we are running with similar numbers. Search for my name in the forums, and you'll find plenty of scalability discussions. In summary:
- yes, it will handle it, but you'll need some good people tuning the database and server config. And wait for 1.4.3 or 1.5 which include performance fixes.
- you'll be happier if you can stage it -- getting the 30K student records into moodle you can do in one go, but don't tell 30K student to use moodle on "day 1" -- get 5K for one semester, tune the system and go for 30K in the next semester.
- use a load-balanced cluster.
- you are likely to find minor bottlenecks, don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and enhance performance.
- using Postgres is probably faster than mysql but you'll need good people tuning it... actually, use the DB your sysadmins know better.
Hardware and performance
How many students can the system handle?
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