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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Moodle Hosting - Internal vs External? in Technical; Has anyone moved away from hosting their own Moodle inhouse to using a company to externally host their Moodle instead. ...
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    Moodle Hosting - Internal vs External?

    Has anyone moved away from hosting their own Moodle inhouse to using a company to externally host their Moodle instead. If so why....

    We are considering a move to Moodle next year and are looking at all the options. We have recently upgraded most of our server hardware and can easily accomodate a Moodle installation so am wondering what the pros are in going with external hosting?

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    We have internal, avoiding an LEA external VLE, purely down to what would happen if the internet connection goes down. With internal, some links and resources will not work but staff can get by. With External you have to start thinking about keeping an on site backup of resources if staff are to be able to carry on. This creates duplication and gives staff the option to think the VLE is unreliable and not invest.

    Having had our connection fail a couple of times (due to ISP) we were very happy to have made that choice. The first thing staff asked when we mentioned the Internet is down was "Is Moodle still working" and were greatly relieved when the answer was positive.

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    You also need to consider the functionality gain / loss, we are currently evaluating what will give us the best utilisation - external (as we are now RBC hosted) or internal hosting.

    For example we use a website called turnitin for plagiarism detection which has an activity integration for moodle which we cannot use as our external host doesn't have the capacity to investigate installing it. Authentication and ability to browse / upload to moodledata is quite a challenge, plus updating filters / themes etc - the list goes on...

    However, the benefit is upgrades / backups are done for us, which when you think about what we are missing out on and the difficulty of doing these actions yourself it means we need to discuss swapping to internal hosting.

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    We hosted our moodle internally during our pilot year. However now that it is a live critical part of our infrastructure we host our moodle externally with ULCC ULCC: home (University of London Computing Centre).

    Why - it means that I don't have to worry about it working, I have access to moodle specialists, it has a better connection to the JANET network than I have, etc.

    The only real downside (and this does stop me breaking anything!) is that there is less scope for fiddling around with random blocks/activities etc.

    WRT to the above post - we use turnitin - that's why if you host externally you should go with a moddle host, not a generic web host.

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    We go for internal here, the same reasons for TechMonkey (same LEA). One comment that sticks out in my head is that when the net was down, I had a "Moodle is obviously brilliant if it still up!" and I feel that is due to the fact it is hosted internally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rh91uk View Post
    We go for internal here, the same reasons for TechMonkey (same LEA). One comment that sticks out in my head is that when the net was down, I had a "Moodle is obviously brilliant if it still up!" and I feel that is due to the fact it is hosted internally.
    Of course that is precisely one of the reasons I went for externally hosted! I wanted to make sure that if we were cut off from the rest of the net that my users *outside* of campus still had access.

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    If our school moves to Moodle when our Fronter contract ends, it will be done internally. The most important time for it to be available at the moment is in school hours, so if our net connection fails, it still needs to be available.

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    Internal all the way! We are and have never looked back. Total control of your whole environment But then I am a control freak!)

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    Echo all the 'Internal' arguments here...........we used to host our own Moodle, but then our local post-16 Consortium (whatever they call themselves today) decided to copy our Moodle to all the other local schools and to host if off-site with Webanywhere.

    Big mistake. Internet down? That's the Learning Platform gone too. Want to deny recalcitrant students access to the internet as a consequence? Have to deny them access to the VLE too, which is what they want in most cases.

    And I'm a Control Freak, too.



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