Application Containers, and more, in an RDS based world.

I was supposed to write about this yesterday but if any of you follow the news in this particular little industry, yesterday Citrix changed its CEO for the fourth time since 2015 and thanks to that, I had to delay this post a bit (before you ask, I will write a dedicated post about the CEO change and why I do believe this changes nothing regarding their downhill trend but more on that later).

At the same time, exactly on the same day, Parallels just announced their latest release, RAS v16 and with it, some impressive goodies IMHO. To the point that in this ‘me-too’ space that EUC has become, I think this is one of the most refreshing ideas in quite some time.

And before any of you say this has been around for long, the reality is no vendor took matters in their own hands and integrated something like this to their stack. Customers want to buy things that work out-of-the-box and that do not require several third party add-ons and money to work. This is the case here.

Parallels and Turbo decided to join forces and the result is now available to anyone. Containerized applications built-in to the RAS product. This gives administrators instant access to thousands of applications readily available and more than that, at zero cost, while severely reducing application installs, siloing and so on.

For example you can build a server for management purposes with vSphere clients, Citrix XenCenter, Putty, WinSCP, Chrome, etc in a matter of seconds, without installing a single application and all running within their own containers.

This video shows how this is done on the server side:

The next step is to get the client configured to simply connect to this particular farm I created for this demo:

As you can see, it does not get easier than that. Dead simple and as I mentioned, all built-in.

Thinking about the future, what else should be possible?

  • Access to the Turbo repository using your own subscription so you get access to all the apps you packaged yourself.
  • Access to TurboServer, the on-premises product.
  • Ability to flag containerized applications as ‘Available Offline’. In this case, if the endpoint is a PC, these containers could be easily copied locally and users would launch these using the locally installed Turbo runtime. If it is a Mac, remember that Parallels owns Parallels Desktop so this could be easily integrated so the containers show up on your Mac as apps coming from your Parallels Desktop VM!
  • Using UPD to store the containers. I am not 100% sure about this one. As of today, if you also have not noticed, Parallels RAS is the first product on the market to also support Microsoft User Profile Disks (UPDs) out of the box. It is right there on their console:
UPD Support – Parallels RAS v16
  • With UPDs, I wonder if you would be able to attach these to VDI VMs and RDSHs… Interesting idea…

The bottom line for me is simple. I do see these little things as great and as mentioned, refreshing. At the end of the day we all benefit from simplicity.

Now to that post about the CEO. Hopefully the new one is still there by the time I click ‘Publish’.




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