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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Who hosts their own Moodle? in Technical; Bit of an open question but discussions have started again about sorting out our rather empty Moodle site and part ...
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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Who hosts their own Moodle?

    Bit of an open question but discussions have started again about sorting out our rather empty Moodle site and part of it involves making a decision on hosting \ development of it. So basically I was wondering for those of you with Moodle...

    - if you host internally what platform do you use, Linux or Windows?
    - if external who is yuor host and how do you rate them?
    - if Linux who manages the system, backups, upgrades etc?
    - do you have a developer of some sort to design the themes etc?
    - do you have an eLearning co-ordinator, VLE manager etc to oversee the project in general, arrange training etc etc?

    Lots of qu's I know but any info much appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    - if you host internally what platform do you use, Linux or Windows?
    Redhat Linux 5.2
    Moodle (AMP) is much better supported on linux.
    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    - if Linux who manages the system, backups, upgrades etc?
    me, I have a cron job that takes care of mysql dumps and rsync copies all the files to the backup server - exactly the same method we use to back up the windows servers. I have a 'stageing' site that is an exact mirror of the real moodle site, I perform a quick upgrade of moodles on that just to check the final site will upgrade ok. Redhat take care of all my system updates, subscription was £35 per year
    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    - do you have a developer of some sort to design the themes etc?
    all done in-house, our moodle theme matches the drupaled theme, we use drupal for social networking
    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    - do you have an eLearning co-ordinator, VLE manager etc to oversee the project in general, arrange training etc etc?
    sort of, my line manager, assistant head oversees it.

  3. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    gshaw (31st October 2008)

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Thanks for that CyberNerd, when you say developed in house is that you again or another guy?

    Also were you Linux-savvy before you had Moodle?

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    I didn't do any of the moodle themes, but I do do some course maintenance and I do all the server side. I've been using linux for a while now. I started using it professionally for webservers though. IIRC ubuntu has a moodle package in it's repository so it would be very simple to set up.

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    in house, server 2003, steal themes from others then modify them.

    there are many advantages of hosting onsite. these include
    more control, better backups, easier to move large files, easier to make additions, easier access to fileserver, ldap and smtp.

    we have a committee made up to a curriculum leader, it champions, technical support and the kids themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post

    there are many advantages of hosting onsite. these include
    more control, better backups, easier to move large files, easier to make additions, easier access to fileserver, ldap and smtp.
    don't forget MIS (SIMS) integration, you don't get that with an external hosting

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    Host internally on Ubuntu 8.04 running as a VMWare ESXi virtual machine.

    We often have 200+ simultaneous users and it handles it fine. Get the odd complaint about it being slow externally at busy times, but thats down to our LEA throttling the bandwidth at their end.

    We have a tech who works full time on it, plus any other web stuff or fiddling with photo's/videos etc.
    I have management responsibility for it so do a lot of liasing wth departments, training staff and generally championing its use.

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    ezzauk's Avatar
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    Moodle

    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    if you host internally what platform do you use, Linux or Windows?
    We host Moodle on Linux - CentOS 5


    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    if Linux who manages the system, backups, upgrades etc?
    We have a team of 2 webmasters just to look after the college website and moodle.

    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    do you have a developer of some sort to design the themes etc?
    The webmasters look after this.
    http://moodle.ne-worcs.ac.uk
    Last edited by ezzauk; 31st October 2008 at 10:20 PM.

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    - if you host internally what platform do you use, Linux or Windows?
    FreeBSD7, Apache 2.2, PHP5.2.5, WHM/cPanel11 (only £15 for lifetime license for educational establishments), LDAP Authentication against MS Active Directory with singlesignon across whole website / online facilities on an old Dual Xeon server with 4Gb Ram and Raid-5 array, with backups to second array and tape
    - if external who is yuor host and how do you rate them?
    If I was to host externally it'd be somewhere stateside - prices much more reasonable - can get a dedicated server at a US Datacentre (with 80Gb to yerself for storage and 1.5Tb monthly bandwidth on 100Mb uplink) for what a UK restrictive VHost package costs... but as it goes we host it all ourselves on a plusnet 4Mb/512Kb ADSL line with static IP that doubles up as an unfiltered net connection for ICT Support Staff instead of using LEA filtered line.
    - if Linux who manages the system, backups, upgrades etc?
    Me... freebsdupdate.sh looks after OS upgrades and patches via cron, portupgrade and cPanel's UPCP keeps all the ports and backend software uptodate and patched via cron.
    - do you have a developer of some sort to design the themes etc?
    Me again - working on it for Moodle... only just finished the rest of the web facilities - ePortal and Moodle still to do.
    - do you have an eLearning co-ordinator, VLE manager etc to oversee the project in general, arrange training etc etc?
    Yep - I just make sure it runs how it should...

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    We trialled our moodle for a year in house running on CentOS (moodle 1.8.something)

    We now use ULCC (University of London Computing Centre) - they're very good (moodle 1.9.something)

    I'm the VLE person

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    Hi nadeem I'm interested to hear about why you decided to go ULCC and how you convinced the powers that be to shell out for it

    Have you got the MIS integration package from ULCC, if so how does it work?

    One other qu for people on here...

    - for MIS integration do you go MIS System > AD > Moodle or has anyone skipped the AD accounts and just go database to Moodle. At the moment because we're ACL we've got loads of short courses so don't have student logins at the moment, although I'm wondering if it could all link nicely together that could change...

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    We're hosting internally awell, here's what we're doing at Wildern for comparison:

    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    - if you host internally what platform do you use, Linux or Windows?
    We've got a small (load balanced, high availability) web cluster of 2 real servers and one virtualised box running RHEL5 with a separate database server also on RHEL5 (all the main production stuff runs RedHat here).
    - if external who is your host and how do you rate them?
    We're internal but we also have some servers up in London on which we host VLEs for ~40 other primary and secondary schools.
    - if Linux who manages the system, backups, upgrades etc?
    I'm mainly in charge of the system, backups (like others) involve mysqldumps, rsyncing the configs, moodledata and files and a live replica of the database. Other people in the development department can also do course setup, upgrades, add themes though.
    - do you have a developer of some sort to design the themes etc?
    There are graphic designers attached to our department who have always taken care of the themes.
    - do you have an eLearning co-ordinator, VLE manager etc to oversee the project in general, arrange training etc etc?
    Yes. I'll poke Tim with this thread as he might be able to give a more useful answer on what we do about this point.

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    Has anyone total'd up the cost of hosting moodle internally? E.g the actual cost of running and maintaining the server?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Bit of an open question but discussions have started again about sorting out our rather empty Moodle site and part of it involves making a decision on hosting \ development of it. So basically I was wondering for those of you with Moodle...

    - if you host internally what platform do you use, Linux or Windows?
    - if external who is yuor host and how do you rate them?
    - if Linux who manages the system, backups, upgrades etc?
    - do you have a developer of some sort to design the themes etc?
    - do you have an eLearning co-ordinator, VLE manager etc to oversee the project in general, arrange training etc etc?

    Lots of qu's I know but any info much appreciated
    (Linux) Geoff will probably add something tomorrow but....

    Linux
    Geoff does all of the backups, upgrades. If I see an interesting block or module then that is tested on a local test installation.
    One of our other technicians (Young Dave) plays around with the themes.
    I'm afraid that I'm the eLearning person and arrange training to individuals/departments.

    The advantage of local hosting is speed and flexibility but you do throw all of your eggs into one basket. CLEO does a very good job at supporting schools in Cumbria and Lancashire but I'm afraid that I'm very impatient. If I see a new idea I want it immediately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by james_yale View Post
    Yes. I'll poke Tim with this thread as he might be able to give a more useful answer on what we do about this point.
    I guess my role kind of covers overseeing VLE as a whole, but the job tends to be split across various people.

    What should appear on course pages is decided by SLT & our IT group, responsibility for making sure this is there is with the heads of department. We then have a few different teaching staff with responsibilities that are in someway linked to use of the VLE. Examples I can think of now- new technologies, student voice, AfL. All these make use of the site in different ways & these people often provide a lead to others.

    Guess the most important part here is that responsibility for the day-to-day use is with the teaching staff, direction/future vision/etc is covered by the leadership team & our long-term planning.

    Cheers,

    Tim

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