[Deploying Sakai] Michigan upgrades to CLE 2.9.0

Anthony Whyte arwhyte at umich.edu
Tue Jan 15 05:09:25 PST 2013

Quick update: The University of Michigan upgraded its "CTools" Sakai CLE installation from 2.7.2 to 2.9.0 on 29 December 2012.  Students and faculty returning last week from the holiday break for the start of the new semester were greeted with a redesigned skin, a variety of new capabilities and, not least (and thus far), a stable and performant user experience. [1]

In the run up to our campus release we experienced elevated database CPU usage during load testing.  This issue was traced back to portal changes and the new caching strategy of retrieving at login a list of all tools associated with a user's site memberships.  A fix for this problem has been merged to the 2.9.x branch and is slated for inclusion in 2.9.1 [2]. 

Note too that during the initial hours immediately following the upgrade a noticeable degradation in CTools 2.9 performance was detected.  The issue was eventually resolved with a reboot of the system but the cause or causes that triggered the system slow down remain under investigation.  During this period it was also observed that borrowed connections (as opposed to new connections) in the Oracle database connection pool were retrieving long textual CLOB data at very slow rates.  An out-dated connection pool or long-established database sessions may explain the slowdown in this case.

A small number of other issues have surfaced since the upgrade for which tickets are being generated in Sakai's JIRA instance. [2]  Also, a major refactoring of site object retrieval, handling and caching is currently under way that should result in improved 2.9.x performance for both the SiteService and the portal. [3]

We encourage all Sakai schools to consider upgrading to Sakai CLE 2.9 and we look forward to news of other successful upgrades from around the Community during 2013.



[1] https://ctools.umich.edu/gateway/;  http://www.ur.umich.edu/update/archives/130109/ctools
[2] https://jira.sakaiproject.org/browse/SAK-22907
[3] For example, https://jira.sakaiproject.org/browse/SAK-23120
[4] https://jira.sakaiproject.org/browse/KNL-1011
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