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McMaster U Deploys A10 Controller To Manage Blackboard Services

Ontario's McMaster University, with 23,000 students, has deployed an A10 Network AX Series Advanced Traffic Manager appliance to ensure availability of its Blackboard online education learning system. McMaster recently upgraded to Blackboard Academic Suite 8 and Blackboard Vista 8 for e-learning and course and student management.

To ensure the Blackboard platform is highly available and to power the new features, McMaster also required an upgrade of the underlying system architecture, including both physical and virtual servers. The applications are Web-based, so the IT team decided an application delivery controller was also needed, principally to provide application acceleration, perform load balancing, and solve functional issues regarding the online applications.

After researching the options, McMaster narrowed the choice to Citrix NetScaler, F5 Networks BIG-IP, Cisco ACE, and A10 Networks AX Series.

"We researched the leading application delivery controller solutions on the market and were impressed to learn we could deploy A10's AX Series for the most superior performance at the best price," said Herman Poon, systems administrator. "The AX Series is particularly useful as it can load balance the application server clusters within the two Blackboard applications. I recommend A10's AX Series as a key component for online learning infrastructures."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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