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Blackboard Help

Optional - Set Up File System Storage

Setting up file system storage on a separate storage device is an optional step for Blackboard Learn. Utilizing an external storage management system improves high availability and management opportunities for your storage architecture.

Network File Share and Common Internet File System

Clients on UNIX platforms should use a network file share (NFS).
Clients on Windows platforms should use a common Internet file system (CIFS).

About File System Storage

All of the content files for Blackboard Learn, such as files uploaded to Courses and image files, are stored by default in the blackboard content directory. If your institution licenses content management, the Content Collection has several content directories, each one dedicated to one of the top-level directories. For example, the library directory stores all the files for the Library.

In a load-balanced configuration, this location must be accessible by all of the application servers. The location can be a share on one of the application servers or on the database server, or it can be a SAN (storage area network) or NAS (network-attached storage) on a separate file server.
These instructions detail how to set up the blackboard content directory on a separate file server. The same methods can be repeated to set up the content management directories on a separate file server. 

Windows: The use of a separate storage device requires additional configuration of the Blackboard services to allow them to run under the permission of a domain user.

How to Set Up a Shared File System

Follow these steps to setup the blackboard content directory on another server.

UNIX

  1. Log in to the file system server and create a directory that will store the content files.
  2. Log in to the application server and create a mount eg: /blackboard/content that is used as the shared content directory or points to the content directory on the file system server. Note: the mount point must be the same on every application server.

Using a symbolic link may cause problems with permissions when using building blocks due to Java restrictions on use of symbolic links.

WINDOWS

Log in to the file server as a domain user (for example, domain\blackboard) with administrative privileges. This is the user that runs the Web/application server. That is, this must be the user that logs in to the application server and owns control of the Blackboard services. In this example, the domain user is "blackboard."

  1. Create a directory to store Blackboard Learn content files. For example, C:\bb_content.
  2. Right-click on the bb_content directory and select Properties.
  3. From the Sharing tab, click Advanced Sharing.
  4. Select Share this folder.
  5. Click Permissions. The Permissions for bb_content window displays.
  6. Set Permissions so that the administrators and the domain user who will be running the Blackboard services, such as "blackboard," have full control. No other users should have access to this directory.
  7. After setting permissions, click the Security tab, and then click Edit.
  8. Set Security so that the administrators and the domain user who will be running the Blackboard services, such as "blackboard," have full control. No other users should have access to this directory.
  9. Click OK.
  10. When prompted by the Installer for the location of the blackboard\content directory, type\\FILESERVER\bb_content.
  11. If you are installing content management, the Installer will prompt for the location of the individual Content Collection directories. When prompted, type the path to \\FILESERVER\bb_content\storage followed by a subdirectory name for each individual content management directory. For example, the \users directory should be stored in \\FILESEVER\bb_content\storage\users. Alternatively, the Content Collection files can be stored on a separate, dedicated, share directory.

 

Next: Complete the Pre-Installation Checklist