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on 16 March 2011

Ubuntu Advantage subscription service resolves issues, fast


Solution provider Moodlerooms provides a range of educational tools for universities and schools. With hundreds of thousands of users at any one time, Moodlerooms must ensure that its tools are based on a robust, available infrastructure. The company chose to update its existing Sun-based IT environment with Ubuntu Server Edition and VMware and has never looked back. With additional support from Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage subscription service, Moodlerooms now has a stable, reliable infrastructure and dedicated support that delivers real peace of mind.


Moodlerooms offers a range of technology solutions focused on making online education better. It provides teachers with collaborative tools that engage students in their studies.

The solution provider’s core product, joule(®) helps teachers collect and review work from students in a single location. It also includes tools for surveys, reports, calendars, discussion boards and messaging.

With around 800 customers who need to serve their respective students and faculty administrators, Moodlerooms must ensure that it delivers a stable, reliable service.

David Miller, Director of Technology Operations for Moodlerooms, says: “We can have hundreds of thousands of concurrent users — particularly at peak periods such as at the beginning, middle and end of educational semesters. It’s vital that the service those users receive remains uninterrupted, regardless of how many people are using the system at the same time.”


Moodlerooms replaced its existing Sun-based infrastructure with an IT environment based on Ubuntu Server Edition and VMware virtualisation software. Miller says: “We decided to investigate some alternatives to Sun and found that Ubuntu was very manageable and worked well with the rest of our software stack.”

Now Moodlerooms runs its core activities on around 100 Ubuntu-based virtual servers. It also chose to adopt the Ubuntu Advantage subscription service from Ubuntu services provider Canonical.

Miller says: “We had a critical support issue and Canonical worked very closely with us to get it resolved quickly”


Dedicated support provides a responsive service

Any issues Moodlerooms encounters are now resolved quickly and effectively. Miller says: “I know from working with other Linux distributions like Red Hat that it’s incredibly hard to get good support, fast. We were really surprised by the quick focus on our needs. We had access to top-notch expertise from Canonical who took care of our problems really quickly.

“We are still a growing company. To get the level of attention we received meant a lot to us — and our customers.”

Transparency of services ensures peace of mind

Moodlerooms was particularly impressed with the level of communication adopted by the Canonical support team.

Miller says: “The biggest things were the clarity of communication and the transparency with which everything moved. We were never left in any doubt as to where things stood.”

Reliable infrastructure delivers critical uptime

In an online learning environment, uptime and stability are of paramount importance.

Miller says: “Our key requirements for our technology infrastructure are stability and reliability. Uptime translates directly to colleges and universities — they rely on our technology to deliver high-quality academic courses to their students.

“With Ubuntu, we can be confident that we have an IT environment that is very reliable. We want our customers to focus on joule — not the technology it sits on — so the fact that they have no knowledge of the operating system is testament to its reliability. It’s doing its job.”

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