Challenges. Last week the Cabrini Connections website and eLearning portal (my.cabriniconnections.net) faced a big technical challenge. Therefore, for 3 days the site was not available.
What was it about? Why/how did it happen?
Well… To understand the challenges we faced, it is important to know something about our Web development background and about some new things we have developed at www.cabriniconnections.net.
Background. For many years CabriniConnections.net was hosted by an Australian hosting company. We had a lot of hard drive space, but there was no possibility of hosting more advanced web applications.
Upgrade. Therefore we have started developing and testing new web applications at a new, very powerful Apache server. Furthermore, since our e-learning application moodle, hosted for the time being at my.mentorforme.org, can support 25 concurrent users for every 512 MB of RAM, we had to upgrade our servers to Virtual Private Server business plan hosted by www.host.co.in.
2 sites. So, we had the official web site, cabriniconnections.net hosted on old server and a powerful new server where we were using mentorforme.org domain name. On my.mentorforme.org we had an eLearning portal and on mentorforme.org we had the new version of CabriniConnections.net.
New Cabrini Connections website is a dynamic web site that runs on Joomla Content Management System (CMS). Joomla is the most popular and one of the most powerful CMS. It has numerous features that will enhance our collaborative web development and improve users’ browsing experience. Suspicious? Well check out www.cabriniconnections.net... And send us your comments.
Cabrini Connections eLearning site (SVHATS) was developed and tested at my.mentorforme.org and recently it has been moved to the my.cabriniconnections.net webadress. It runs on the most popular Learning Management System - Moodle. Moodle is used by numerous schools, universities, corporations, lifelong learning centers, governments (especially in European Union). To serve as an illustration: at this moment there are 50078 moodle sites from 206 countries.
Pioneers? According to my research,- there are no other tutor/mentor programs that are currently using/maintaining software like moodle in Chicagoland. So, although moodle is widely used, we seem to be the first tutor/mentor program to be taking advantage of it :).
Google Applications. We also started integrating Google applications Education Edition into our domain; so all our students, volunteers and staff can use very advanced Google tools inside the CabriniConnections.net domain. Just some of the Google tools we can use are: gCalendar, gSites, gDocs, gMail (but in our CabriniConnections.net domain – so we call it cMail), 8GB of webspace per user…
That is our background and those are our results – in brief.
So what happened last week?
We had problems with cMail (gMail in our domain), so I contacted our hosting company for help, and… instead of fixing the problem with our mentorforme.org domain, they deleted mentorforme account – with both web sites; mentorforme.org and CabriniConnections.org.
So it took a few days to restore everything.
Who is to be blamed?
Well, I contacted the hosting company, so I am involved… The web hosting support team made a big mistake – deleting an account instead of just domain name.
However we have chosen the cheapest web hosting solution ($45/month for virtual private server with 512 MB of RAM). So, is that the reason why we did not have appropriate support?
I mean, none of this would have happened if we had an experienced professionals working for our hosting company. However, an experienced professional costs $70/hour and has the skills and expertise to warrant their higher cost. To summarize; these problems could have been avoided if we had money for high quality web hosting.
Can you help us to upgrade our web hosting?