Installing Learning Management System in school premises

Introduction

Technology is need of the hour today and beyond so every school need of online Learning Management System (LMS) to stay connected with student and teachers.

There are many companies offering free LMS platform for schools without investments on any infrastructure costs.

Article focuses hosting their own LMS system like moodle in school premises. Below solution is based on low cost with hybrid infrastructure solution.

Three-Tier Architecture

Portal consists of 3 layers i.e. Web layer, Application layer and Database layer. Web layer is facing internet and handshake client request and provides load balancing with application layer serve the required contents. Application layer processing insert, update, delete operations, computations and serving user requests to web layers. Database layer stores the data and serve application layers with requested data. Application and Database is protected layer and will not be accessed by outsiders.

Virtualization

Latest Technology provisioning multiple operating systems container in single server is called virtualization. Without virtualization needs 3 layers required 3 servers with the vmware virtualization just need one server and vSphere Esxi provision multiple virtual machine instances in one server.

vSphere Esxi 7.0 is latest when the time of writing article and they are providing free for 2 socket CPU servers upto 8 virtual machine (VM) in single server.

Backup

Backup is essential part of any infrastructure without backup we will not able to restore software, data components any disaster events. Since we are using vm  and backup the vm daily basis and keep for 7 days rotation and additional monthly backup keeps for 1 year is bare minimum. Assuming 100GB each instances for 7 days and 12 monthly backups approximately take 2TB backup storage space. So buying 2TB NAS storage server is essential.  Having NAS mirror disk i.e having another 2TB disk to mirror the backup data into another disk avoid single point of failure on backup system.

Active – Passive Infrastructure setup

Production & DR

Proposed Active – passive configuration and in the event of production failure, DR restored from NAS and client request routed to DR Web server. Every alternate month recommended switching DR and Production so that both servers used and DR is reliable. Hpe Proliant MicroServer Gen10plus/ Dell 140 / HP Prolient ML30 Gen10 are entry level servers are supported by vmware vSphere ESXi 7.0 and make sure 32 GB ram and 2 NIC cards available for enabling above setups.

Installing Software

Following are the open source software widely used and Industry matured middleware can be installed in the above infrastructure:

  • Load Balancer (Web) : HAproxy / Ignix
  • App Server: Apache 2
  • Database : Mysql
  • Backup : ghettoVCB, Vembu/Veeam Backup solution
  • LMS : Moodle
  • SSL : Lets Encrypt

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