A Walk in Prague

A Walk in Prague

While others were working hard today, my flight got in early enough for a long walk in Prague.

Here’s a photo gallery:

http://www.photos.sailingvoyage.com/v/prague/

The architecture is amazing, but there are piles of tourist shops on the ground floors.

My favorite part was riding their underground back to the hotel. There, I felt I was with the locals instead of the visitors to the city.

Fun– but tomorrow, I’ll be at the ECIS tech leadership conference.

The Steam Train

Sorry about the long breaks between posts– things have been moving like a steam train.

On the quick updates: we have five Meru high density, centrally controlled access points in place as a trial, and we’ll soon be trying the new N units. All of us wish the central control software was more clear and easy to use.

We have two new, Dell servers with dual quad-core Xeon chips and 8 gigs of memory each for our Moodle cluster, and I hope that our consulting group will help us with the CentOS install of Linux to get the ball rolling on the build and transfer of our current database to it.

We’re in phase two of the Student Information System research process, and our goals, needs and objectives in that area are becoming clearer.

I enjoyed doing a board presentation last week, and two high school parent meetings. I have an interview today with a candidate for an important tech position.

Tomorrow morning I fly to Prague for the rest of the week to participate in the ECIS Technology Leadership Conference. I’m really looking forward to this– it should be a tad more relaxing than the Accreditation Team trip to Barcelona.

Lots of things– I’ll try to post some pics from Prague soon.

p.s. We’re also in the final stages of buying our third sailboat as a family. On Sunday, we have the sea trial.

Moodle: The Next Level

We’ve recently signed a support agreement for Moodle consulting, and we’re preparing for the next steps of an advanced Moodle system.

Currently, we have as many as 200 concurrent users with the 7/8 laptop program students, many of them trying to do things like quizzes simultaneously. This overloads our current Windows-based Moodle server and prevents logins and other work from taking place.

We worked quite awhile on trying to improve the performance of the Windows server, but in the end it was going to to take advanced PHP accelleration calibrated to use large amounts of RAM, and advanced MYSQL caching changes to use large amounts of RAM, and we knew that neither of these were easy to pull off in a Windows environment. Also, we didn’t want to “practice” on a production server that is currently supporting a large number of students.

So, we now have a good consulting firm, and we are ordering in a pair of servers that will be Linux-based for a Moodle cluster. The front end box will handle the PHP and the Moodle app (with dual quad-core Xeon chips, 8-12 gigs of memory, and a pair of 400 gig SAS drives in Raid 1 configuration), and the backend server will handle the MYSQL and file store with the same hardware configuration.

In the end, we’re after a Moodle system that can handle 300-400 concurrent users doing relatively intensive things CPU-wise. If we have to grow again, we can continue to split the front end and load balance, or split the back-end and separate database from filestore. I think this is a good approach, since we’ll now have a supported system that can grow and scale.

I’ll write an update in a couple of weeks once we have the new Moodle cluster up and running.

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