Obviously, full return on moodle system is achieved when access to it is possible not only from the local network of the educational institution, but also from the global Internet. So sooner or later there is a question of how to post moodle site online. There are two possibilities:
- use your own web server of the school or
- place the Moodle site on a third-party web server that provides hosting services.
Let us consider them in more detail.
The use of your own server requires expensive equipment, special premises where it is installed, the salary costs of specialists who serve it, etc. In addition, the capacity of server equipment should be chosen based on the peak load. All this causes a high cost of such a decision with mostly low quality and reliability. In addition, the vast majority of the time (in the absence of peak load) equipment will be loaded only partially, so it will not be fully used.
If you really set a goal not on whom not to depend and do everything yourself, you can not only buy your own web server, but also, for example, install your own diesel power plant, provide communication needs with the help of your own autonomous radio stations, etc. However, as practice shows, many better services and on much more favorable terms can still be obtained from general power grids, mobile operators and providers providing hosting services. Of course, there are areas where you need to have an autonomous diesel power plant and your own web server, but the field of education does not belong to them.
Therefore, the main trends of the modern economy are the rational distribution of labor, in particular outsourcing - the transfer of part of its tasks or processes to third-party performers on subcontracting terms.
For example, the site of the whole university can start its work with a tariff plan costing less than $ 3 per month. For these ridiculous money you can get much more reliable and better service and round-the-clock technical support of professionals. Over time, when the server load increases, you can switch to a different data plan, including cloud hosting. Then your system will be scaled automatically, meaning its power will increase while increasing the load on it. But you will pay only for real consumed resources, just as electricity is paid for meter readings. More information about the benefits of external hosting, particularly cloud hosting, can be found here.
Opponents of this approach have an "iron" argument: "We cannot entrust storage of our methodical developments to other people's servers." However, the question arises whether the information is really protected better on its server than on someone else's, whether it is on the server that secrecy depends, whether it is possible in principle to keep secret what such a large number of students have access to, and even whether it is advisable to make a secret from it at all, because, as experience shows, competition is won by universities that do not secret their developments, but on the contrary, popularize them.
Summing up this consideration, we can conclude that it is advisable to use your own web server only if you already have it, and its reliability, quality and work of the personnel who serve it suits you. In other cases, it is advisable to use the services of external hosting. An overview of Ukrainian host providers can be found here.
When choosing an external hosting, make sure that it meets the following requirements:
- The NRC and mySQL versions installed on the provider's server meet the requirements of your Moodle version.
- The NRC has all the required and (preferably) recommended extensions (see screenshot below).
- A minimum of 128 MB of RAM is provided on the Moodle script server (memory_limit).
- The database supports the Barracuda format.