This section reviews the configuration steps necessary before installing Blackboard Learn.
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).
Hardware Sizing Information for Windows Dell Environments and Hardware Sizing Information for UNIX Sun Environments detail several different hardware configurations based on performance, cost, and redundancy. Make sure that the planned hardware configuration meets the needs of the institution.
SPARC hardware is required for to install and run Blackboard Learn under Solaris operating systems.
For the exact versions of the operating systems, databases, and Java SE Developers Kit (JDK™) that are supported, see "Supported Technologies" in the Release Notes for the release that you are installing. It is critical that the software used to host Blackboard Learn meets requirements.
The supported version of the JDK can be downloaded at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp.
Make sure that the server or servers are dedicated to Blackboard Learn. Make sure that the server is not using valuable space and resources running unnecessary applications.
Required Libraries in a Red Hat Environment
- apr-1.2.7-11.el5_3.1 (or similar version)
- e2fsprogs-libs-1.39-23.el5 (or similar version)
- gdbm-1.8.0-26.2.1 (or similar version)
- glibc-2.5-42 (or similar version)
- libaio-0.3.106-3.2 (or similar version)
- libgcc-4.1.2-46.el5 (or similar version)
- libstdc++-4.1.2-46.el5 (or similar version)
Create a UNIX User for Blackboard Learn
The Installer requires a user with permissions on the directory where Blackboard Learn will be installed. The UNIX user must be created prior to installation with the following parameters.
- The user name must be bbuser.
- bbuser must have a valid home directory. Blackboard recommends using /home/bbuser for Linux operating systems and /export/home/bbuser for Sun Solaris operating systems.
Synchronize Server Clocks
Check the date and time on the system and make sure it is accurate and that the time zone is set correctly. If installing on two servers check that the time on the application server and database server match. Remember that the servers may be in a different time zone than the users. The server time zone should be the same as the time zone used by the majority of users, instead of the physical location of the server. Blackboard Learn uses the server date and time to control the availability of time-sensitive materials. It is important that users have a clear expectation of when materials will be available and when assignments are due.
Blackboard Learn requires ports to communicate. Following are the required ports and their default values. Make sure to configure server security and any firewalls to allow communication on the required ports. The port values must be the same for each application server.
- Web server port (default value: 80): This port handles communication between users and the server.
- Web server SSL port (default: 443): This port is the primary web application port when SSL is in use.
- SQL Server Listener port (default value: 1443): This port connects to a database in a Windows environment.
- Oracle TNS Listener port (default value: 1521) This port connects to a database in a UNIX environment
- Internal Tomcat communication port (default value: 8009)
- Collaboration server TCP/IP port (default value: 8010): This port handles TCP communication for the Collaboration server. By default, TCP communication connects users to the Collaboration server.
- Collaboration server HTTP port (default value: 8011): This port handles HTTP communication for the Collaboration server.
- Collaboration server SSL port (default: 8443): This port handles secure communication for the Collaboration server.
Any port higher than 1024 must be open between the application servers so that they can communicate through the peer services framework.
Do not use a firewall to redirect ports. The internal port configured on the server must match the external port on the external firewall.
Keep in mind the following when connecting Blackboard Learn to the network:
- Do not use underscores in the machine name for the server or servers. Internet Explorer 6 blocks cookies if the machine name includes an underscore.
- Set up the DNS server to resolve server names.
- Check with a network engineer to make sure that the network can handle the anticipated load after Blackboard Learn is made available to users.
- An SMTP server must be available so that the Installer can connect to it.
- An SMTP server has to remain available when the application is running in order to deliver email notifications.