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Information Technology Services

UNCG hosts Blackboard Learn for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Fayetteville State University.   Hosting for NC A&T began in 2007 and for FSU and NCSA in 2011.  Blackboard Learn is hosted at UNCG for each University, using the same architecture as UNCG with a combination of shared and separate components.  UNCG provides comprehensive enterprise-class hosting services to each university, including:

  • Each hosted university has its own separate installation of the Blackboard application including its own separate installation of the Blackboard application and Oracle database.
  • Each university continues to administer its own Blackboard instance including customization of look and feel to reflect each university’s own identity.  UNCG provides advice and consultation if requested.
  • UNCG performs all installation and maintenance of the Blackboard software and related Blackboard add-on’s.
  • UNCG provides local redundant replication of each campus’s authentication service for Blackboard if requested to provide better performance and increase availability.
  • The Oracle databases are hosted on a pair of enterprise-class servers configured in a high availability cluster with servers (and storage) co-located in separate data centers at UNCG.
  • A shared mid-tier application cluster provides central administration and high availability for management of the Blackboard application with shared file service for edge-tier application servers.
  • Each university has multiple edge-tier application servers (some physical, some virtual) to ensure adequate performance and isolation of the different campus environments.
  • Dual-redundant traffic management appliances are used to load balance routing of clients to best available servers for each university.
  • UNCG plans and performs application upgrades to maintain application security and functionality.
  • For pre-production testing of software updates and configuration changes, Validation environments which replicate the production architecture are used for each university.
  • For those universities which undertake significant Blackboard customization, compact Blackboard Development environments are available.
  • UNCG works with each school to cooperate on support tickets with Blackboard including the ability to open tickets on the school’s behalf if needed.
  • UNCG provides 24x7x365 monitoring and incident response for Blackboard Learn for each university.
  • Consultation services for individual campus infrastructures are occasionally provided if needed for support of Blackboard communications, data export from Banner to Blackboard, etc.
  • For UNCSA, UNCG also includes first level help desk support for students and faculty in the hosting agreement.