One of our clients, a private education group, recently opened several schools where the primary mode of teaching is done online. This online teaching still happens on the school premises, using the institution’s equipment, where learners are monitored by class facilitators. There are around 200 learners per school, which are low cost and aimed at poorer communities in SA’s major centres, where internet infrastructure is lacking. There is a single cloud presence for all learning material and students are captured on the LMS by school, grade and class – in other words, there is a central place from which all schools and learners are managed.
As school starts each day, every location has around 200 requests for the central server to send data-heavy video lessons (one per student). While this is not an issue for the server, the data lines become overloaded, lessons start to freeze and the system ultimately collapses.
Caching servers are set up at each school to cache the data heavy video lessons. When a student requests a lesson from the central server, this request is intercepted, and the video is then delivered from the local server. All student activity is still recorded on the central server. All video lessons are automatically recognised by the system and updated on the caching servers. The students always have access to the latest lesson, without overloading the network.