LinuxUser & Developer Expo 2004, Olympia, London - 20th April 2004 – The Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Ireland’s largest institute of further education has selected and implemented SteelEye LifeKeeper to ensure 24x7 availability of its new and rapidly growing WebCT integrated e-learning system running on Linux®.
With over 20,000 registered online students, and more than 500 e-learning courses either live or in development, the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is one of Europe’s leading e-learning institutions. Key to their success has been the focus on achieving zero downtime with the implementation of LifeKeeper high availability clustering from SteelEye Technology, Inc.
The DIT selected LifeKeeper to provide availability monitoring, failover and failback protection of their entire WebCT application and systems infrastructure. Open Minds, a SteelEye distributor in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and a specialist in high availability clustering solutions, implemented LifeKeeper at the DIT, and fully tested the application monitoring and failover process.
The DIT has installed the SteelEye LifeKeeper high availability clustering solution and WebCT Campus Edition™ on two Dell PowerEdge Servers in Active/Passive mode, running Red Hat Linux, which are attached to an HP MA8000 storage area network. LifeKeeper uniquely provides the DIT with the ability to monitor the health of the entire “application stack” and to optionally failover components, either locally or remotely - securely, efficiently and with minimal complexity.
To enable high availability of WebCT Campus Edition product on Windows® and Linux platforms, WebCT certifies and supports failover configurations using the SteelEye LifeKeeper high availability clustering solution.
The three-year rollout of WebCT by DIT is at the heart of an ambitious 15-year strategic plan to address changes facing the delivery of higher education in Ireland. It was identified early on that a key to its success would be the ability of the WebCT system to accommodate rapidly growing volumes of data, and to deliver the highest levels of availability, in order to establish confidence among the academic staff.
"The successful introduction of WebCT to DIT meant that the availability of the system was critical right from the start," said Dr Kevin O’Rourke, Project Manager for learning technology at DIT. "If our WebCT system went down at this early stage of adoption, it would spell disaster for the whole roll-out. Any sense that the technology was unreliable would have seriously affected the success of the whole strategy. LifeKeeper protects the system from critical failure, which might affect user access to courses."
Dr O’Rourke continued "To date we are extremely happy with the SteelEye failover solution. I think that LifeKeeper has made our lives easier, because it has made the WebCT software easier to manage on a day-to-day basis. I am not worried about what would happen if the system went down. All in all, with the help and expertise of Open Minds working with WebCT, it has been much easier to implement than I had thought it would be."
"It would be difficult for me to quantify how much LifeKeeper has saved DIT, but it certainly has saved me a few sleepless nights," added O’Rourke.
LifeKeeper enables automatic monitoring and failover out-of-hours, when system administrators are not on duty. It also gives the DIT the capability to perform maintenance to the systems during office hours. There is no longer any need for IT staff to work out-of-hours to perform regular system maintenance, or for users to suffer downtime during working hours if emergency systems maintenance is required.
"The Dublin Institute of Technology has successfully addressed the challenge of providing not just the highest quality of content but also of ensuring that content is always available for its students. High availability is increasingly becoming an essential part of any e-learning environment," commented John Banfield, Director of EMEA for SteelEye Technology. "We are delighted that, as a result of their success, the DIT is now looking into off-site backup using SteelEye LifeKeeper data replication as part of its disaster recovery plan."
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About SteelEye Technology:
SteelEye is a leading provider of enterprise IT reliability solutions for business continuity and disaster recovery.
The SteelEye LifeKeeper family of application-centric data replication, high availability clustering, and disaster recovery solutions are easy to deploy and operate, and enable enterprises of all sizes to ensure continuous availability of business-critical applications, servers and data.
To complement its software solutions, SteelEye also provides a full range of high availability consulting and professional services to assist organizations with the assessment, design and implementation of solutions for ensuring High Availability within their environments.
SteelEye products and services are available worldwide, and may be purchased directly from SteelEye or through its international network of reseller and systems integration partners. For more information, please visit www.steeleye.com.
About Open Minds:
Open Minds provides software solutions, support, consultancy and training for High Availability (Fault Resilience) and Disaster Recovery solutions for IT systems.
Open Minds’ strong team of technical consultants offer experience gained from many years of successfully implementing and supporting LifeKeeper solutions throughout the world.
Open Minds serves customers throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, and partners with VAR's, Software Houses and Systems Integrators to provide a full technical backup including pre-sales, installation services and support required to fully implement a high-availability solution on Linux, Windows and Solaris. For more information, please visit www.openminds.co.uk
About SteelEye LifeKeeper:
SteelEye LifeKeeper is the only business continuity solution on Linux and Windows platforms to provide data replication, high availability clustering and wide-area automated disaster recovery, in a single, scalable, affordable solution.
SteelEye LifeKeeper offers enterprise-grade reliability while simplifying implementation with certified support for a wide range of applications, databases, servers and storage options in Windows and Linux environments, including mySAP® Business Suite, Oracle®, DB2®, Microsoft® SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and WebCT.
A key benefit of the SteelEye LifeKeeper solution-set is the capacity to implement “scalable availability” - enabling organizations to implement an application-centric solution that meets their availability requirements today, while providing an integrated path to evolve as business, operational and application requirements change over time.
Ensuring High Availability for WebCT With SteelEye LifeKeeper:
An important characteristic of the SteelEye LifeKeeper solution approach is “application-centricity”. Unlike conventional failover solutions that address only one element within a cluster configuration, such as the application, database, servers or storage devices, LifeKeeper provides the ability to monitor the health of the entire “application stack” and to optionally failover components either locally or remotely - securely, efficiently, and with minimal complexity.
SteelEye LifeKeeper provides total application-centric protection for WebCT running on Windows and Linux servers. Key to achieving this is the LifeKeeper Software Developer’s Toolkit (SDK), a script-based templating facility that enables users and software vendors to easily integrate their custom applications in a LifeKeeper protection schema.
Using the LifeKeeper SDK, WebCT has invested in building automation, integrated with WebCT Campus Edition, specifically designed to address the failover processes and requirements of WebCT running on Windows and Linux servers.
This automation is delivered with WebCT Campus Edition, pre-built and pre-tested by WebCT, and plugs into the LifeKeeper core product which is purchasable from SteelEye, or through its international network of distributors and resellers partners.
SteelEye Technology, SteelEye and LifeKeeper are registered trademarks of SteelEye Technology, Inc.
WebCT and WebCT Campus Edition are trademarks of WebCT, Inc.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds
Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation
All other product or service names may be registered trademarks or trademarks, and are the property of their respective owners.
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