Friday, 05 July 2019 09:08

APT Travel Group dropping Citrix for Parallels

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Melbourne-based APT Travel Group is retiring its Citrix system in favour of Parallels Remote Application Server, citing a number of benefits to the organisation.

APT Travel Group has more than 600 staff located in over 15 offices around the world, including the US, the UK, Cyprus and New Zealand.

The need to deliver applications to staff in any of these locations led the company to adopt Citrix's product suite.

But more recently APT conducted a successful proof of concept using Parallels RAS, and is in the process of migrating to it.

According to infrastructure and support services manager Anthony Bianco, one advantage of RAS is that it provides VDI and application delivery in a single product, where Citrix separates these functions into XenDesktop and XenApp. RAS also includes load balancing, whereas Citrix Netscaler was a separate product.

Application delivery is important to APT because network latency issues at some of its locations mean certain applications have to be run locally.

"Parallels were very helpful" with the proof of concept, he said, and the trial showed the company didn't need the Citrix products, as RAS is an all-in-one product for VDI and published applications.

RAS is easy to set up, administer and maintain, BIanco said. The level of specialist knowledge required to run the Citrix products has meant APT has been reluctant to upgrade the software, worrying "will we break it?" In contrast, "we're not nervous about upgrading [RAS]".

RAS is now part of APT's production environment, and the Citrix products are being phased out. While moving users to the new environment has been easy and well received by technical staff and ordinary users, but dealing with Citrix wasn't.

Asked whether Citrix tried to retain his business, Bianco said "No, but they did make my life difficult when reducing the number of licences."

APT's request was processed so slowly that the licence expired before Citrix renewed it, and so a licence reinstatement fee was imposed. "Not a good experience," he observed.

Regardless, the company has been able halve its Citrix licences, and Bianco expects to retire Citrix completely when the current licences expire,

Parallels' simple licensing model is "a big bonus," Bianco said.

Parallels charges by concurrent users, so two people working different shifts or in opposite time zones can share a seat. The minimum subscription is 15 seats, but apart from that the number of seats can be varied up or down. Prices start at $124.95 for a one year subscription, with discounts for two and three year subscriptions.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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