The New South Wales Department of Education
and Training (DET) has revealed its extensive Web-based service delivery
portal for students and staff is up and running at more than half
of its 2,500 sites state-wide.
The Oracle-based portal first conceived five years ago is used to deliver intranet
services, as well as legacy and new corporate applications, through a Web browser to the department's 1.3 million public school and TAFE
students, as well as its 130,000 staff, and is seen as a key
platform for future applications.
"We've got over 1,400 sites up and running and delivering the
services," the department's application architect Phillip Sherwin
told a conference run by Oracle and local Oracle consulting firm Red
Rock last week.
Sherwin said the portal currently averaged 200 logons per
minute for a school day, with a total of between 90,000 to
110,000 people using the portal each day. That number was
steadily growing as the solution reached more sites, he said.
These levels of activity are made possible by DET's use of
F5's BIG-IP load balancing and Firepass SSL VPN hardware
DET's portal is currently being run from one data centre site,
but the department is currently implementing a completely
redundant design in a second site.
"We haven't finished
implementing the twin site, but we're nearly there ... probably
60 percent," said Sherwin.
Although DET has done a substantial amount of work to get the
portal to this point since its conception back in 2001/2002,
Sherwin said due to the asset's nature as a service delivery
model, there was no real end in sight to the project.
"There's no real finish," Sherwin told the conference. "With
something like this, every single project that comes from the
business, we tend to look at it and say, yes it's just another
service [to be run through the portal]."
"Just an example that we're implementing at the moment is the
new schools reporting system, that's another system that actually
is accessible via the portal. So we do really use it as our
service delivery model."