Making VDI more affordable and simpler to deploy for small business users is a key goal of the integration.

Todd R. Weiss

June 20, 2019

4 Min Read
Cloud-Hosted Virtual Desktop

Scale Computing and Parallels are simplifying and lowering the costs of VDI for SMBs by taking Scale’s open source KVM-based HC3 virtualization hypervisor and fully supporting it within the Parallels Remote Application Server 17 application.

The integration of the two technologies means that small business IT administrators will be able to use them together to make the deployment and management of VDI virtual machine thin clones easier by setting them up through the automated Parallels RAS console, rather than by complex manual configuration, the companies said.

The Parallels RAS software generates and deploys VDI desktops on demand, enabling administrators to quickly deploy guest VMs as needed by creating a master virtual desktop once and then cloning it to hundreds of virtual desktops in their HC3 cluster, the companies said. The integration of the two products will allow small business administrators to deliver Windows applications and desktops to users while maintaining a consistent user experience on any device in any location.

Alan Conboy, the CTO for Scale Computing, told Channel Futures that the work between the two companies to refine VDI for SMB users began about a year-and-a-half ago and means that users can now buy appliances from Scale and RAS from Parallels to deploy VDI with far fewer hiccups than in the past. To complete the integration of the technologies, the code base from Parallels RAS was tied into Scale’s API stack, creating an HC3 cluster that is essentially VDI in a box, he said.

RAS is Parallel’s connection broker for VDI, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) and similar systems, while also being a direct competitor to VDI technologies from Citrix, Zendesk, VMware Horizon and Horizon View, said Conboy.


Scale Computing’s Alan Conboy

“Their big claim to fame with RAS it is a one-ring approach and they can manage it all,” he said. “With Citrix, you need multiple servers to control different things. Parallels found a way to do it with one server.”

In the past, VDI was touted as a way to save money on IT, but for SMBs, the savings were never possible because the systems required hundreds to thousands of users for the pricing to work out, said Conboy.

“Unless you were at several thousand seats, VDI was rejected due to costs because most companies were under that threshold,” Conboy said.

That’s the key problem that the Scale-Parallels partnership solves, he added.

“It creates VDI in a box for them, and one that’s super easy to use, for half the price or less than what you would spend on alternatives,” said Conboy.

The benefits for channel partners include making it easier to provide these technologies to SMB customers who were too small to do this earlier.

“This makes it viable for all of them,” he said.

Paul Hager, the CEO of Information Technology Professionals, a Scale channel partner in Madison, Wisconsin, said that his company has previously only offered VDI to …

… its larger clients using technology from traditional large vendors including Citrix and VMware Horizon, but that the new offering from Scale will certainly cause them to dive into it further.


Information Technology Professionals’ Paul Hager

“This announcement seems very in line with Scales’ focus on helping SMB customers,” said Hager. “Yes, it is a new interesting option for us and it coming from Scale means we will look at it now.”

Small businesses need good technology as much as larger companies do, he said, but often the big vendors don’t make the right products to serve them, he said.

“That’s where Scale knocks it out of the park,” said Hager. “As Scale gets into more SMBs and more accounts, the more ecosystem partners they build is a good thing for partners and for customers. And whenever they get a new partner to work with their hypervisor, it’s a big deal because it give more options for users.”

This new partnership between Scale and Parallels will allow many small businesses to bring in VDI, he said.

Eric Slack, an IT analyst with Evaluator Group, said that providing more options for channel partners and users is a large benefit of the deal.

“Of course, choice is always a plus,” said Slack. “For existing Scale customers, this gives them a VDI solution, and for Parallels users, it gives them an infrastructure for running their VDI/RAS solution that has the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), including scalability, ease of use and more.”

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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