What is managed hosting?
We are really pleased to announce that Blackboard, the University’s virtual learning environment is moving to managed hosting. This means that the servers used to provide the Blackboard software and file storage will be provided off-site by the Blackboard company.
This will improve the reliability and performance of Blackboard and enable us to introduce the latest features of the software with minimal disruption (or even no downtime at all).
We plan to move to managed hosting during the summer between 31st July and 16th August. We will provide precise dates for the move as soon as they have been confirmed but it will include a period of time when Blackboard will be ‘read only’ (maximum 5 days). This will allow the current data on Blackboard to be moved to the new hosted servers.
Why is it happening?
|Expectations||Benefit of Managed Hosting|
|The VLE is always available, reliable and robust, with no performance or stability issues.||Provides a stable and reliable technology with high levels of redundancy|
|There is minimal planned downtime – with the VLE being used throughout the year and internationally, long periods of downtime (e.g. 1 working day) will always affect a constituency of users.||Downtime needed to complete an upgrade is reduced.Upgrades can be undertaken when we choose e.g. weekends, nights.|
|The VLE is supported outside of UK standard business hours, particularly to meet p/t, distance and global needs.||True 24x7x365: support, monitoring and problem resolution (3 x 8hr shifts) x 365 by a large team with a high level of expertise and experience|
|Growth can be accommodated quickly so that new developments can happen rapidly.||With a highly scaleable and redundant infrastructure, the infrastructure can grow as needed.|
|Access to new and innovative functionality and tools.||Can upgrade to the latest versions and releases as soon as they are released. (With self- hosting, there is gap of around 9 months between version release and installation.)|