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  • 4.2.1. Operational and Technical Capacity
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A PUBLIC SITE.

In an effort to ensure access to UMassOnline's community of users as well as others who might provide insight as we undertake the LPR, all content, comments and attachments are accessible by the public.

Current Technology Infrastructure

LMS Hardware & Data Center Environmentals


LMS Server Hardware

Component

Specification

Blade Enclosures

4 X Fujitsu BX600 Chassis

Application Blade Servers

11 X Fujitsu VX300 Blade Server (2x Dual Core Processor, 32GB memory)

Virtual Application Servers

11 X Oracle VM Server/RedHat Linux 4
3 Managed Nodes per VM (Except JMS, Batch and Admin Servers on dedicated VM)

Database Blade Servers

4 X Fujitsu VX300 Blade Server (1x Quad Core Processor, 16GB Memory)

LMS Server Hardware Configuration

Hostname lmprdweb01- web24.umassonline.net

System Configuration i686

Machine Architecture Genuine Intel i686

Hardware Provider Intel Based Hardware

Memory Size: 12288MB = (12 GB)

Local Disk Capacity (GB) 10.83

Other considerations/comments:
All application servers reside on Oracle VM’s while the 4 Oracle RAC DB servers reside on dedicated blade hardware.  2 Blade enclosure groups are managed through the Oracle Virtualization software such that odd IP address VM’s come up on the odd group and even IP address VM’s come up on the even group. Web Logic machines were configured based on blade enclosure groups such that user sessions are replicated across physical blade enclosure hardware. Multicast testing was conducted across all VM’s and blade enclosures to ensure multicast traffic can pass between enclosures without issue.

Blades/Blade enclosures

Weblogic machines were not configured such that session replication was being done across physical hardware. Weblogic machines were configured based on the Oracle VM groups. These groups were set up such that odd IP’d VM’s are started on two of the blades enclosures and even IP’d VMs are started on the remaining two blade enclosures. This helps to ensure that all sessions are replicated across physical hardware protecting end user sessions from a physical blade or blade enclosure failure.

Power Supply

UPS
Backup power (Generators)

Load Balancer/Redundancy

Component

Specification

Load Balancer

Cisco 6509 ACE Module with SSL offloading and cookie insert based affinity

Make & Model

Cisco 6509 ACE Module

Ports Monitored

80 (http) 2304 (tcp)

Session Affinity

Cookie Insert

Hardware SSL

Yes, SSL Offloading Enabled

Heath Check

/webct/checkStatusForLb

Health Check Frequency

20/60 second timeout

Traffic Distribution Algorithm

Leased Connections

Timeout Value on Port 2304

86400

Connection to nodes

Through Ace LB*

Nodes Included

All 1-24 (except JMS and Batch)

Load

Sustained*

Hits/Hour

~774,000

% Peak

50%

Scenarios Run

Student/Instructor

Start Time

July 17, 2009 5:31AM

Duration

1 hour (3600 seconds)

The Cisco ACE Application Control Engine Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches and Cisco 7600 Series Routers is a next-generation load-balancing and application-delivery solution. A member of the Cisco family of Data Center 3.0 solutions, the module:

  • Helps ensure business continuity by increasing application availability
  • Improves business productivity by accelerating application and server performance
  • Reduces data center power, space, and cooling needs through a virtualized architecture
  • Helps lower operational costs associated with application provisioning and scaling

It achieves these goals through intelligent load-balancing and content-switching technologies integrated with acceleration and security capabilities. A virtualized architecture and role-based administration help you provision and deliver multiple applications from a single module to increase data center scalability.

Disaster Recovery/Fail-over Data Center

In the event of a major application outage in the primary Production Data Center in Shrewsbury, LMS specific applications will be recovered from the Boston Data Center. The recovery methods will vary by application.

The UMOL Application maintains a set of infrastructure in the Boston Data Center in a Recovery environment commonly known as ‘REC’. The systems that support this environment are normally up and running at all times. Under normal operation, data is periodically replicated from Production to the Recovery Database. At a very high level, during a recovery event, the REC database will be taken out of standby mode, made operational and the application components started and verified. Once the directive is given, the core recovery steps, exclusive of validation and troubleshooting, should take approximately one hour, once people are in place with connectivity to the Recovery environment.

Networking


Inter-campus connectivity

Bandwidth

Availability (MITI and LAN)

LMS Bandwidth Consumption

Inbound Availability/:
Outbound Availability/:

Network Topology

LMS Software Stack


LMS Application

Blackboard Learning System - Vista Enterprise License (Release Vista 8.0.4) [18.0.4.54]

LMS Application Server

RedHat Linux 4: Weblogic: Version 9.2.3

LMS Server Operating System

RedHat Linux 4:

LMS Virtualization

Two Blade enclosure groups are managed through the Oracle Virtualization Manager software (OVM).

LMS Database Server

RedHat Linux 4: Oracle 10G

LMS Database


Oracle Database 10G version 10.2.0.4.0

Hostname

lmprd001.umasscs.net (lmprd001)

Local Disk Capacity (GB)

147.73

System Configuration

i686

Clock Frequency (MHz) No. of CPU's

1

Machine Architecture

Genuine Intel i686

No. of CPU Boards

1

Hardware Provider

Intel Based Hardware

No. of IO Devices

21

Memory Size (MB)

16022

 

 

High Availability/RAC Version: 10.2.0.4.0

Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is an option to the award-winning Oracle Database Enterprise Edition. Oracle RAC is a cluster database with a shared cache architecture that overcomes the limitations of traditional shared-nothing and shared-disk approaches to provide highly scalable and available database solutions for all your business applications. Oracle RAC is a key component of Oracle's private cloud architecture. Oracle RAC support is included in the Oracle Database Standard Edition for higher levels of system uptime.

Oracle RAC One Node is a new option available with Oracle Database 11g Release 2. Oracle RAC One Node is a single instance of an Oracle RAC enabled database running on one node in a cluster. This option adds to the flexibility that Oracle offers for database consolidation while reducing management overhead by providing a standard deployment for Oracle Databases in the enterprise.

Storage


Back-up

UMOL production servers are backed up utilizing EMC Avamar technology. The entire server, including any mounted file systems, is backed up daily to Avamar disk storage; each backup is retained for 30 days. Each backup is replicated to offsite Avamar disk storage where the backup is retained for 30 days.

UMOL production databases are backed up utilizing EMC Celerra, Networker and DL3D3000 technologies as well as Quantum i500 technology. The data is stored on EMC Celerra (NAS, Network Attached Storage) and checkpointed daily on the NAS with each checkpoint retained for 7 days. A weekly NDMP backup of one checkpoint is taken via Networker and placed on DL3D3000 virtual tapes where it is retained for 30 days. Once a month an NDMP backup of one checkpoint is taken via Networker and placed on a Quantum i500 library DLT4 physical tape. When a DLT4 tape fills it is stored offsite at an Iron Mountain facility with a retention of 1 year.

NAS

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a special purpose server dedicated to serving file systems over a network alleviating storage processing on a Application server. NAS is a simple and cost effective way to achieve fast data access to multiple clients at a file system level. NAS provides high reliability, hot swappable disks, replication, and Checkpoint technologies.

  • EMC Celerra NS80 series
  • Redundant Storage processors, power and network interfaces

Raid

  • EMC Clariion CX Series Storage
  • RAID 5 (4+1) Data protection. Data will be striped across 4 disks and 1 for parity.

Redundant Storage processors, power and network interfaces

Identify Management


Oracle Identity Management, for Shared Services applications, e.g., PeopleSoft Finance, HR and soon Student, as well Business Intelligence, Effort Certification.   The following components allow for the platform to be utilized across the university and externally:

  • Oracle Access Manager - Single Sign On.  Used for most UMass Shared Services applications, could be extended to UMassOnline and campus based applications.
  • Oracle Identity Manager - Provisioning New Users and Identity Profile management.  Authoritative sources for identity information like PeopleSoft HCM for employee information, allow for management provisioning of user information to needed applications and role management.
  • Oracle Identity Federation - Enables federation within the UMass Campus Community and with non UMass organizations. Allows the Shared Services implementation of IdM to act as an Identity Provider for external Service Providers.

LDAP/AD

To be entered

Integrated Enterprise Applications


Cognos

Cognos Reporting is a third party reporting tool that is hosted by UITS and tied via Cognos packages into the Bb Vista database for reporting purposes. These reports can be either scheduled or run on an ad-hoc basis. Currently scheduled reports include twice daily section and user reports for Simmons SIS integration delta scripting and section and user reports for UMB and UMA OWL evaluations. These scheduled reports, once run, are then automatically moved out of Cognos and onto a UITS hosted sftp host and are automatically picked up by external systems.

Owl Evaluations

The OWL Course Evaluation system is a tool hosted by the UMass Amherst and is an evaluation tool used by UMass Amherst and UMass Boston for gathering course evaluations at the end of the semester. This system is tied to both the UMOL login pages and Bb Vista. A student will login at the login page which is coded to authenticate the user against Bb Vista and before access is granted, a check against the OWL system is made for available active evaluations. If evaluations are available the user is then prompted to complete the survey. If the user elects to take the survey they are directed to the OWL system, or they can skip it and are therefore directed to into Bb Vista. OWL keeps track of active sections and users via reports it picks up on a daily basis via sftp from scheduled Cognos output reports.

Respondus

UMassOnline currently licenses Respondus 4.0. This is a client side application for instructors/designers where quizzes and exams can be created and managed. This local application is then integrated into specific sections directly from the local client therefore, Blackboard, ANGEL, Desire2Learn, eCollege, Moodle, and other eLearning systems are supported.

UMassOnline also integrates with Respondus LockDown Browser. This add a feature to the LMS that when a student takes an assessment, they are forced to download and install a local browser application that restricts user activity while an assessment is being taken. The functionality that forces the download is done via a Powerlink.

SafeAssign

SafeAssign is a Blackboard hosted free service that instructors can use to check student work for plagiarism. It is integrated into Blackboard Vista as a 'Tool' within sections via the use of a Powerlink. This Powerlink is a standard Powerlink that ships and installs with Bb Vista. Each institution hosted by UMOL has the option of utilizing this feature and each institution is identified by SafeAssign systems by a unique join code.

Scholar

Scholar Support is a Blackboard hosted free social bookmarking service that instructors can use within their sections to share online information with other classmates. It is integrated into Blackboard Vista as a 'Tool' within sections via the use of a Powerlink. This Powerlink is a standard Powerlink that ships and installs with Bb Vista. This integration is not institution specific, but rather user/section specific and the Powerlink is tied to the Scholar systems by utilizing a common shared secret.

Wimba

UMassOnline currently integrates and utilizes Wimba Classroom and Blackboard Collaborate Voice Authoring (formerly Wimba Voice) Tools. This is currently available within sections as an integrated 'Tool' that is populated across the Vista cluster via Blackboard Vista PowerLinks. Wimba Live Classroom and Voice Tools are seperate systems hosted by Wimba, but are integrated via the same Powerlink in Vista. Campuses utilizing Live Classroom have their own dedicated campus specific instance while Voice Tools are hosted on a shared instance.

Local Script Catalog

Campus

Script

Feature

Integration

UMass and hosted campuses 

Blackboard Vista Batch

CSV to IMS XML conversion

Blackboard Vista

UMass and hosted campuses 

Blackboard Vista Batch

IMS XML import feed

Blackboard Vista

UMass Amherst

Cognos

Data reporting

OWLET

UMass Boston

Cognos

Data reporting

OWLET

UMass Amherst

OWLET

Allows for evaluation pop-up; appear on login page

Login page, Blackboard Vista

UMass Boston

OWLET

Allows for evaluation pop-up; appear on login page

Login page, Blackboard Vista

Systems Monitoring


Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM)
Currently configured to measure uptime/availability/performance for servers and other technical components multiple in OEM "plug-ins" for specific components, e.g., Weblogic, Identity Management.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A PUBLIC SITE.

In an effort to ensure access to UMassOnline's community of users as well as others who might provide insight as we undertake the LPR, all content, comments and attachments are accessible by the public.

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