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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Moving moodle? in Technical; Well we've decided to stick with moodle as our VLE, we're too far down the moodle road to change really. ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    Moving moodle?

    Well we've decided to stick with moodle as our VLE, we're too far down the moodle road to change really. We've had moodle running on an external website for over a year now, in that time the HOD for ICT has got it set up the way he wants. The problem is as this is hosted outside the school, it runs fairly slowly and uploading/downloading files from it can be a bit of a nitemare. Not to mention it is two versions out of date, and can be un-reliable at times.

    We have available to us a large amount of webspace within our LEAs grid, as well as an established intranet server in school. My idea is to move it off the externally hosted site and have two instllations of moodle set up both talking to the same database. One of these would be used inside the school premises and would be hosted on our intranet server therefore making it much faster and more reliable for using in school. The second installation would be hosted on our externally accessible webserver but talking to the same database, thereofore giving the external access needed. Our externally accessible webserver is based at the grids HQ, so I don't want to exclusively host it on this, as this won't be a lot better than it is now!

    My question is has anyone else moved moodle onto a new server, and if so, how easy was it and is there an easy to follow guide to ensure I don't loose any of the data?
    Does anyone else run two separate installations that both use the same database?? Can anyone see any potential problems with running two installations and linking them both to the same database??

    Cheers for any advice,

    Mike.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Moving moodle?

    My question is has anyone else moved moodle onto a new server
    About 4 times.

    if so, how easy was it and is there an easy to follow guide to ensure I don't loose any of the data?
    1. You need to export the moodle database:

    Code:
    mysqldump -u username -ppassword moodle > moodle.sql
    bzip2 moodle.sql
    2. And backup your moodle data folder.

    Code:
    tar -cjvf moodledata /var/moodledata
    3. Copy the resulting files off your server with SCP, FTP or whatever.

    4. Setup your new server, install Apache, PHP, etc. Try and use the same versions as on your old server if possible. It's not the end of the world if you can't though as long as the versions aren't majorly different.

    5. Grab the moodle install tarball and extract it into your webservers document root. Do not run the install process.

    6. Create an empty database for moodle. Then restore your moodle database into it.

    Code:
    bunzip2 moodle.sql.bz2
    mysql - u username -p password moodle < moodle.sql
    7. Restore your moodledata folder.

    Code:
    tar -xjvf moodledata.tar.bz2 /var/moodledata
    8. go to your web servers document root and copy the config-dist.php to config.php. Edit config.php to reflect your server settings.

    9. Moodle should now work. Try loading it in your web browser.

    Does anyone else run two separate installations that both use the same database?? Can anyone see any potential problems with running two installations and linking them both to the same database??
    There is no sane way to keep two MySQL servers in sync over a WAN link. Therein lies the path to pain, suffering, data corruption and the dark side of the force.

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    The second installation would be hosted on our externally accessible webserver but talking to the same database
    It would be easier to have the LEA reverse proxy the external access to your server, thus using one installation.

    If you must do it like this then think about securing the database connection, I'd do it by tunneling the mysql through an ssh tunnel, I'd also use the ssh tunnel to keep the filesystem in sync.

    I did move moodle, don't recall any issues, from memory I dumped the database, copied the files then reimported the database. but probably best to check this as I didn't write it down!

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    I do not know a vast amount about moodle in particular - but would it not make more sense to try and get your in house moodle server accessible externally so you only have one setup to worry about?

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    ...but luckily Geoff DID write it down.

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    ...but luckily Geoff DID write it down.
    No, that was from memory.

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    ...but luckily Geoff DID write it down.
    No, that was from memory.
    Well I'm grateful that it's written down now as it helped complete my documentation

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Geoff must have a virtual terminal in his brain, I'm sure of it

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Geoff must have a virtual terminal in his brain, I'm sure of it
    Nearly, I have eidetic memory.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Moving moodle?

    He said eidetic ... hur, hur hur ....

    Sorry ... been dealing with too many Year 10s today ... it must be catching.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Moving moodle?

    I believe derives from the Greek word 'eidos' meaning image.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Was that a Geoff?

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Nah, I remembered the Greek because of Eidos Games. There's something on the Eidos logo in Hitman about it.

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    And who said games weren't educational? 8)

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    Re: Moving moodle?

    Quote Originally Posted by limbo
    I do not know a vast amount about moodle in particular - but would it not make more sense to try and get your in house moodle server accessible externally so you only have one setup to worry about?
    Oh how we'd love to do this, however LEA says no! What our LEA provide us with is a virtual server which is housed at their HQ. This virtual server has access to our network, as well as being accessable on limited ports by the outside world on our www. domian name. Therefore any services we want available to the outside world we have to host on this virtual server. It's worked for E-Portal and OWA so far, but not to sure how it would work for moodle. Communication between this server and our network is easy as it's actually on our domain, just not within our building.

    Like I say, I would host moodle exclusively on this virtual server, except the link between the school and the LEA is so un-reliable at the moment, there's just to much risk of downtime, not to mention it's onlt a 10mbs link, so we wouldn't see that much benefit to hosting it where it is now.

    @CyberNerd
    You obviously understand the technologies involved a bit more than I do. What is reverse proxying? I think I may know what you mean by this, but an explanation might help. And as the communication between the database(s) is only between the LEA and the school on private cabling, is it really necessary to secure the connection, and if so how do I actually do that??

    Mike.



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