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Background

UMassOnline monitors Blackboard Learn transactions from three cities, Boston, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas and; Atlanta, Georgia. Monitoring is done through a multi-step script that emulates the path of a typical end-user (view node, log in, verify course content, post to discussions, access course materials, log out) which runs every 30 minutes (Performance and Availability). 

Additionally, UMassOnline pings the Learning Management System every 5 minutes to verify that the site is available (uptime). 

Availability and Performance Reports

The following reports are generated monthly and provide both availability (i.e. if the system is accessible to end users) and performance (i.e. page load times)

SLA Monitoring

UMassOnline has configured SLA monitoring with AlertSite. Currently, the site is set at the following thresholds: 

Uptime: Daily average is 99%

Script runtime: Daily average Under 50 Seconds (27 step script emulating end user path)

Last Month's Script Performance and Availability

2014 Reports

Monthly ReportMonthly Availability Average
 January 2014 99.95%
February 201499.83%
March 201499.89%
April 201499.95%
May 201499.97%
Average99.945%

2013 Reports

Monthly ReportMonthly Availability Average
December 201399.99%
November 201399.57%
October 201399.92%
September 201398.90%
August 201398.82%
July 2013100%
June 201399.90%
May 2013100%
April 201399.28%
March 2013100%
February 2013100%
January 2013100%
  
TOTAL99.698%

2012 Reports

Monthly ReportMonthly Average
December 201299.86%
November 2012100%
October 2012100%
September 2012100%
TOTAL99.965%

 

 

Uptime Report

Uptime Report for Blackboard Learn: Last 30 days

2014 Reports

Monthly ReportMonthly Uptime Average
 January 201499.90%
February 201499.97%
March 201499.98%
April 2014100%
May 201499.995%
Average99.985%

2013 Reports

Monthly ReportMonthly Uptime Average
December 201399.99%
November 201399.84%
October 201399.93%
September 201399.79%
August 2013100%
July 201399.96%
  
TOTAL99.9%

Blackboard Learn Notification Protocol

Service Degradation

Service degradation occurs when the performance of a monitored system does not meet end-users expectations. In such a  case, the system is up (available to users), however is running so poorly as to make the system un-usable. For example the system is running slowly, pages are taking to long to load, elements within the page or tools are missing, etc. Service degradation may also be an early warning sign of imminent system failure (i.e. service interruption, see below).

Notification of Service Degradation

The following message will be sent, via email notification, from AlertSite when service degradation is detected with Blackboard Learn:

 

Blackboard Learn Notification Protocol

UMassOnline Stakeholders,

UMassOnline's transaction monitoring system (AlertSite) has detected an error with a $DESCRIP while running our hourly testing script. The error detected indicates $DESCRIP is unavailable. Below you will find the various support tasks required to address the issue(s). If you have received this message, please read below for any relevant information and required tasks by you or your department.

Help Desk Service Providers:

Post notifications of service interruption of $DESCRIP to phone trees and internal agents' dashboard.
Continue to monitor for further notifications.

Campus Administrators:

Communicate issue(s), if warranted, to local campus stakeholders via internal communications channels.
Continue to monitor for further notifications.

UMassOnline $DESCRIP Support Staff:

Post announcements to $DESCRIP log-in pages
Assess $DESCRIP and related software to identify any anomalies that might affect $DESCRIP performance/availability.
Contact relevant UMOL staff to confirm their receipt of notification and any activity underway to identify/resolve issue.

Service Interruption

Service interruption occurs when a monitored system is not available/accessible by an end-user. For example, the system my be "off line" or "down" due to an error within the application, a problem with the host server or problems somewhere in the network.

Notification of Service Interruption

The following message will be sent from AlertSite, via email notification, when Blackboard Learn service is interrupted:

 

UMassOnline Stakeholders,

UMassOnline's transaction monitoring system (AlertSite) has detected an error with $DESCRIP while running our hourly testing script. The error detected indicates $DESCRIP is up and running, however the site is performing below service expectations. Below you will find the various support tasks required to address the issue(s). If you have received this message, please read below for any relevant information and required tasks by you or your department.

Help Desk Service Providers:

Post notifications of service degradation of $DESCRIP to phone trees and internal agents' dashboard.
Continue to monitor for further notifications.

Campus Administrators:

Communicate issue(s), if warranted, to local campus stakeholders via internal communications channels.
Continue to monitor for further notifications.

UMassOnline $DESCRIP Support Staff:

Post announcements to $DESCRIP log-in pages
Assess $DESCRIP application and related software to identify any anomalies that might affect $DESCRIP performance/availability.
Contact relevant UMOL staff to confirm their receipt of notification and any activity underway to identify/resolve issue.

1 Comment

  1. According to Google, "In 2013, Gmail was available 99.978 percent of the time, which averages to less than two hours of disruption for a user for the entire year" (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/staying-at-forefront-of-email-security.html)

    It would appear everyone (UMOL, UITS and the campuses) has done a fine job in meeting industry standards.