Virtualization Technology News and Information
Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) 16.5 Launches, Provides Businesses with the Most Efficient and Cost-Effective Alternative to Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop

Today, Parallels launched version 16.5 of Parallels Remote Application Server, which allows IT administrators to automatically provision remote desktop session hosts and enables Parallels RAS deployment to auto-scale based on the load. Parallels RAS now also supports publishing Microsoft App-V containers. The extended PowerShell API supports new features including automation for a variety of complex configurations and repetitive tasks (as well as automation for extended client policies), giving IT administrators flexibility to easily configure client devices.

Managed service providers (MSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) now have new customization capabilities, such as rebranding the Windows Client and the ability to download a branded Windows Client through the HTML5 gateway. In addition, MSPs and ISVs can now flexibly manage and monitor licenses for their clients or farms with Service Provider, with the ability to set the maximum user limits and notifications if sub-licenses have reached their limit.

"Businesses and ISVs need simpler and more efficient virtual application and desktop delivery with a far lower total cost of ownership (TCO), versus the increasingly complex and expensive established solutions," said Jack Zubarev, Parallels president. "Parallels RAS version 16.5, our most flexible and scalable virtual application delivery system to date, dramatically simplifies IT management of remote applications and desktops and provides the lowest TCO."

"High-quality cross-platform support is the #1 benefit of switching from Citrix to Parallels Remote Application Server," said Todd Zacharias, manager for IT Network Systems. "Now, with the efforts of W.S. Badcock network engineers like Michael Buckley, we are able to efficiently deliver desktops and applications to Linux, Mac, and Windows devices with ease."

The enhanced Site View in the Parallels RAS Console shows additional real-time performance metrics. Both the Site View and Performance Monitor easily identify components that require admin attention. In addition, Parallels RAS now simplifies configuration of Azure MFA Server, Duo and FortiAuthenticator.

Parallels RAS also offers the Parallels Partner Program. Specifically designed for MSPs and ISVs specializing in remote application and VDI services, it provides usage-based pricing, waterfall discounts and a host of free resources to help them succeed. To learn more, please visit

New version 16.5 features and updates include:

  • RDSH Auto-Provisioning and Auto-Scaling: New RDSH templates allow IT administrators to automatically provision RD session hosts, enabling Parallels RAS deployment to auto-scale based on the load. Watch video demo here:
  • Free Parallels RAS Migration from Citrix XenApp 6.x Tool: With this new tool, it's easier than ever for Citrix XenApp users to migrate to Parallels RAS and start benefiting from its simplified user experience and lower TCO. Watch video demo here:
  • White-Labeling Customization: MSPs and ISVs can now rebrand Windows Client, and the branded Windows Client can be downloaded through the HTML5 gateway for improved customer branding. Watch video demo here:
  • Parallels RAS Console User-Experience Improvements: Delivers better feedback to managers by allowing them to view real-time performance metrics in the enhanced Site View dashboard. Watch these video demos to see Updated Administration Site View and Metrics Dashboard ( and Undo Configuration Changes (
  • Enhanced PowerShell API: Extended to support new features with a variety of complex configurations and repetitive tasks-with automatic scripts for improved efficiency.
  • Redesigned Notifications: Parallels RAS now supports scripted notification handlers, allowing administrators to launch executables or scripts if a notification has been triggered for enhanced management. Watch demo video here:
  • Granular Client Policy Design: Enjoy more flexibility in configuring client devices, with policies split from four categories into more than 20. New settings include the ability to filter by the client-device operating system.
  • SPLA License Limiting: IT admins can now create sub-licenses to SPLA licenses and set a maximum concurrent user limit on SPLAs.
  • Visible Password Complexity Requirements: Adds the ability to show password complexity requirements when changing AD password via Parallels Client (Windows).
  • High Availability and Business Continuity: IT admins can eliminate or reduce downtime of a Parallels RAS deployment due to an issue with the master publishing agent or licensing site.
  • Microsoft App-V Publishing: Parallels RAS has implemented Microsoft App-V application containers and no longer supports private repositories.
  • Azure MFA and 2FA: Enhanced configuration process for Azure MFA, Duo and FortiAuthenticator MFA providers.
  • VDI Improvements: Enhanced VDI with a focus on better stability. The new VDI design allows a single VDI agent to manage multiple VDI hosts.

Availability and Pricing

Parallels offers a free 30-day full-featured trial of Parallels RAS version 16.5, including 50 concurrent user licenses, at

Parallels Remote Application Server features a concurrent user license at $99 per year for a lower acquisition cost, lower support cost and lower training cost with full functionality from the start, including a load balancer and support. Parallels RAS is available online and from approved resellers, which can be found at

Parallels RAS Customer Testimonials:

"The performance of Parallels RAS is fantastic," said Dayton Perrin, server administrator III at Rawls College of Business. "Not only is Parallels RAS much cheaper than Citrix, it is more stable and more user friendly for our faculty, staff, and students at our business college."

Orchestr8 systems manager Stuart Watton said, "Parallels Remote Application Server has been the most reliable component within the whole system. It has never failed to do its job. The main driving factor was the cost of licensing, with Parallels Remote Application Server being considerably cheaper for concurrent users than Citrix."

"We needed a comprehensive VDI management tool to publish healthcare applications and other resources using RDS and VDI, and after trying the industry-leading solutions, we opted for Parallels Remote Application Server because of its ease of use, bandwidth optimization, SSL encryption security, reliable performance and lower TCO," said Antonio Guerrero, Deputy Technical Director at Grupo Trevenque (Spain).

Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:02 AM by David Marshall
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