or URL for the farm. All native Parallels clients now support finding Parallels RAS farms by entering an email address.
  • Logon hours control
    Support Right to Disconnect initiatives and tighten security by setting rules for logon hours. Parallels RAS 19 enables you to set logon hours for published resources. Use expression-based flexible rules to schedule access.

For a full list of features, refer to the Parallels RAS 19 release notes.

Parallels RAS 18.3.1

Pen-pressure support is now available for the Parallels Web (HTML5) Client! Visit our blog for more information about the business and education benefits of this addition. For other changes in this release, see the release notes.

Parallels RAS 18.3

Parallels RAS 18.3 continues to improve the user experience and provide new flexibility and security controls. Highlights include:

  • Complete support for the latest versions of Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022
    Take advantage of improved security and an enhanced user experience with Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022.
  • Improved Azure Virtual Desktop Integration
    A streamlined process means customers can now make use of Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AADDS) without the need to use hybrid Active Directory Domain Services. In addition, media optimizations have improved audio and video for communication tools like Microsoft Teams.

Parallels RAS 18.2

Parallels RAS 18.2 optimizes resources, improves user session flow, supports the latest operating systems, and delivers new administrator features that enhance IT productivity. Highlights include:

  • Optimal Routing
    Optimize user session traffic flow by specifying a preferred tunneling route between the end client and published resources.
  • Parallels Client: Support for Latest Operating Systems
    The Parallels Client now supports the latest versions of Windows, macOS, and iOS, improving the end user experience.
  • Parallels Web (HTML5) Client: Native Clipboard Experience
    Users can now copy, cut, and paste plain text from a remote session to their device directly (and vice versa), improving productivity.
  • Parallels RAS Reporting: New and extended reports
  • Web-Based Management Portal: New administrative capabilities
  • Updated Support for Hyperconverged Providers

Parallels RAS 18.1

Parallels RAS 18.1 continues to improve user session management, simplifies access to Remote PC for end-users, adds new features for Azure Virtual Desktop integration and delivers the Parallels Client for Mac now optimized to run natively on Apple M1 and Intel chips. Highlights include:

  • Combined User Session Management
    A new Sessions category combines all user sessions and associated session details, whether they are hosted on RD Session Hosts, VDI, Azure Virtual Desktop or Remote PCs.
  • Self-Service Remote PC Access
    End users can enroll their preferred Windows PC on the Parallels RAS Farm in a self-service manner, automatically creating a corresponding published desktop.
  • Azure Virtual Desktop: New Features
    Azure Virtual Desktop integration is even better! Now admins can override host sizes for each host pool, leverage RDP Shortpath for a direct UDP-based connection, use SAML (2.0) SSO, and more.
  • Parallels Client for Mac on Apple M1 and Intel Chips
    The Parallels Client for Mac is rebuilt and optimized to run natively on Apple M1 and Intel-based Mac devices alike, increasing end-user performance.
  • Dynamic Session Resolution Update
    Improve user experience by dynamically updating the remote desktop session's resolution when in windowed mode, without needing to reconnect to the session.
  • Bidirectional Clipboard and File Transfer Control
    Increase security by not permitting users to copy or download data from remote sessions to local devices. Users may copy or upload data from local devices to remote applications.
  • Granular Multifactor Authentication Configuration
  • Maintenance for Published Resources
  • Yubico - YubiKey (PIV) Support
  • Tenant Broker: Multiple Addresses for a Single Tenant

Parallels RAS 18

Parallels RAS 18 integrates and enriches the Azure Virtual Desktop experience, supports FSLogix Profile Containers, significantly improves IT service delivery and reduces infrastructure costs. Highlights include:

  • Azure Virtual Desktop Integration
    Extend Azure Virtual Desktop capabilities by integrating, configuring and unifying all virtual workloads and resources from a centralized console. Integrate Parallels RAS deployments with Azure Virtual Desktop, delivering a single solution to end users.
  • FSLogix Profile Containers Integration
    Easily deploy, configure and manage FSLogix Profile Containers centrally from the Parallels RAS Console, as the preferred integrated user profile management solution.
  • UX Evaluator & Advanced Session Metrics
    Administrators can improve service delivery by pinpointing issues faster and more accurately with the User Experience (UX) Evaluator metric, combined with a complete view of user session details.
  • Automated Image Optimizations
    Built-in automated image optimization capabilities for RDSH, VDI or Azure Virtual Desktop workloads improves the user experience, reduces IT infrastructure costs and accelerates time to production.
  • RDSH & VDI Local Storage Distribution
    Meet your storage needs cost effectively by deploying clones from templates to multiple, independent Microsoft Hyper-V hosts locally, in addition to existing shared storage deployments.
  • Management Portal
    Deploy and manage Parallels RAS environments and monitor user sessions from the newly updated web-based management portal. IT admins may remotely manage environments from their mobile devices.
  • Accelerated file retrieval
  • CPU optimization
  • Improved delivery with third-party load balancers

Parallels RAS 17.1

This latest version equips enterprises, managed service providers (MSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) with even greater capabilities to leverage application delivery and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Highlights include:

  • Multi-tenant architecture that enables multiple organizations to share Parallels RAS components.
  • Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) support that adds single sign-on (SSO) functionality and streamlines management of user identities between different organizations.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) support for greater high availability in the cloud.

Parallels RAS 17

Parallels RAS 17 helps organizations deliver remote applications and desktops to their employees, including an improved user experience with ultra-fast logon, better security, and simplified task management. Highlights include:

  • Extended multi-factor authentication options with Google Authenticator
    Parallels RAS 17 integrates with another popular MFA mechanism, allowing organizations to add an extra layer of security without any additional cost.
  • AI-based session pre-launch for ultra-fast login
    Parallels AI-based session pre-launch technology allows users to access their virtual workspace instantly, improving UX and boosting efficiency and productivity.
  • Windows Server 2019 support
    Take advantage of the advanced features and support of Microsoft Windows Server 2019, including RDS and Hyper-V.
  • Web-based console and Helpdesk tool
    A web-based console provides IT with more flexibility, allowing Parallels RAS infrastructure monitoring and user sessions troubleshooting from any web browser.
  • REST API
    Parallels RAS provides REST API, allowing organizations to integrate with existing orchestration and management solutions.
  • Turnkey VDI Solution with Scale Computing HC3
    Support for Scale Computing’s HC3 enables organizations to create an end-to-end cost-effective VDI solution.
  • Granular Administrator permissions
    Parallels RAS provides more granular options, allowing IT to configure specific permissions to administrators and delegate control of any Parallels RAS object.

Parallels RAS 16.5.3

Parallels RAS now includes support for yet another VDI platform, new developer tools, and a couple of client-side security enhancements, in addition to several other improvements. Highlights include:

  • Support for Scale Computer’s HC3 as a VDI platform
    HC3 is a new hyperconverged infrastructure solution that combines computer, storage, virtualization, backup, and disaster recovery in a single appliance. HC3 uses Scale Computing’s own KVM-based hypervisor, thereby positioning itself as a cost-effective, easy-to-use hyperconverged solution—qualities that perfectly match those of Parallels RAS.
  • New developer tools
    Parallels RAS has extended its use of RAS session variables. Previously, RAS session variables could only be used with published applications. In 16.5.3, this capability has been extended to published desktops as well.
  • Client-Side Security Enhancements
    he latest update includes some crucial client-side security enhancements in macOS, iOS, and Android clients, such as:
    • Displaying password requirements when a user is changing his/her password
    • Sending password expiration notifications
    • Enabling users to change their password as soon as they receive the notification

Parallels RAS 16.5

Parallels RAS now includes support for yet another VDI platform, new developer tools, and a couple of client-side security enhancements, in addition to several other improvements. Highlights include:

  • Streamlined deployment
    VDI Agent has been enhanced and is now incorporated into Publishing Agent. It eliminates extra components and allows multiple VDI-host management by the single Publishing Agent.
  • Solution resilience
    To reduce management downtime, the PA auto-promotion feature has been introduced. When the feature is enabled, the next PA in the Publishing Agent list is auto-promoted in the case of a Master Publishing Agent failure.
  • Automation
    Notifications have been enhanced. Not only are there new notification types, but there’s also support for monitoring in two directions: “Rises above” and “Decreases below.” You can also now allow a script to execute if certain events occur.
  • New granular client connection policies
    New granular policies offer IT admins more flexibility in configuring clients by splitting four categories into more than 20.
  • Azure multi-factor authentication (MFA) support
    New second-level authentication profiles have been added for Azure MFA and other providers to simplify configuration: Azure MFA Server via RADIUS, Duo, FortiAuthenticator, TekRADIUS
  • Microsoft App-V publishing
    Parallels RAS 16.5 adds the ability to enumerate Microsoft App-V packages delivered by the App-V infrastructure or SCCM during application publishing.
  • Parallels RAS Console
    The site dashboard has been extended to show additional performance metrics.
  • Windows Client customization
    New customization options let you rebrand the Windows Client (client binaries). You can now have the same branding as the HTML5 Client, personalizing the look and feel of Parallels Client for Windows with a logo on the login screen.
  • Refreshed HTML5 Client
    The HTML5 web client has been refreshed with a modern look.
  • Citrix XenApp 6.5 Migration tool
    Citrix XenApp 6.5 reached its end of life on June 30, 2018. To help Citrix users migrate to Parallels RAS, version 16.5 provides a migration tool.

Parallels RAS 16

Parallels RAS 16 continues to offer the best value among application and desktop delivery solutions, with several improvements that affect the performance and ease of use of the software. Highlights include:

  • Turbo.net Support
    With its integration with Turbo.net, Parallels RAS 16 allows for the containerization and provisioning of applications from the Turbo.net library. This lets administrators publish different versions of the same applications from the same server.
  • PowerShell Support
    Administrators can also leverage version 16’s support for Microsoft PowerShell 2.0. With PowerShell, IT administrators will be able to utilize automatic scripts, letting them tackle complex configurations and repetitive tasks in a simpler, more streamlined way.
  • VDI Improvements
    To further streamline the deployment and management of the VDI environment, the new version of Parallels RAS provides customizable VDI templates, clones, and linked clones. To support the improvements, personalized version of Sysprep is included. Parallels RASprep allows administrators to prepare and automatically configure Windows desktops, reducing lead time.
  • Mobile and HTML5 Client Improvements and Updates
    Parallels RAS continues to build on its excellent mobile experience by offering updated clients for iOS and Android devices. These clients now offer shortcut customizations that simplify the use of applications that require complex keystrokes. Access to applications delivered on iOS can also be protected by using a device passcode and Touch ID. Improvements to the HTML5 Client let administrators offer a customized look and feel for users or user groups.
  • Drag and drop
    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.