Guest wireless

A self-serve guest wireless portal will be placed into production by Thanksgiving 2014.  When using the new guest portal, a guest wireless user will be able to self-register for wireless through a web-page.

Eduroam access to wireless will be available by January 2015.  This service allows guest wireless users to authenticate to their native participating institution.

Currently, guest wireless can be obtained by contacting the following resources:

  • Service Request Desk  88925
  • Werner Information Desk  88261
  • Hamersly Library Reference Desk
  • Academic Program Assistant from you department / division

Telecommunications update

All of our incoming phone calls and local outgoing phone calls are now routed through Minet across two diverse fiber paths.

Minet is the Internet Service Provider serving Monmouth and Independence with cutting edge fiber connections. We collaborated with Minet to migrate some of our telecommunications services over the summer. All of our incoming phone calls and local outgoing phone calls are now routed through Minet.

Our local calling area has always extended to Dallas, Independence, and Salem. Any phone calls to numbers within our local calling area are made “without the 1” and without your long distance code. Any phone calls to numbers outside of our local calling area require the 1 and will prompt for your long distance code at the end of dialing.

You may have found some phone numbers in Woodburn, McMinville, Beaverton, etc., that – somehow – connected without the 1. Chalk those up to our old provider being preoccupied with reinventing itself amid a changing technological landscape, or simply their oversight. The routing with Minet is more accurate and will only connect calls to Dallas, Independence, and Salem. Any call made to a number outside of our local calling area will require the 1, then a long distance code, and be connected through our existing long distance provider, AT&T.

Because we share the area code overlay of 503 and 971 with the greater Portland area, you may not know beforehand if the number you’re dialing is local or long distance. We’ve programmed our system to remove the 1 if it’s dialed by accident for local telephone numbers. Conversely, if a 503 or 971 area code long distance number is dialed without the 1, Minet will play a “please dial a 1 when dialing this number” message.

Google licensing

WOU adopted Google Apps shortly after the Oregon University System signed an agreement with Google that was acceptable to the OUS attorney.  The agreement includes FERPA and HIPPA compliance language.  The core-suite included in this agreement includes:

  • Calendar
    • Organize your schedule and share events with friends
  • Classroom
    • Lets teachers create and organize assignments, provide feedback and easily communicate with their classes
  • Contacts
    • Manage your contacts
  • Drive
    • With Google Drive, you can create, share and keep all your stuff in one place. Share files with others, and edit them together in real time.
  • Gmail
    • Get a fresh start with email that has less spam
  • Groups for Business
    • Create mailing lists and discussion groups
  • Mobile
    • Google Sync for Mobile
  • Sites
    • Create, share and publish websites
  • Talk / Hangouts
    • Talk, IM, and share files with your friends for free

The following non-core Google services are also available:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Wallet
  • Google+
  • Location History
  • Picasa Web Albums
  • YouTube

The non-core/additional apps are not governed by the OUS contract with Google, but rather by the consumer/personal Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This means that in using the non-core/additional apps, you are agreeing to the Google’s Terms of Service.

Beyond the core suite of Google Apps, there are many additional apps that you can pair with your Google account. For help with these apps, the best source of support will be existing vendor support articles, although UCS will make best efforts to assist.

Moodle Journey

Late spring term, 2014, Moodle would periodically reach a load level that made it effectively unusable.  During the early part of summer term, the OS load levels would go from a reasonable level of 2 and would spike at 50 or 60.  During these high load events, both CPU utilization and memory utilization would spike, along with disk caching. From a user perspective the system was down.

In the early part of the diagnostics, Munin, a systems monitoring tool, collected detailed systems performance data from both the Moodle server and the MySQL back-end database.  It showed that there was memory paging occuring between RAM and disk.  After identifying the paging issue, the system admin increased memory(from 16G to 64G), CPUs(from 2 to 6) and increased the buffer size of the MySQL server.  This fixed the paging issue, but the same performance symptoms were observed.

Something drastic needed to occur to determine the cause of the underlying performance issue.  Moodle was split into two instances, one running fall, winter and spring, while the second ran summer only.  Performance issues were still observed.  At this point, a focus was placed on large embedded video files and large course backups, both of which caused excessively large load levels.  The large embedded video files were identified as a possible cause, moved out of Moodle and replaced with a link to the videos.  At the same time a memory leak was identified within Flowplayer.  Flowplayer was updated to the version used in Moodle 2.7 and the system admin put a cron job in place that frees unused memory every 3 – 5 minutes.  At this point, CPU, load average, memory and network utilization were greatly reduced.

What is the current status of Moodle?

  • Moodle 2.5, with upgraded Flowplayer has not performed poorly since week 28, 2014
  • Moodle 2.7 in currently being configured for fall term
  • The memory cleanup script will remain in place for Moodle 2.7
  • Load testing will be performed, utilizing and results will be posted here
  • The location of large video files will be dependent upon the results of load testing
  • Test performance utilizing SSD system drives

August 8, 2014 Update

  • Moodle 2.7, the lastest version, is available for Fall term course development. It is located at — its final name will be
  • All Moodle data on 2.7 have been moved to SSD drives (solid state disk)
  • A performance test was run, utilizing spinning disk followed by SSD drives.  The graph can be seen here:  (the large double spikes represent a 580 user load test utilizing spinning drives. The small bump in the afternoon is a 5,125 user load test utilizing solid state drives.)  What this means to you is, the system can handle 10 times the users at 1/20 the processing time.
  • A second Moodle web server was added, doubling the capacity.  Testing will commence shortly.
  • and are meant for archival purposes only.  New courses must be developed on  For help exporting from old versions of Moodle into the 2.7 version of Moodle, call Elayne Kuletz.

August 28, 2014

Today, there are 4 web servers residing behind the load balancer.  The load balancer hands out initial web-requests utilizing a round-robin algorithm.  This means that if there are a total of 100 active users utilizing Moodle, each web-server will be handling 25 users.  To access the load-balanced Moodle, go to  Each web-server can handle about 410 users and still maintain a good user experience.  This will give us a capacity of 1,240 concurrent users with a good user experience.  This past academic year, 250 concurrent users were the maximum number of users that were observed.  All load testing was performed while playing large videos.  As our load grows, additional web servers can be easily cloned from the existing web servers and placed behind the load balancer.  By the end of next week, we will have a consultant available to provide systems administration support.

The load-balanced schematic can be found here.

Final hardware configuration:

    • NetApp EF550 solid state storage array
    • Cisco UCS server platform
    • Cisco ACE 4710 load balancers
    • 10Gb network infrastructure at the core
    • Four load balanced web servers running on RedHat
    • One database server running on RedHat
    • Moodle version 2.7.1

Best / Worst Analysis

  • What is the best outcome that can occur, continuing with Moodle?
  • What is the worst outcome that can occur, continuing with Moodle?
  • What is the best outcome than can occur, by not continuing with Moodle?
  • What is the worst outcome that can occur, by not continuing with Moodle?

Purchasing / Inventory

Tricia, Joanie and Sarah (a student employee), make up the inventory and purchasing team.

All IT purchasing, as defined in the WOU Purchasing policy, is purchased centrally.  Please submit your purchase request/price request, for either software or hardware, through the purchase request system.

Tricia is the entry point for all purchases.  She would be glad to answer your questions or help you configure your next purchase.  She is available by e-mail at

When there is contract language associated with the purchase, I will work with Darin Silbernagel, Director of Business Services, to modify/confirm an appropriate contract.

Joanie sends the order out for bid.  Three bids are required for all orders over $5,000.  For those vendors that we have not used in the past, a Substitute W-9 form must be filled out.  Lucinda in the Business Office, then enters the new vendor into Banner.  Joanie creates a Purchase Order in Banner.  She will use the funding source you specified in the Purchase Request system.

Sarah un-boxes all the equipment when it arrives, creates and affixes inventory labels and updates the inventory system.

Tricia assigns delivery or installation of software to a technician, using the Service Request system.