Blackboard Performance Tuning and Optimization Guide

I’m hoping a few lurkers to my blog area will chirp up once they see the title to this document. Yes, we are about to undertake a new version of the Blackboard Learn Performance Tuning and Optimization Guide this fall. We have a big benchmark project running from September through November with intentions to publish a new guide in the winter. I’m hoping that this will be our last “big” guide and going forward we could start building more wiki like articles smaller in size and nature.

A dream scenario would be that we as a community put our heads together and co-author a more collaborative document that’s living and breathing. It always feels as though once we put out a PDF, the document is immediately obsolete. Hopefully that won’t be the case with this guide. We will have to see.

We are in the early outlining stages of the document right now. I’m mainly putting together a master list of platform components to focus on. The most glaring holes as I see from the last guide is the incredible lack of information we left out on Blackboard specific information such as Snapshot, Content Exchange and Bb-Tasks to name a few. That’s my bad as I organized the last document and wrote most of the content. The other big hole that I’m seeing right now is Lucene. We have a few implementations of Lucene in the product that never gets the appropriate care and feeding.

My ultimate goal is to get the customer community involved in writing this blog. I did a quick Twitter post a few minutes ago soliciting some early thoughts. I’m hoping to get some feedback from the community about what they want in the guide, versus what would they remove. Now iss everyone’s chance to have their voice heard.

Send me a DM to @seven_seconds if you are interested in participating.


3 thoughts on “Blackboard Performance Tuning and Optimization Guide

  1. Scott Kodai

    One of the most important things I’d like to see is that performance optimizations don’t get overwritten by the next upgrade. I’m about to go through the existing guide and make changes to our new production system and I’m hoping that I don’t have to remake all of those changes when SP7 comes out.

    It would be great to see more information about JVM tuning in the guide, including recommendations for settings for various supported heap sizes and even a somewhat technical explanation of why those settings are recommended. You have a technical audience and I think many would appreciate understanding the “why” of the settings. Some detailed information about garbage collection strategies, for instance, would be good.

    It would also be nice to have some discussion about the performance tweaking that’s different between running on bare metal and running on virtualized hardware (I’m assuming that there are differences!). What works very well on large Solaris boxes might not work as well on VMWare linux boxes.

  2. Nathan

    Very interesting.
    I’d love to see this guide to be a real “how to” document with an outcome of process. Also the good year round plan. I believe many admins, including me, don’t know where to start to optimize system and prevent error until we see the error.


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