Computers, Servers & Networks
How virtualization software can turn one computer into several
January 19, 2011
By: Chris Peters
This article was adapted from TechSoup's MaintainIT Project, an
effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and
distribute stories around maintaining and supporting public computers.
Originally published September 22, 2009, this article was updated
September 18, 2014 to remove old links and outdated sections.
[UPDATE: NOW WITH CLOUD!] TechSoup Canada's Microsoft Program: Donated, Discounted, and Cloud Offerings
Last year, Microsoft announced a number of changes to its nonprofit donations and discount programs. The reason for the shift is Microsoft's desire to optimize its offerings to better serve smaller nonprofits. The shift also reflects a larger, global trend to move IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model.
This shift has affected what TechSoup Canada offers to nonprofits. Generally speaking, three key changes are significant:
Nonprofit organizations have many of the same needs as for-profit businesses, from data storage to digital security. However, because so many nonprofits are strapped for resources, such basic needs are often viewed as unaffordable luxury items. For example, for many nonprofits, the cost of paying an IT consultant to host their email servers and to manage their data encryption can be prohibitive.
How the right software saved time and money - while improving programs: Eleven years ago, when Wesley Chenery took on the role of IT specialist at the Alberta South Regional Office of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) the computers were old and the software was either extremely outdated or in some cases, completely missing.
We are thrilled to announce that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now a TechSoup Canada donor partner! AWS provides organizations around the world with access to affordable, scalable, and customizable cloud computing services. With AWS, your nonprofit can build websites, develop apps, manage outreach and fundraising, and host core business and employee-facing systems.
Through its Cloud for Good program, Microsoft Philanthropies aims to create equitable access to technology across society. As part of this initiative, Microsoft provides nonprofits with donated cloud services to help transform the way they achieve impact.
How Providing Access to Technology Helps the John Howard Society of Durham Region Connect with their Community
It’s easy to assume everyone has access to the Internet in a first-world country like Canada, but in reality 17 per cent of Canadian households don’t have internet at home – including 58 per cent of households with incomes of $30 000 or less.
That’s millions of Canadians falling behind in the digital age where almost every aspect of our lives is tied to the Internet, including a vital one: employment.
We are awash in a sea of data, and we’re not handling it well. Literally. Nonprofits, like every other organization or corporation, are taking in more information than ever before, and more than we know how to handle.
Technology projects are a big undertaking for nonprofits, especially when budgeting is tight. However, any organization can perform a tech self-assessment with the guidance in this post, and better understand the shortcomings of their networks and their future technology needs.