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TOPIC: Xerte scalability

Xerte scalability 1 week 2 days ago #6008

  • A511197
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Morning everyone,

I'm not aware of any issues with the scalability of Xerte, the database footprint is generally small and any training provided can emphasise good practice when it comes to videos etc for keeping the overall size of LOs small. I'm Interested to hear from institutions who have deployed Xerte at scale i.e. available to all staff and students within a FE/HE environment, and would appreciate your answers to the following questions:

Q. What server space do you allocate for Xerte?
Q. How much has the server space gone up since you first deployed Xerte?
Q. How many Xerte users do you have approximately?
Q. What file upload limits do you have in place for Xerte?
Q. Have you restricted who has access to Xerte?

Many thanks in advance,
Alison
If you can use Lego, you can use Xerte

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Xerte scalability 1 week 10 hours ago #6017

  • ronm
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Hi Alison
I see that there haven't been any replies here yet so I'll add some comments. I guess you might have received some direct replies so firstly a point on that is that these forums are meant for community self-support so off-list direct replies don't help or encourage that. We need more community members to be helping each other on these forums especially where the topics and questions don't really need members of the development team to respond.So to anyone reading these forums - if you've ever received help here please consider responding and helping others whenever you can too.

In response to your questions Alison:

I/we look after a number of Xerte installations large and small and some of those are relatively new and others have been in use for many years now. Some are in-house and some are external. However the key impact on growth is usually less about the age or location of the installation, or even the total number of users and is more about the support, training and awareness around that particular installation. I'm certainly aware of organisations who have set up Xerte (because it is free and open source) but haven't backed that up with the right support and guidance and in my experience even installations that have existed for many years and have had a relatively large spec to begin with rarely do they exceed that original spec if left unsupported and under promoted. The flip side of that is where support and guidance has been provided and the right strategies in place for that then growth can be rapid and really demonstrate the power and flexibility that Xerte provides. Any organisations looking at accessibility challenges due to the change in regulations should be considering all the benefits that Xerte provides especially when you consider the scalability side of things.

Q. What server space do you allocate for Xerte?
In my experience this usually starts quite modest e.g. often 10GB - 80GB depending on the organisational requirements and intended usage. Larger organisations sometimes start with 80GB - 200GB.

Q. How much has the server space gone up since you first deployed Xerte?
I/we look after installations that have had the right support and have existed for many years and remain below the initial spec and others where storage has needed to be increased every couple of years. Xerte has relatively low storage requirements as long as large video files are embedded from streaming servers rather than uploaded direct and where the right support is in place for effective practice with media etc.

Q. How many Xerte users do you have approximately?
As you know a huge benefit of having an organisational installation of Xerte is that potentially at least all staff and all learners could use that installation free of any licensing costs.
In my experience organisations who restrict authoring access to staff only usually have less than 500 active authors and often much less than that depending on staff numbers and support etc. Organisations who also allow and encourage student projects etc and again with the right support and strategies in place will often have over 1000 active authors at any one time.

Q. What file upload limits do you have in place for Xerte?
There is often confusion about what upload limits should be and how much technical restriction vs guidance and policy plays a part too. Firstly video should always be embedded from streaming services rather than uploaded directly. Likewise any high resolution/large file size images should be re-sampled before uploading. So in theory a relatively low upload limit could be set. However one of the powerful features of Xerte is the ability to be able to export and import projects between Xerte installations e.g. OER etc and therefore limits should be set to accommodate import of exported projects rather than estimated single asset size. In my experience usually 100MB - 150MB should suffice.

Q. Have you restricted who has access to Xerte?
A common difference between organisations is that some restrict access to staff and others allow and actively promote and support student access too. There are lots of other considerations around this rather than just a binary choice of whether to allow student access or not but that's not something I can discuss here.

HTH
Ron
Xerte developer & trainer
e-learning & m-learning consultant
mitchellmedia.co.uk | xerteacademy.com | learningapps.co.uk
Need direct commercial support? mitchellmedia.co.uk/contact/

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Xerte scalability 1 week 7 hours ago #6018

  • julian_admin
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At Nottingham we have 366GB of space used; 18000 projects exist of 22000 project created. I can't conveniently see how many unique users, but agree with what Ron says, it's quite low, maybe 500 - 1000 altogether. we've been running it since April 2008, growth has been pretty linear, so maybe 30GB a year. What has helped that is people increasingly using streaming services for video rather than uploading those files directly into Xerte, and then embedding them. We do still have issues with people using much larger images than are necessary, which on a fast network you don't really notice, but it doesn't occur to people to optimise media. I think our upload limit is 500MB, but that was set to cope with video, I'd probably set it lower now (again as Ron says, 100mb is probably fine for most audio / other media)

HTH

Julian

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Xerte scalability 1 week 7 hours ago #6019

  • A511197
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Many thanks Ron and Julian for responding to my post and yes I have information from a couple of institutions off-post, so I'll ask them if I can re-post their answers in this thread so it is available to the wider community. As you mentioned in your post Ron, it is important that the Xerte community share this type of information so that when the next person comes along who wants to install Xerte for their organisation or institution, they know the kind of questions to ask and have answers to fundamental questions based on the experience of the community.

Xerte is free but the 'resources' (people) who install, configure and maintain the services come at a cost and that cost has to be justified. At my institution, I've spent the past 2yrs raising awareness of Xerte, running workshops and now I'm starting to see growth with staff using Xerte for course handbooks, programme information, flipped classroom and summative assessment with online students.This growth is partly helped by users knowing that the tool I'm promoting is actively developed, so thank you to the Xerte development team.

Always happy to answer any questions about our Xerte journey.

Alison
Learning Technologist
University of Edinburgh Business School

Xerte v.3.6 (looking to upgrade to 3.8)
If you can use Lego, you can use Xerte

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