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Summary

Module by: Ken Udas. E-mail the author

Summary: Introduction to Dick Moore's contribution to the OSS and OER in Education Series. In this post, he share his experiences during the past 5 years at learndirect, during which time they have strategically adopted a range of open source tools and platforms that have helped transform Service and reduce operational costs. His posting will look at some of those tools, decisions and their service impact.

Summary - Running a Service Not a System

“Running a Service Not a System,” the eleventh installment of the Impact of Open Source Software Series, was posted on July 25th, 2007, by Dick Moore who serves as Director of Technology at Ufi, where he looks after four teams that design, build and maintain learndirect’s IT infrastructure. Thanks Dick for a great posting!

In his posting Dick provided some background on Ufi and learndirect, and then turned his attention to what it takes to “run a service” rather than just running a system. He then described some of his experiences with proprietary and open source tools and some of the rationale behind selecting OSS monitoring tools. Much of Dick’s posting addressed the drivers and rationale for learndirect to in-source much of their IT infrastructure and to use OSS to perform appropriate mission critical functions. Dick sums-up his posting with the following key points:

  • Don’t confuse running a Service and running an application. Monitoring and non-functional requirements such as usability, supportability, maintainability, availability make the difference.
  • Monitoring and its application is critical in running a service
  • Getting a technology strategy that supports the business and recognizes that once started it’s often expensive to change.
  • In-sourcing /out-sourcing right-sourcing will impact what you have control of.
  • Open source tools can be used to run world-class infrastructure.

Comments

The comments spanned a few areas including:

  • the impact of OSS on strategy,
  • organizational drivers that influenced learndirect’s use of OSS,
  • the nature of customization that learndirect requires in its course management system,
  • evaluation criteria used for selecting OSS, and
  • the advantages and challenges associated with adopting OSS.

Thanks again to Dick, for his insightful post and excellent responses to all questions, and other folks who have been reading along. We are taking the month of August off, but will be starting the series again on September 5th.

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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Module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks