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How to make a Complicate Migration Manageble
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How to make a Complicate Migration Manageble

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This is the presentation we did at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference in Leeds (April 2011). It's about the roadmap we created to move from Blackboard 8 to release 9.1.

This is the presentation we did at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning conference in Leeds (April 2011). It's about the roadmap we created to move from Blackboard 8 to release 9.1.

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How to make a Complicate Migration Manageble How to make a Complicate Migration Manageble Presentation Transcript

  • How to make a complicated migration manageable
    "You'll lose some, but the survivors come out stronger"
  • How to make a complicatedmigrationmanageable
    Implementing Release 9.x at Avans University of Applied Sciences
    Your hosts to this presentation are
    Bert Leene
    and
    Arald den Braber
  • Who are these guys?
    Bert Leene
    • Functional application management
    • Technical application management
    • Development
    • Instructor
  • Who are these guys?
    Arald den Braber
    • Functional application management
    • Technical application management
    • Development
    • Teacher in web application development & data communication
    • Project manager Blackboard migrations
    • Involved in other ICT-related projects
  • 3 locations in the Netherlands
    Breda, Den Bosch, Tilburg
    24.000 students
    2.500 employees
    19 educational units
    12.000 Blackboard courses
    Using Blackboard for over 10 years
    Many custom made Building Blocks
    Complete Windows environment
    Special migration team across different departments
    Amsterdam
    Bruxelles
    About Avans
    • Planning the migration Bb8  Bb9.1
    • Our goals
    • Preparation
    • Testing
    • After care
    • List of issues available
    • The icing on the cake!
    We'll talk about
  • First half of 2010
    Getting to know release 9.1
    Upgrade our building blocks
    Develop support materials  see the other Avans guys tomorrow
    First draft of the road map
    June 2010
    Test upgrade with ACTUAL DATA
    Update the road map to an hour-by-hour road map based on the test upgrade
    Testing
    July 2010
    BbWorld
    First week of august
    Actual upgrade
    Launch of the archive
    The original planning
  • Our goals
    Preserve the existing Content System data
    Upgrade during the summer break of 2010
    Implement Blackboard Learn Release 9.1
    Give our Building Blocks the NG look and feel
    Make an online archive environment available
    Upgrade the serverplatform to new 64bits technology
    Clean up our environment by deleting old courses
  • Why an hour-by-hour roadmap?
    • To have a good indication of the actual downtime
    • Availability of staff from different departments
    • External service partner
    • Determine the correct and most efficient order of steps
    • At first we had no idea how long individual steps would take
  • The bonus we got
    While thinking about the roadmap we learned that we could reduce the downtime during the actual upgrade
    • A Blackboard upgrade is mostlyaboutconvertingyour dataset
    • Needed to be smart since we had to go from 32bits to 64bits
    • Whyre-installapplication servers againafter a successfull test upgrade?
  • How?
    • Park the Bb9.1 servers used in the test upgrade
    • These servers were correctly installed and fully tested
    • Actual upgrade would basically be limited to converting data
    • No need to install Bb on additional cluster servers a second time during downtime
  • The trick we found in steps
    The initial Blackboard environment at Avans
    App3
    App2
    App1
    DB
  • Step 1: Clone the production data for the test upgrade
    Old-DB
    New-DB
    Old Storage
    New Storage
  • Step 2: Setup a 32 bits virtual "throwaway" server withBlackboard 8 and upgrade this server to release 9.1.
    DB
    Virtual server
  • Step 3: Clone the Blackboard 9.1 installationon the virtual server to the 64bit cluster servers.
    Virtual server
    App3
    App2
    App4
    App1
  • Step 4: Park the 4 application servers afterintensive testing
    App4
    App3
    App2
    App1
  • Step 5: Restore the 32 bits virtual "throwaway" server to it'sinitial Blackboard 8 installation and shutit down.
    Virtual server
  • Step 6: Shut down the production environment
    Production
  • Step 7: Update the newstoragewith a freshcopy of the latestproduction data.
    Old-DB
    New-DB
    Old Storage
    New Storage
  • Step 8: Start the virtual "throw-away" server
    Virtual server
  • Step 9: The actual upgrade to Release 9.1 on the virtual "throw away" host.
    Virtual server
    DB
  • Step 10: Be reallypatient
    This presentation will continue in about
    30hours
    Just kidding…..
    ……butbepreparedyou have to waitreally long before the Blackboard installer comes up with the "Upgrade completedsuccesfully" message.Onour system ittookalmost 30 hours!We thinkit was because we have a lot of ePortfolio's in the Content System.
  • Step 11: This is why the virtual server was called"trowaway server".
    Virtual server
    Virtual server
    Itdidit's job….
    ....Itconvertedour database to a Bb9.1 database!
  • Step 12: Get the parked servers and turn themon.
    DB Bb9
    App4
    App3
    App2
    App1
    Production
  • Great! We got the new Blackboard up and running!
  • Why is a test upgrade with real data important?
    Becauseoursfailed!
    • Problems in our dataset resulted in "duplicate entries" errors during the installation
    • Our dataset goes back over 10 years and has been modified during many upgrades
    • Problem was solved by Blackboard and our third party technical service partner
    • Problem showed us the importance of testing with REAL DATA!
    What was the problem?
    • 3 weeks delay in our planning
    • Leaving us less than 2 weeks to test
    Consequences
    New challenges!
    • Determine a new planning
    • Upgrade during the Christmas break?
    • No access to the building, workremote
    • Performnew test remote upgrade
    • Communicationwhennotworking in the same room
    • Informourusersthey had to waitfor Release 9.1
    • Working remote made the detailed planning even more crucial
    • Need for a good communication plan
    Working remote
    • Give people a trigger when to start their job
    • Report the finishing of a certain step
    • Report problems or expected delays
    • SMS/Texting was used to send the triggers
    • Mail was usedwhen more details were important
    • Oneperson in the lead
  • Who/What/When
    That'swhat was in ourdetailed planning
    • Blackboard Release 9.1 was installed on new hardware
    • The old production environment was planned to become the archive environment
    • This archive environment would remain untouched during the upgrade and would remain available in case of a disaster during the upgrade
    Risk management
    • Questions from users  Student assistants
    • Repair queries
    • Issues & Bugs
    • Behind the Blackboard  Find information & report issues
    After Care
    • They all worked in Release 9.1
    • They needed work though
    • Givethem the Bb9.1 look and feel NG tags(http://www.edugarage.com)
    • Use the newconfirmation bars
    • Implement AJAX technology to reduce page reloads
    • Special attention (another trick) was needed in order not to lose modules and user defined preferences after installing the updated versions Challenge for Blackboard
    Building Blocks
    • Shownews Building Block
    • Show announcements in a different way
    • Available on: http://www.supportjukebox.nl/bbtlc
    The icing on the cake
  • Configure a Shownews module
  • Create an announcement for the module
  • Module can also be used on the frontpage
    Pictureson the frontpageshouldbe set to public in order to work
  • Thank You
    Arald den Braber
    Avans University of Applied Sciences
    acbjl.denbraber@avans.nl
    @bbbraa
    Bert Leene
    Avans University of Applied Sciences
    awj.leene@avans.nl
    @bertwh
    Graphics by Rick Dijs