Adding a Provider

To set up a Remote PC pool in the RAS Console, you first need to add a Provider of type Remote PC. This is a special type that exists specifically for the purpose of creating and managing Remote PC pools. It is not a real Provider, so it doesn't need a hypervisor installed. It simply uses the existing VDI functionality to create and manage computer pools. Note that when you add a Provider of this type, you can manage it like any other real Provider with some limitations, such as you cannot create templates and use some other strictly VDI (hypervisor)-specific functionality.

To add a Provider of type Remote PC:

  1. Navigate to Farm > <Site> > Providers.

  2. On the Providers tab, click Tasks > Add.

  3. Select one of the following:

    • Remote PC dynamic: This approach assigns PCs using the information from Active Directory. All you have to do is specify an organizational unit (OU) containing computer accounts to be assigned to the host.

    • Remote PC static: Using this approach, Remote PCs are assigned to the Provider by entering their FQDN or IP address (one by one) or by importing a list from a CSV file.

  4. In the wizard that opens, specify the following:

    • Name: Name of the provider.

    • Description: Description of the provider.

    • Address: FQDN or IP address of a server that will manage Remote PC pools. This must be a server with RAS Provider Agent installed. You can use the RAS Connection Broker server, since it has the RAS Provider Agent built in, but it can be any other server running a dedicated RAS Provider Agent.

    • Username: Account name in the UPN format (e.g. administrator@domain.local). This must be a domain user account with administrative rights on the server specified above. Using a local Windows account is also possible with some limitations and only when using the static PC assignment (see below). Using a domain account is recommended.

    • Password: Account password and an optional description.

  5. Click the Manage Credentials button to specify the accounts that will be used to deploy RAS agents.

  6. Click the Advanced Settings link to open the Advanced Provider Settings dialog. The dialog allows you choose the following options:

    • Use dedicated Provider Agent: Select this option if you will install (or have installed) the RAS Provider Agent yourself. Clear the option if you will use the built-in RAS Provider Agent.

    • Agent address: This option becomes enabled if you select the option above it. Specify the FQDN or IP address of the server where the RAS Provider Agent is (or will be) installed. This can be either a physical box or virtual machine.

    • Preferred Connection Broker: Select a RAS Connection Broker to be the preferred agent for this Provider. For more info, see Enabling high availability for VDI.

  7. Click Next.

  8. The wizard will display the new Provider information and will indicate the RAS Provider Agent status. If everything is OK, click Next.

  9. If you selected Remote PC dynamic in step 3, specify the following:

    • Target OU: Organizational unit (OU) containing computer accounts to be assigned to the host. You can click the [...] button to browse Active Directory. Note that a maximum of 1000 Remote PCs can be returned in a single AD/OU search result.

      Note: When using dynamic assignment, Remote PCs must be domain-joined. You cannot manage such PCs using a local Windows user account.

      When you use the dynamic assignment, you have an option to install RAS Guest Agent on every PC by adding a Group Policy to the organizational unit with a script to deploy RAS Guest Agent. The following is an example of such script:

      msiexec /i RASInstaller-<version & build>.msi ADDLOCAL=F_GuestAgent /qn+ /norestart

      Other agent installation options are described in RAS Guest Agent installation options.

    • Subnet mask: Subnet mask used for calculating the directed broadcast address from the IP adderesses of the Remote PCs. It is used for sending a directed broadcast of the Wake on LAN magic packet.

  10. If you selected Remote PC static in step 3, do one of the following:

    • Click Tasks > Add and type FQDN or IP address of a PC you want to add. You can click the [...] button to search for it. Next, specify the subnet mask used for calculating the directed broadcast address from the IP address of the Remote PC. It is used for sending a directed broadcast of the Wake on LAN magic packet. After this, enter the MAC address of the computer you are adding. Note that all fields are mandatory.

    • Click Tasks > Import from CSV file and then select a CSV file containing the list of computers. The CSV file must contain two columns: (1) FQDN or IP address; (2) MAC address. Once again, both columns are mandatory and must contain valid values.

    Parallels RAS 18 (and newer) supports a maximum of 1000 Remote PCs per Provider.

Note: To be manageable, Remote PCs should be domain-joined. In case of static assignment described here, it is possible to add non-domain joined PCs, but you will have to create the same local user account on each and everyone of them. Using a domain account and domain-joined PCs is recommended.

  • Click Finish.

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