[Deploying Sakai] Deployment sizing question

Anthony Whyte arwhyte at umich.edu
Wed May 13 09:49:22 PDT 2009

Todd--I recommend that you have a word with John Leasia at the  
University of Michigan regarding deployment sizing given that in  
rough terms, UF's user community is similar to that of Michigan.

However, I should point out that UMich's deployment strategy (as well  
as all others at present) involves supporting Sakai 2.x and that at  
present no production sizing data exists for the experimental work  
that comprises what some are calling "Sakai 3".  I encourage you to  
check out the Sakai K2/Sling site at


to learn more about the initiative.


Anthony Whyte

Sakai CTOOLs 2.x infrastructure:

Application server(s): 8 X Dell PowerEdge 2650, dual 2.4-3.2 GHz CPU  
32 bit, 4 GB RAM
Total app servers: 8 (minimum 2 held in reserve)
Db server(s): 2 X SunFire T2000, 16 GB RAM, standby mode (replication  
File storage: 	File Storage: 1 TB file storage on AFS; database  
Storage: 2 X NetApp FAS3020 filers, NFS. Bandwith allocation 1 Gbps;  
tape backups, off-site storage. Standby database server and  
corresponding NetApp filer at secondary data center location.
Cluster/load balancing: 2 X NetScaler RS9800 Secure Application  
Switch, High availability, 10/100/1000 Mbps copper, 1 GB RAM; Radmind  
server/software provisioning, see http://www.radmind.org.

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> From: Todd Williams <tcwill at ufl.edu>
> Date: 13 May 2009 3:03:30 PM BDT
> To: production at collab.sakaiproject.org
> Subject: [Deploying Sakai] Deployment sizing question
> Reply-To: tcwill at ufl.edu
> Hey folks,
> I'm a sys admin with the University of Florida and we're in the early
> stages of planning the replacement of our Webct Vista system with  
> Sakai
> over the coming year.  I've been tasked with collecting deployment
> information from other institutions that have implemented Sakai as  
> their
> primary/sole LMS.
> Specifically I'm interested in information that will help me develop
> initial sizing recommendations in terms of hardware/software platform
> for an institution of our size.  Just as a starting point UF  
> frequently
> has 1500 concurrent LMS user logins throughout the day.  We have  
> ~45000
> traditional students in addition to a fairly large number of
> non-traditional distance education students.
> Coming from our current WebCT installation our preferred deployment
> environment will be Linux and Oracle.  Via other projects my group  
> has a
> solid understanding of Apache/Tomcat as well.  So the underlying  
> pieces
> are familiar, but what isn't obvious is the sizing for our Sakai
> deployment.  For WebCT we've been running with 6 application nodes  
> and a
> single, beefy Oracle 9i server.  After looking at the list of
> deployments that the Sakai Foundation recommended(1), I see a  
> number of
> institutions of similar size using infrastructure similar to what we
> want to do- this is encouraging.  However, I still have a handful of
> questions, so here goes:
> What methods and metrics are people using to asses how many  
> application
> servers will be necessary?
> What network load balancers are being used to distribute load across
> their application clusters?
> What methods are being used for node affinity within the load  
> balancer?
>   ie. stickytimes, cbr/cookie persistence, something else?
> Has anyone implemented Oracle RAC in support of their Sakai system?
> Has Oracle 11g been successfully implemented as the backend for Sakai?
> For what it's worth, given our desired implementation timeline it  
> looks
> like our pilot rollout and eventual full production rollout will be  
> with
> Sakai 3 (assuming the predicted release dates for RC and final Sakai 3
> hold up).  I only mention that for consideration in case the move the
> version 3 will affect any of the underlying components in the support
> matrix.
> Thanks in advance for any information you can provide that will  
> help in
> my endeavor.  I'm excited about moving to Sakai, and I look forward to
> working with the community.
> Cheers!
> -- 
> Todd Williams
> tcwill at ufl.edu
> CNS Open Systems
> University of Florida
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