Kit and colocation


Cooperative Network Infrastructure and/or Brighton Digital Exchange can supply colo rackspace in co-operatively owned/run data centre space in Brighton, Ashton-under-Lyne or Blackpool.

If in Ashton may be able to supply some 4-year-old servers for free.

We would be keen to help with UK hosting.



That’s excellent @Shaun!

This topic is fresh in my mind since the discussions over here at the CoTech forum.

I’d be very interested in exploring this for the beta stage of the project for a BigBlueButton instance, I think we would be looking for a front facing load balancer running scalelite, multiple backend servers running BigBlueButton, see the suggested specs here and a file server for the recordings of meetings and probably a PostgreSQL server for user accounts, could the 4 year old servers fit this bill? I could dedicate a few days in the data centre installing them and wiring them together, would there be a switch or router available for them? Is there an option for a the money for the electricity to go to a green supplier? What bandwidth would be potentially available and what would the costs be roughly (put this in a private message if it isn’t appropriate for a public forum)?


@chris Let me get some answers to your questions. Give me a little while. Shaun


@chris - looks like we may be able to get younger servers.

when you say “multiple” backend, how many? Would the PostgreSQL be another bare metal? And the front end?

bandwidth - how much do you want?

green electricity - yes


Oooh, lots of good questions, which I don’t have all the answers for yet, not sure is probably the best I can do, I think the only bare metal ones need to be the BigBlueButton servers, the rest can probably be virtual.

We will have a better idea in terms of bandwidth in a month or so.

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OK, but:
a) make a stab at how many BBB servers - 3 ?
b) Even if virtual for front end and PostgreSQL, we’ll need at least one server to run those.
c) We could run the routing on the same machine?

So, maybe 4 actual servers? + 1 switch

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I think it depends on how many concurrent users we want to support at any time:

Scalelite is an open source load balancer that manages a pool of BigBlueButton servers. It makes the pool of servers appear as a (very scalable) BigBlueButton. A front-end, such as Moodle or Greenlight, sends standard BigBlueButton API requests to the Scalelite server which, in turn, distributes those request to the least loaded BigBlueButton server in the pool.

A single BigBlueButton server that meets the minimum configuration supports around 200 concurrent users.

For many schools and organizations, the ability to 4 simultaneous classes of 50 users, or 8 simultaneous meetings of 25 users, is enough capacity. However, what if a school wants to support 1,500 users across 50 simultaneous classes? A single BigBlueButton server cannot handle such a load.

With Scalelite, a school can create a pool of 4 BigBlueButton servers and handle 16 simultaneous classes of 50 users. Want to scale higher, add more BigBlueButton servers to the pool.

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So, 3 BBB servers could support 600 concurrent users. That sounds to me like a reasonable ask. The point is that when I say “how many servers can we have?” the answer is “how many servers do you want?”. So I think I will say “3 + 1 would be a great start”. Oh, and a switch.


Sound good @Shaun, sorry for not having a better answer, the problem is that we don’t know how it’ll work out for Open2020, (we hope it’ll go really well of course!), how many concurrent users will we get, how will the load on the (one fast) server will look like etc.

Then we don’t know what the demand will be for other big events over the summer, so far there is a the Radical Routes gathering pencilled in.

We basically have no idea how fast things might take off and what the corresponding demand is going to be…