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e-Learning solutions for 2007

Kevin Roebuck
Director, Digital Experience

This coming year I will be featuring "Solution" virtual bundles for e-Learning and collaboration applications that have been extensively supported and tested on Sun. In addition to the systems element, storage infrastructures and webservice integration in areas like portals and messaging. These packages, relationships and philosophies serve as the central campaign elements in our stated cause of eliminating the digital divide. Here goes . . .

Solution #1 one is centered on a complete learning management system with Blackboard. We recently completed a scaling study for Academic Suite on Solaris 10 and T2000 which went very well. Our goal now for BB world 07 is to set a goal to support 1 million users in the DB and 100,000 simultaneous users. We're configuring up Oracle RAC, T2000s, some X4200s to run RHL and set a storage stack behind it all. The longer term is goal is to contribute in any way we can towards Project Arch and the next-generation learning system from BB which fuses Vista, CE and Academic Suite. We're really doing well on our overall relationship and see a very good year ahead together. (email: blackboard@sun.com)

Solution # 2 is an open source platform for a generalized learning or collab environment using Sakai. We have a free trial and ASP service with Unicon where folks can get started at about $200 called Academus Open Campus. We'll be working on some standard configurations for small, medium and large deployments on Solaris 10. In a few weeks we all head to Atlanta to discuss such things at the Sakai Conference. Check this solution out now though to learn more or give it a try. (email Sakai@sun.com)

Solution #3 is an open source learning environment called Moodle. My friend and past colleague at Sun is now CTO of Moodlerooms. We are getting equipment and a go-to-market plan in place now to create an enterprise-ready version of Moodle which runs best on Sun. No link yet, but watch the space around February at the WW ERC in San Francisco. (email: Moodle@sun.com)

Solution # 4 is for Synchronous Collaboration The stack features the Elluminate Live! virtual classroom technology which is just awesome for pretty much any group of people that want to come together over the web and collaborate. We call it the Classroom of the Future. We're running on both AMD and Coolthreads so folks have a deployment choice. Check that one out too here.  (email: Elluminate@sun.com)

Solution #5 is for Asynchronous Collaboration. We are currently in testing with Xythos for their Digital Locker platform which is a secure content sharing platform. With over 1 million users in academia, it's a great way to seamlessly share stuff. We've got bundles already sized and testing underway to push Xythos to 500,000 simultaneous users on 3 F12K class systems in MDE labs. Plus, as the content engine underneath Blackboard's content system, we can help both products at the same time. (email: Xythos@sun.com)

Solution #6 is for Federated Learning Object Repositories with Harvestroad. With so many schools realizing the importance of their content, digital repositories allow for the creation of safe harbors for digital materials outside of the application silo's that they may have been created in. We have certified Coolthreads and Opteron-based configurations. It's a very nice platform and supports all e-learning standard formats for content packaging and even handles DRM. (email: Harvestroad@sun.com)

Solution #7 is for Streaming Video. VX30 has an awesome patent-approved all Java "playerless" system for video delivery to any browser on any server. Built with Netbeans, VX30 has both an archive and live broadcast platform called B-Cast. Testing is done on X4200 and we're placing it on Thumper systems to handle all that podcast content for the kids (and faculty).  It was voted the #1 streaming media solution by an independent university study over Real, Quicktime, Flash or Windows Media. Cool. (email: vx30@sun.com)

Solution #8 is set for an Authoring platform. I'd hoped to do Pachyderm with OpenOffice. The goal is an all Sunray thin client way to create both office productivity but also some interactive content creation. Maybe it's worth asking Adobe too if they have tested their content creation and delivery packages on our AMD workstations so we can put powerful digital tools in the set as well.

All of this is coming in a refreshed Sun.com e-learning page soon.


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Comments ( 1 )
  • Pat Bevilacqua Thursday, February 1, 2007
    Hi Kevin! Thanks for your recommendation of a Sun/Bb solution for e-Learning. I noticed you have links enabled for the other recommendations; is there a link you can post for the Bb solution? I have some great Sun/Bb clients I keep informed including Wayne State, Baker, etc. and I am glad to hear we are working together to ensure the optimal configurations are supported.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
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