Why NOT CoCalc?

If you are considering adopting CoCalc, this is as important a question as Why CoCalc? If there is something preventing you from using CoCalc and we can address it - let us know, we would love to give it a try! The following might be deal breakers for you.

You Must Use Fully Open Source Software

As discussed in No Vendor Lock-In, most of our source code and configuration files are public, but we put restrictions on running your own instance without purchasing a license. We may reconsider this decision in the future, but at the moment this approach is vital for our company’s survival. Organizations that have hardware resources and technical expertise are very welcome and encouraged to consider running their own CoCalc cluster, but we want to be involved and need to compensate our developers for their ongoing effort in maintaining and enhancing CoCalc!

You Cannot Pay Anything

We currently offer Trial Projects with all software features and no time limit. However, to enjoy a smooth experience — including network and GPU access — you need to purchase a license or use our Pay-As-You-Go system. We incur costs for hardware resources, cluster and company administration, and ongoing development, so we depend on paying customers. Our prices are highly competitive, and a basic license for one person is very affordable. However, if you need free resources for all your students or if you want workshop participants to have completely free and smooth access afterward, CoCalc may not be the best choice for you.

You Need Proprietary Software Maintenance

Compute Servers give you complete control of the underlying virtual machine, so you can install arbitrary software there including proprietary software with any kind of license management system. If, however, you want us to take care of the installation and administration of such software, the associated technical and bureaucratic load may be prohibitively high. We can certainly discuss it, of course!

You Require XXX Security Certification

We have been in business since 2015 and strive to follow industry’s best practices for software development, system administration, and company management. We are actively working on our SOC 2 audit and should have the report available in Fall 2024. If you need some other framework, audit or certification, we are happy to discuss it, but the cost may be substantial.

You Need the Simplest Possible Interface

As a consequence of our Open World Approach and flexibility, our interface sometimes creates a feeling of being too complicated or overloaded. If you must have only the minimal features that are strictly necessary for your application and nothing else, for example, because you are running short sessions with new users and it is essential for them to get up to speed in no time at all, then indeed you may be better served by more limited alternatives.