Parallels, a leader in cross-platform virtualization and application delivery, has been addressing this challenge for enterprise clients for the last 15 years. From its first major product, “Parallels Desktop for Mac” released in 2006, to the highly successful Parallels Remote Application Server (Parallels RAS), the company’s solutions continue to push the “user experience-first” paradigm across all its products. With Parallels RAS, businesses are empowered to deliver Windows applications and desktops to any device or platform with an exceptional user experience.
Chronicling the Journey
In 2006, when Parallels released its first cross-platform solution, enterprises had a very limited scope for implementing Windows applications on Mac-based work stations. “Our first product, Parallels Desktop for Mac, filled the gap, where Mac’s Bootcamp required users to reboot their Mac in order to launch Windows OS,” said Jack Zubarev, President and Founder, Parallels. “Since then, Parallels Desktop for Mac has enabled over five million consumers, students, professionals, and businesses to seamlessly run Windows on their Mac,” explained Zubarev.
Adding to the success, Parallels acquired 2X Software, a leader in application virtualization and remote application delivery. From there, Parallels expanded its mission. “We set out on a mission to provide the best technology and experience for businesses, employees, and individuals, to access and use any application and file on any device, anywhere, anytime,” said Zubarev.
Parallels’s cross-platform, multi-tenant architecture facilitates a more efficient work environment for enterprises—with a single instance of an operating system or line-of-business application serving entire teams. This way Parallels’s customers eliminate redundant costs and can scale resources up or down as necessary.
The solutions that Parallels offers provide instant access to data, desktops, and applications from practically any device, such as smartphones, laptops, iPads, and personal desktops. This solves yet another complexity for enterprises that have adopted or are in the process of implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models into their businesses.
Parallels RAS allows employees to use native touch gestures from mobile devices—swipe, drag, tap to click or zoom
The Device Mesh
The concept of BYOD, along with Choose Your Own Device (CYOD), is making its presence in the enterprise business area. These ideas allow employees to have more flexibility to select the workspace medium they prefer working on. However, organizations are challenged with issues such as interoperability, where they may have to deliver Windows applications to non- Windows environments, such as Linux or Mac, and also iOS and Android.
The scenario is what Zubarev refers to as a “device web” that many organizations are getting caught in and are futile in trying to escape, instead of embracing. This happens when a new set of endpoints force an organization to find effective solutions to provide a consistent user experience beyond the limitations of platforms and devices. Parallels RAS responds to the ever-expanding variety of devices, by delivering seamless access to shared line-of-business applications and files from any device, regardless of the location and the OS platform in use.
Parallels RAS includes a simplified and expedited deployment experience, enabling businesses to install Parallels RAS and fully deploy within hours. “In addition, the applications will be automatically optimized for mobile use without needing any additional adjustments, providing a streamlined process for companies to improve employee agility and productivity,” explained Zubarev.
The Cloud Epoch
Parallels RAS supports on-premise, hybrid, and cloud architecture on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and private clouds. With its administrative-friendly virtualization features and automaticallyscalable infrastructure, Parallels RAS is becoming a top choice for medium-and large-businesses as they move IT infrastructure to the cloud.
“With our pre-built templates, IT administrators instantly deploy and add new servers, applications, and gateways to scale up the virtual infrastructure to meet the demands of workloads,” affirmed Zubarev. “The cloud-based system reduces the downtime that is associated with on-premise solutions and also helps to avoid the tedious update and upgrade cycles that typically occur when using on-premise solutions.”
Parallels RAS also pays a lot of attention to security and privacy concerns associated with cloud deployments. “Our company’s vision is to provide users with desktops and applications in the most secure way, helping businesses keep their data segregated and protected,” said Zubarev.
In addition to two-factor authentication, access controls, SSL, and DMZ deployment options, Parallels RAS allows end-to-end encrypted communication between user devices and servers. IT administrators can also restrict access to sensitive material based on user, group, MAC address, IP address, and incoming gateway.
Furthermore, Parallels RAS is a fraction of the 'total ownership cost' of the competition as it is provided as an all-in-one, complete solution with all capabilities included and integrated.
“The solutions do not require add-ons and are fully packed with the necessary features for operations and security,” said Zubarev. “For instance, Parallels RAS offers server load balancing, printing redirection, high availability for gateways, and other all-inclusive features in an affordably priced plan.”
Parallels in Action
Parallels RAS’s capabilities is turning heads in a market populated by large virtualization giants. Zubarev talks about how Lush Handmade Cosmetics—a growing beauty products company with over 200 outlets located across the US and UK—made the switch from a conventional virtualized application delivery system to Parallels RAS. Despite the adequate performance of its previous virtualization solution, the high costs of the legacy system was severely impacting Lush’s IT budget. The company decided to look for an alternate tool that would consolidate application delivery while being cost-effective and easy to manage.
The team at Lush found Parallels RAS as the ideal replacement for their virtualized infrastructure. Subsequently, it implemented Parallels RAS to create a more streamlined remote access infrastructure, from where applications— productivity tools like Microsoft Office and customized ERP software—were published from a centralized location to 250 concurrent users. The value Parallels RAS provided was enormous, as it eliminated redundant, recurring license expenditures and resulted in a significant increase of ROI for the company.
A Look inside
Notably, the company has embraced the golden age of mobility by putting mobile experience at the forefront. “With Parallels RAS, employees enjoy a native-like experience, which allows them to work remotely and effectively from any device,” implied Zubarev. “Parallels’s unique “applification” technology allows employees to use native touch gestures from mobile devices—swipe, drag, tap to click or zoom—to interact with any remote Windows application on both smartphones and tablets, making them productive while on-the-go.”
Since the beginning, Parallels has been doing what it does best, which is publishing or delivering applications and lowering the cost and time of its implementation. “At this point, the solution has become practical for an enormous range of organizations, infrastructures, and budgets,” commented Zubarev.
In November 2016, International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence in information technology, has named Parallels RAS as one of the “major players” in their IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Virtual Client Computing (VCC) Software 2016 Vendor Assessment report.