Windows Datacenter Alternative for Nonprofits

Written by Nick Scheidies on May 5, 2019

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The IT landscape is always in flux – but one recent change is having an unfortunate impact on charities and nonprofit organizations. In March 2018, Microsoft announced that they would no longer be offering discounted versions of certain on-prem products to nonprofits, including Windows Datacenter. In some cases, the withdrawal of this donation increases costs by a factor of ten. This has left IT admins, sysadmins, DevOps engineers, and CTOs scrambling to stay within their budget.

In this blog, we’ll cover the new licensing and pricing for Windows Datacenter, along with suggesting a cost-effective alternative for nonprofits on a budget.

What Products Have Changed in Pricing / Licensing?

Previously, nonprofits could bypass the licensing for their Windows Server and Datacenter, instead paying a negligible administration fee. But now, nonprofits can expect to pay more for the following Microsoft products:

  • Office Professional
  • Visio Professional
  • Enterprise Edition of SQL Server
  • Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server
  • Windows Server Datacenter

The change took effect on April 1st, 2018.

Does Microsoft Still Offer Discounts for Nonprofits?

Yes, Microsoft has stated that they will still provide a discount for nonprofits for the products above. At the time of the announcement, they did not specify the exact amount of the discount for Windows Datacenter or other on-prem solutions.

Why is the Pricing and Licensing Changing?

Microsoft has pivoted its focus to offering its cloud services. As part of the announcement, Microsoft touted its nonprofit discounts for Office 365 and Azure. This approach fits better with Microsoft’s long-term strategy.

What are the Alternatives?

We’ve been hearing from nonprofits who are looking around for alternatives to Windows Datacenter in the wake of these major shifts in licensing and pricing. They’re wondering if JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is a viable alternative to Windows Datacenter.

While it’s not a 1:1 comparison, JumpCloud can replace many roles of Windows Datacenter – especially that of a domain controller and AD server. JumpCloud acts a centralized user directory and manages access to systems, applications, networks, and file servers. The big difference is that JumpCloud is cloud-based and OS-independent. That means there’s no domain controller required and there’s even-handed support for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

JumpCloud is proud to offer deep discounts for the nonprofit community. You can learn more about our nonprofit discounts here. We also have a 5-part series on how you can eliminate Microsoft from your network and customer case studies that show the migration in action.

Get started with a free version of the platform.

Nick Scheidies

Nick is a content marketing manager and multimedia specialist. He's been studying the intersection of cloud technology with identity management, LDAP, RADIUS, and directory services since 2015.

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