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					Managing the Life Cycle of Online Content
 – Do Your Servers Need Liposuction?
             Dave Dean & Jeff Healy
          Eastern Washington University
About EWU…
•   10,000 students
•   1,200 course shells per quarter
•   400+ instructors
•   Using Blackboard “classic” since Fall 1999
•   Started with CourseInfo v. 2.1
In Summary…
• Digital fat is expensive and unhealthy,
• The smart plan is to intervene before a health
  incident occurs,
• There are a variety of strategies, including
  liposuction, that you might use to reduce or
  eliminate digital fat in your elearning systems
Or … in “LAS VEGAS” we’d pitch…
This session could save you…

 Tens of
Thousands
 of dollars!
This session could …

Save you frustration
    and despair
This session could …

Make you
 a hero at
   work!
BUT…
However …

To save you stress in the
 future, we may need to
   ADD to your stress
       level today!
What is Digital Fat?

• Electronic content that is:
  – Excessive in size, or
  – No longer active, or
  – Unhealthy for other reasons
Where is Digital Fat?
• You might have digital fat in…
   –   Blackboard LMS
                                            ut?
   –
   –
       Blackboard Content System
       iTunes-U
                                        in p
   –   ePortfolio systems
                                  ur
   –
   –
       Media servers
       Document servers
                                Yo
   –   Blogs, Wikis, SharePoint, etc.
Why should you care about Digital Fat?
• It is good to have healthy digital content
• It is costly to store digital fat (SAN costs increase)
• The network is impacted (fat in the veins of the
  network)
• Server response time is impacted
• Eventually digital fat can kill your systems
This presentation focused on…


           Blackboard Academic Suite™
           Learning System – Enterprise Version




Hope to achieve a balance …
      between conceptual and nuts-and-bolts
Who Cares About Disk Space?
•   Disk space is cheap
•   I don’t want to hassle instructors
•   I’ve tried to change behavior – no luck
•   Too complicated to “manage” disk space
•   Want to encourage NOT discourage use
Costs

                                   t?
• 1TB disk – consumer level $200-$700
                                  u
                              in p
 $200 External 1TB

                       ur    $700 Media Server w/ 1TB




                     Yo
Costs for RAW Storage
• 1TB disk – NAS $33,500 / 5 year (MSRP)
  – Education price ~ $10,000 / 5 yr or $2K/year
Costs for USABLE Storage
• SAN and storage purchase (RAW)
  –   Minus parity drives
  –   Minus “hot spare”
  –   Minus snapshot disk space
  –   Consider disk space required to backup data
• Need 2TB RAW for 1TB Usable
Costs for USABLE Storage
• 1TB disk – NAS $67,000 / 5 year (MSRP)
  – Education price ~ $25,000 / 5 yr or $5,000/TB/year
Implication of digital fat…


• Reduce 1TB of unhealthy content,
• Save $25,000 over 5 years on SAN cost
 What’s the trend?

• Survey of 2,500 colleges
  and universities
• 2006 had 3.5 million
  students online
• 9.7% growth year-to-year
• Continued growth
  anticipated



The Sloan Consortium, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning
(http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/index.asp)
Implication of a 9.7% annual growth rate…


• The impact of growth over time
  – Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that
    compound interest is "the most powerful force in
    the universe."
Implication of a 9.7% annual growth rate…


• The impact of growth over time
  – The “Rule of 72” talks about how quickly money
    can grow, given a specific interest rate,
  – elearning enrollments will DOUBLE in 7.49 years
    if the rate of growth is 9.7%
Implication of a 9.7% annual growth rate…


• Electrical and Cooling Costs escalate -
    – 2006 Gartner report says, 50% of data centers
      will soon have insufficient cooling capacity




Source: Financial Times, Wednesday, July 9, 2008. Digital Business section, page 9.
Implication of a 9.7% annual growth rate…

• Electrical and Cooling Costs escalate -
    – A rack of computers use the same amount of
      electricity as a giant electric oven – “an oven
      cooking five turkeys”




Source: Financial Times, Wednesday, July 9, 2008. Digital Business section, page 9.
We want to encourage you…

• It is possible to TRIM DOWN
• Jared did it. You can too.
Jared’s Statistics*
• Diet Start Date: Mid-March 1998
• Starting weight: 425 pounds
• Recent weight: 190 pounds




         * Source: subway.com
Here’s JEFF
Space…




         Earthobservatory.nasa.gov
Where does it all go?




         You are here




             Earthobservatory.nasa.gov
The heartwarming tale of EWU…


• Move to ASP

• Atypical model
   – History of faculty ownership of system
   – Self enroll
   – Persistent course shells

• Approaching allotted space limits
We were here, but…




Fat and unaware?




                     Foodfacts.info
…we wanted to be here




                               Fit and happy!



       Photo by Andrew Leong
The tale continues…

Needed strategy to address digital fat growth

• Forget about it?

• Buy more space?

• Implement quotas?

                                       Garudagears.com
• Implement maintenance procedures?
Blackboard Fitness Program (or theme of
your choice)

• Themed approach

• Get instructor buy-in

• Multi-phased implementation
   –   Larger Quota
   –   Web Optimization training
   –   Alternative hosting platforms
   –   Course Maintenance
Blackboard Fitness Program
Why Might Your Servers be Gaining FAT?




           UMDNJ Magazine
Why Might Your Servers be Gaining FAT?


•   Disk quotas not enabled
•   Courses not being recycled
•   Export or Archive Files not removed from shells
•   “Orphaned” content
•   Inactive or outdated course shells (Lifecycle Mgmt)
•   Files not optimized for web delivery
•   Lack of knowledge or use of alternatives for various
    content types
Quota Usage Building Block
• University of York (Dr. Anthony Leonard)
Beware of Extra “Junk in the Trunk”
Ahhh…a Junkless Trunk
Note that FOUR Export/Archive files are attached to this Bb shell.
Download an archive to determine file size.
Attached Archives / Exports
• Archive files 68.6MB ~ 79.8MB or ??MB
Attached Archives / Exports
Implications:
• Four attachments of 69MB each = 276MB for one
  class
• 1000 course sites like this one = 276GB attached
  just for archive or export files.
• Impact of surplus archive/export files:
   – Digital Fat Cost: $5,000 ~ $17,000
Space Reduction Strategies (restrictive?)
Disable Bb Menu Items that encourage digital fat:

•   Assignments
•   Drop box
•   File attachments in discussion board
•   Student file exchange
•   Archive / export via Control Panel
Space Reduction Strategies (culture shift)
Encourage desired behavior

•   Quota awareness
•   Recycle
•   Optimize files for online delivery
•   Content located in best location depending on
    delivery needs
Quota Reduction Tools
• “Single message store” (i.e., content management
  system)

• PDF, zip, photoshop, Google tools, etc. for image
  optimization for web
   – Increased Bandwidth
                                   ut?
   – Slower Performance

                               in p
                      ur
• Human interactions – training, consulting, quota limit
                     o
  enforcement / warnings
                    Y
An Instructional Digital Content “Ecosystem”

Other delivery tools / options
    – Getting the right data in the right place for delivery
    – Make it seamless to user
                                                       iTunesU
                                                        Tegrity
                                                         Other

 Student                Blackboard                    Streaming
Instructor                                           Media Server
Other User                 CMS

                                                       YouTube
                                                        Google
                                                        Other
Management Models
• Grocery Store
  – Reduce content based on “shelf life”
  – Have agreement in place before hand which
    allows you to remove the oldest, least used
    content on the server
  – Oldest, unused or little used content is removed
    first (after notifying customer)

• Hospital Model
  – “Crisis Intervention” basically the reactive versus
    proactive approach
In Summary…
• Digital fat is expensive and unhealthy

• The smart plan is to intervene before a health
  incident occurs

• There are a variety of strategies, including
  liposuction, alternative content hosting (e.g.,
  iTunesU), or restrictive dietary measures that you
  might use to reduce or eliminate digital fat in your
  eLearning systems
 Costs for USABLE Storage
• 1TB disk – NAS $67,00 / 5 year (MSRP)
   – Education price ~ $25,000 / 5 yr or $5,000/TB/year
 What’s the trend?

• Survey of 2,500 colleges
  and universities
• 2006 had 3.5 million
  students online
• 9.7% growth year-to-year
• Continued growth
  anticipated



The Sloan Consortium, “Online Nation: Fiver Years of Growth in Online Learning
(http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/index.asp)
Contact Us…
• To view our slides visit:
                  wiki.ewu.edu/oit


  Dave Dean, Ph.D.            Jeff Healy
  dave.dean@ewu.edu           jeff.healy@ewu.edu

				
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posted:9/30/2011
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