Parallels RAS V17.1 – Provisioning Virtual Desktops in Microsoft Azure


Introduction:

In the latest release of Parallels RAS (17.1), a new feature has been introduced allowing you to provision and deploy Virtual Desktops and RD Session hosts within Azure direct from the Parallels RAS Console. This new feature creates an opportunity for customers wanting to branch out to Cloud Virtual Desktops whilst maintaining a on-premises Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (hybrid). This integration also provides a easy transition capability from on premises published desktops to cloud virtual desktops.

Introducing The Azure Cloud Connector:

Parallels RAS 17.1 introduces a cloud computing connector for Microsoft Azure. You can find this under VDI Hosts wizard allowing you to deploy both Virtual Desktops and RD Session hosts in azure. This can be configured as a standalone Cloud RAS deployment or a Hybrid deployment.

The screenshots below show the new feature of Cloud Computing within the “Add VDI Host” wizard and the details page for populating the azure tenant and subscription details to deploy Virtual Desktops in Microsoft Azure.

Desktops deployed using the Parallels RAS 17.1 Console in Microsoft Azure:

As shown in the demo video below, the Win10 template has been taken out of maintenance mode and is now deploying Virtual Desktops from Snapshot in Microsoft Azure. If you have not seen Parallels RAS before, you will note how simple the control plane is.

The short Video demonstration below shows the recreation of Cloud Virtual Desktops In Azure using Parallels RAS 17.1

Use Case 1 – GPU Requirement For Users Requiring High Performance Graphics:

Rather than investing time in to the procurement, logistics and implementation of an on-premises Graphics solution, Parallels RAS 17.1 allows you to leverage GPU enabled Virtual Desktops both persistent and none-persistent using Microsoft Azure. This allows you to deliver Graphics high performance desktops in a matter of minutes rather than the more complicated physical deployment route.

You can find out more regarding Azure GPU testing here:

https://ryanmangansitblog.com/2019/11/21/windows-virtual-desktop-gpu-setup-and-testing/

Use Case 2: Migration Path’s to Cloud Virtual Desktops

Parallels RAS 17.1 provides the ability to gracefully migrate Virtual Desktops to the Cloud. PRAS users can create Hybrid VDI Environments, leveraging both on premises and cloud desktops enabling you to transition to a Full Cloud Virtual Desktop environment once the on-premises hardware’s life cycle ends or when the business decides to cut over. Using this method allow you to migrate users over to the cloud seamlessly and simplifys effort to migrate to cloud virtual desktop platform.

Technical Demo: Provisioning Virtual Desktops in Microsoft Azure using Parallels RAS:

To detail the process of creating a Parallels RAS Azure template, the following short video shows you how to stand up a simple Parallels RAS environment, Create a Parallels RAS Template for Microsoft Azure, Deploy Cloud Virtual Desktops and provide a quick demo showing connection to the newly created desktops through Parallels RAS’s HTML5 browser.

Summary:

Integration to Microsoft Azure is a big step forward for Parallels RAS. This provides existing and new customers a migration path to Microsoft Azure and enables Parallels RAS users to leverage Azure services like GPU Enabled Virtual Machines in a none-persistent / persistent pool. For all those already using Microsoft Azure and Parallels RAS, this new feature will simplify the scaling of desktops / Session hosts. Together with FSlogix, Parallels RAS creates a powerful Cloud Virtual Desktop Solution.

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