• Home Office 2.0: Access Windows Virtual Desktop with Parallels RAS (Advertiser Post)

    March 15, 2021

    Parallels, Vendor Articles

    Home Office 2.0: Access Windows Virtual Desktop with Parallels RAS

    Businesses benefit from improved admin functionality and greater user-friendliness

    The new year begins as the old one ended—in the home office. And there is currently no end in sight. But if there is one thing the past year has proven, it’s just how important the right software is. All signs point to trusted, flexible solutions that enable every employee to access data and work securely and productively from anywhere. In recent months, many companies have experimented with options that provide their employees with the best possible support. DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) have been in particularly high demand. With Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) 18, they now have a solution that provides significantly more options.

    Parallels RAS enables the deployment of virtual desktops and apps on any device, anywhere, anytime. Centralized access monitoring increases data security in the process. Another advantage is that auto-provisioning enables IT infrastructures to scale quickly and as needed. The newest release of Parallels RAS also delivers improved admin functionality and greater user-friendliness thanks to Windows Virtual Desktop integration.

    Better resource management through central control

    Windows Virtual Desktop is a virtualization service for desktops and applications that runs under Microsoft Azure. It enables employees to easily access virtual desktops and all their applications—regardless of where they are hosted or running. Parallels RAS integrates and extends the Windows Virtual Desktop environment’s capabilities by providing organizations with unified workload and resource management. Using the Parallels RAS console, workloads and resources of virtual systems and programs running on them can be centrally managed. Routine tasks can also be automated.

    Also new is integrating Microsoft’s FSLogix Profile Container into Parallels RAS 18, which is responsible for managing user profiles in virtual environments. The integration reduces latency and the risk of corrupted profiles. It also takes less time to log profiles on and off and enables streamlined Office 365 deployment.

    IT managers can leverage the User Experience (UX) Evaluator to oversee remote employees and how well they are faring with the virtual environment. The tool analyzes the delays between user input and system responses. This includes, for example, logon duration, available and used bandwidth, and reasons for disconnections. Administrators can also set thresholds, and if these are exceeded, a warning message appears. This enables them to respond to problems before the performance has been seriously affected.

    Advantages in practice

    Mountainview Building Group specializes in building new homes with award-winning designs and a focus on quality. Their sales and construction staff generally operate out of 10 to 15 remote offices at any one time. They were eager to find a solution to enable their cross-platform relational database application to communicate with Microsoft Outlook.

    They decided to look for a remote desktop solution to centrally host and publish applications and resources to remote staff and partner devices. After investigating the top remote solutions, Mountainview Building Group eventually decided to implement Parallels RAS due to its simplicity and complete set of enterprise-range features. The ease of installation was one of the main reasons Mountainview Building Group chose Parallels.

    Another important factor in choosing Parallels RAS is the security features. Mountainview Building Group uses remote Mac computers that are exposed to the public and can easily be stolen. With Parallels RAS, they keep their computers in a guest mode, so no client data is stored on the remote computers. Using a terminal server enables them to keep all client and corporate data in their locked server room while providing access to the data from anywhere.

    Parallels RAS has surpassed Mountainview Building Group’s expectations, enabling them to use the terminal server environment while eliminating its limitations. Employee devices can interact in a fluid and efficient manner, increasing productivity and worker satisfaction. Mountainview Building Group is happy with the enhanced support and remote accessibility. It can confidently report zero breaches related to remote access, thanks to Parallels RAS’s advanced security features.

    “Our business predominantly uses Claris Filemaker and Microsoft Outlook at our remote offices. We are in the process of redesigning our Filemaker database but need to use a terminal server until the redesign is done. Parallels RAS has been a perfect solution for our staff and us to stay connected with potential clients and trade partners.”

    —Mike Memme, Operations Manager, Mountainview Building Group

    More information and demos on Parallels RAS features are available in regular webinars at https://b2b.parallels.com/ras-webinar-calendar.html

    About Carl Webster

    Carl Webster is an independent consultant specializing in Citrix, Active Directory, and technical documentation. Carl (aka “Webster”) serves the broader Citrix community by writing articles (see CarlWebster.com) and by being the most active person in the Citrix Zone on Experts Exchange. Webster has a long history in the IT industry beginning with mainframes in 1977, PCs and application development in 1986, and network engineering in 2001. He has worked with Citrix products since 1990 with the premiere of their first product – the MULTIUSER OS/2.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

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