Parallels Updates for Windows 8.1, MS SCCM, iPad

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Parallels, a virtualization software company that focuses on the Mac plaform, introduced a bundle of applications designed for enterprises that run a mixed Windows and Mac environment.

Parallels Desktop for Mac, version 9, is a virtual machine application that allows Mac users to run Windows applications side by side with Mac apps in OS X on Intel-based Macs. That includes Windows 8.1 (with a Start Menu and Windows Start button included) and OS X Mavericks 10.9 as well as other versions and OS's (both 32 and 64 bit).  

For administration and deployment, Parallels has updated their Parallels Management-Mac for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).  While the enterprise doesn't have to have SCCM to deploy Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise, the Parallels Management Suite for SCCM is available as part of the package and is considered to be an optimal solution for managing Macs side by side with their Windows counterparts.

Some of the administration features of the Parallels Management-Mac plug-in allow for enterprise deployment of the Parallels Desktop, identification and management of Mac devices on the network, ability to deploy software and software patches, and provide details about Macs together with Windows devices.  The current requirement to run Parallels Management-Mac for SCCM is Microsoft SCCM 2007, 2012 or 2012 R2. 

But, if you don't have Microsoft SCCM, you can still deploy Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition using alternative tools such as Apple Remote Desktop, Package Manager, JAMF, LANDesk Management Suite and others. 

Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition adds a few specific features for the security conscious organization. The enterprise version allows expiration dates to be set which will shut down a virtual machine based on a specific date to regulate access to corporate data for users who have been given limited access.   There are also options to reset user passwords remotely, turn on the Windows lock screen to require a user re-enter their user name and password if they are resuming a suspended connection, and command line support for setting, and locking, some of Parallels Desktop and virtual settings. 

According to Parallels, usingthese enterprise tools "enables IT departments to simply maintain compliance and control while still embracing the technology employees need."

About the Author

Bill Oliver has been working in Healthcare for the past 30+ years in a variety of management roles including Material Management, Purchasing, Nurse Registry, and IT. In the past 12 years his focus has been on the business end of IT Contracts, Software Licensing and Purchasing.

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The newest item on the list, and included in this package, is Parallels Access, which Parallels released in August of this year. This is an iPad application that allows a user to launch and control both Mac and Windows applications remotely and make them appear native to the iPad, or in Parallels terminology it "Applifies" them.  There are a number of usability features (App Launcher, App Switcher, Gestures, and Keyboard) that support both Mac and Windows applications that can be seen on these training videos on Parallels site. 

Parallels Business Solutions will be available starting November 7th.  These apps are subscription based and the annual subscription includes the Parallels Desktop for Mac Edition, which starts at $100/year per Mac, the Parallels Management-Mac for SCCM starts at $30 / year per Mac, and Parallels Access will cost $49/year per computer being accessed.  There are also volume licensing discounts available

For additional info on the Parallels Business Solution (or to Request a Trial) visit parallels.com.

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