Washington, DC-based Blackboard  has announced the official opening of a new data centre in Calgary to support growing interest from Canadian institutions for an in-region facility to host and manage their learning environments. The centre, which began production earlier this year, already hosts systems for several Canadian higher education institutions including Dalhousie University, the University of Ottawa and George Brown College.
The new data centre is Blackboard’s seventh worldwide. Blackboard Managed HostingSM currently supports about 8.5 million active Blackboard Learn™ users and nearly 1,000 education, corporate and government clients worldwide. Overall, the number of clients using Blackboard’s hosting services has grown by more than 20 percent in the last two years.
Blackboard’s hosting services help ensure high system speeds and uptime and offer greater overall system security. Hosted clients also generally achieve quicker and more successful upgrades and report higher satisfaction rates than institutions that host Blackboard systems locally.
“Our decision to adopt a hosted solution offers an opportunity to strengthen and improve our overall approach to learning technology for our students,” said Phil O’Hara, assistant director of academic computing services for Dalhousie University. “Blackboard has surpassed our requirements to safeguard the privacy of our students and faculty, while leaving our IT team in control of populating courses. This direction is more scalable and affordable than what is possible with on-campus resources and has generally improved the online resources we are able to offer. It was a win-win decision.”
With guaranteed uptime rates of up to 99.9 percent, Blackboard provides a reliable, secure and high performance infrastructure that supports student and institutional success. Blackboard’s data centres typically average over 150 million Internet hits a day during peak times, and are staffed around the clock to guard against threats to physical and data security, natural disasters, and network outages of all types, while also providing a highly reliable and secure hosting environment. Blackboard’s hosting technicians are experts both in infrastructure management and learning management systems which leads to enhanced system processing and increased network security.
“We are excited to open a new data centre in Canada to provide a stronger set of capabilities to our local clients,” said Harry Choi, vice president of Blackboard Managed Hosting. “With our focus on the safety and manageability of system information and performance, our hosted clients can worry less about day-to-day system management and spend more time improving and growing their online programs.”