Parallels RAS is an all-in-one solution. Features such as load balancing, high availability, provisioning of RD session hosts and VDIs, reports and much more are all included and managed from a single console. For large deployments (over 5,000 users), RD CALs and third-party load balancers are required.
Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops
To have a Citrix complete virtualization solution, you need multiple and complex components such as Citrix StoreFront, Citrix Studio, Citrix Director, Delivery Controller, Citrix ADC and Citrix Workspace App—to name the main ones. Except for the Citrix ADC, all components mentioned here are available using one installation file, like Parallels RAS. However, the installation and configuration procedure takes much longer because each component needs to be configured separately. On top of that, a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops site makes use of three SQL databases—Site, Logging and Monitoring—which means you also need to manage that for each site.
A Microsoft RDS infrastructure is made up of five components, installed as separate roles and configured separately: Remote Desktop Web Access (RDWA), Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG), Remote Desktop Licensing Server (RDLS), Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) or Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RDVH), and Remote Desktop Connection Broker (RDCB).
The Windows Server Manager, which is not explicit to the RDS Collection Management, is used to manage all components. A single collection cannot publish all resources such as session-based RDSH applications, desktops and VDIs. A separate configuration is required to publish different resources, as heterogeneous collections are not supported. Client management, intelligent load balancing, monitoring and reporting are not part of Microsoft RDS.