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Introduction to Dick Moore's contribution to the OSS and OER in Education Series. In this post, he share his experiences during the past 5 years at learndirect, during which time they have strategically adopted a range of open source tools and platforms that have helped transform Service and reduce operational costs. His posting will look at some of those tools, decisions and their service impact.

Summary - running a service not a system

“Running a Service Not a System,”the eleventh installment of the Impact of Open Source Software Series, was posted on July 25th, 2007, by Dick Moore who serves as Director of Technology at Ufi, where he looks after four teams that design, build and maintain learndirect’s IT infrastructure. Thanks Dick for a great posting!

In his posting Dick provided some background on Ufi and learndirect, and then turned his attention to what it takes to“run a service”rather than just running a system. He then described some of his experiences with proprietary and open source tools and some of the rationale behind selecting OSS monitoring tools. Much of Dick’s posting addressed the drivers and rationale for learndirect to in-source much of their IT infrastructure and to use OSS to perform appropriate mission critical functions. Dick sums-up his posting with the following key points:

  • Don’t confuse running a Service and running an application. Monitoring and non-functional requirements such as usability, supportability, maintainability, availability make the difference.
  • Monitoring and its application is critical in running a service
  • Getting a technology strategy that supports the business and recognizes that once started it’s often expensive to change.
  • In-sourcing /out-sourcing right-sourcing will impact what you have control of.
  • Open source tools can be used to run world-class infrastructure.


The comments spanned a few areas including:

  • the impact of OSS on strategy,
  • organizational drivers that influenced learndirect’s use of OSS,
  • the nature of customization that learndirect requires in its course management system,
  • evaluation criteria used for selecting OSS, and
  • the advantages and challenges associated with adopting OSS.

Thanks again to Dick, for his insightful post and excellent responses to all questions, and other folks who have been reading along. We are taking the month of August off, but will be starting the series again on September 5th.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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