Virtualization Technology News and Information
Parallels RAS: What's New in Version 16.5.3

With version 17 just around the corner and 17.1 already in the works, the Parallels RAS team continues to introduce improvements that greatly benefit businesses.

Even with version 17 of Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) just around the corner, the Parallels RAS team continues to introduce improvements that greatly benefit businesses. With the recently released version 16.5 update 3 (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. The team is also ramping up development to support Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktops (WVD) in future releases.

Support for Another VDI Platform

Starting with this update, Parallels RAS can support Scale Computing's HC3, a new hyperconverged infrastructure solution that combines compute, 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.

Version 16.5.3 will be supporting Scale Computing H3 as another VDI platform, further broadening its already extensive selection of supported VDI platforms, including Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Hypervisor (formerly known as XenServer), VMware ESXi, Nutanix Acropolis (AHV), and KVM. This new capability essentially allows Parallels RAS to spin up and manage virtual machines through Scale Computing HC3 API.

New Developer Tools

Another noteworthy addition to Parallels RAS is its extended 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. Now, customers and partners who develop their own applications can have even more flexibility if they want these applications to perform tasks or query certain session variables (e.g. client IP, MAC address, model, version, and more) when users connect using the Parallels RAS client.

Client-Side Security Enhancements

Although Parallels RAS is highly secure, virtual applications and desktops can still be compromised when users don't follow password-complexity guidelines. To help companies enforce these policies, the 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

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

Although WVD support is not yet included in this update, Parallels RAS version 16.5.3 is paving the way to support WVD in the near future.

Parallels RAS is set to extend and enrich the WVD platform so that customers and partners can apply the right delivery method to the right users and customers. In addition, Parallels RAS and WVD integration will enable organizations to:

  • Unify their desktop and application delivery infrastructure.
    • Workloads both within and outside WVD can be managed and maintained via Parallels RAS.
  • Improve IT management.
    • Providing more functionality for IT admins through RAS Console.
    • Managing and maintaining the entire infrastructure can be done from a single console.
    • The same console will enable IT admins to easily perform infrastructure monitoring and reporting.
  • Extend WVD capabilities (particularly in deployment scenarios).
    • Bring together WVD workloads (such as Windows 10 on Azure and extended Windows 7 support) with workloads from other clouds, including multi-clouds or hybrid clouds.
  • Accelerate cloud migrations and adoption.
    • Through its ability to support private, hybrid, public, and multi-clouds, Parallels RAS will allow customers to combine the strengths of traditional deployments and WVD in order to accelerate cloud migrations and adoptions.

New Features List

Here is a list of some knowledge base articles for the new features of Parallels RAS v16.5.3

RAS Session Variables:

What are the supported VDI Providers?:

VDI Agent Installation Options:

Upgrading Parallels Remote Application Server to version 16.0 and higher:

Lifecycle announcement for Parallels Remote Application Server:

Parallels Remote Application Server version 16.5 Release Notes:

Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:28 AM by David Marshall
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