Synching Internal/Externally hosted Moodle
We’ve decided to move away from our LEA provided VLE for various reasons, and boldly go forward and create our own. We’ve chosen Moodle for this purpose as it offers us a great deal of flexibility to really tailor the system to our specific needs.
Our setup is as follows:
Internally we are running a well specified HP server with Windows server 2003 r2. We use Xampp which runs both Apache and MySQL services. Our Moodle MySQL database is setup and managed via phpMyAdmin.
Externally we rent a managed webserver from United Hosting. It’s running CentOS which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They support Moodle and the associated services and scripts required – It’s running the LAMP environment (Apache, MySQL and PHP)
UK Dedicated Server Management Overview - Included Server Management - Initial Server Setup - Ongoing Dedicated Server Maintenance - Server Security and Performance Tweaks Gives an overview of what their managed service provides.
After a little troubleshooting which boiled down to correcting the variables in the hosted config.php file, we successfully migrated our internal Moodle data to the hosted system and from that perspective, it’s all functioning as expected.
Now, this is where it gets interesting..
At the moment, our web based Moodle is sitting idle, in maintenance mode ready for when we are in a position to fully use it. We’re currently running with our internal system and looking forward to offering staff and pupils online access from home. Users will access our internal moodle via a shortcut to the server. From home, via a web address. These of course point to two separate systems.
We require two way real time (or as close as possible) synchronisation/replication between our two moodle servers. In additional to the realtime MySQL database replication we also need to ensure relevant moodle files (moodledata and htdocs\moodle) are also kept in sync. If a pupil uploads some homework onto the hosted web version, we need that to also show on our internal system (and vice versa).
We’ve gone with this setup as it provides great internal access speeds, pupil/staff home access over the web, redundancy and resilience.
The support we are receiving from our hosting company is very good but I’d like to gain additional perspective, ideas and help on this technical challenge. It’s a very new area for us and I would really appreciate some advice, software suggestions etc as to how to achieve this. I’d be very keen to hear from people who are running a similar setup and have experience in this area, are thinking of moving in this direction or just have a good idea. In turn, when we are successfully running our system I would be very happy to share my experiences, provide advice and lessons learned.
Thank you all in advance!