IMPORTANT NOTE : From version 2.8 and upper, the core implementation of VMoodle block is now handled by the local VMoodle plugin, in order to lower the core footprint of the installation. This documentation is subject to revision.
See VMoodle local plugin for actualized documentation.
VMoodle is a non standard infrastructure embedded within a Moodle block. It provides a technical toolset to deploy and manage a set of virtualized Moodles from a single codebase. All virtualized moodles will run their own instance independently from each other, or according themselves in building a Moodle Network cooperation strategy.
This work is the result of a couple of years of development with the participation of Intel Corp.
One of the key effect of using VMoodling virtualisation is that maintenance of multiple Moodle running with similar equipment gets much easier and saves a lot of time.
Moodle virtualisation process is achieved using a dynamic configuration definition, stored in a Moodle instance called "master instance". Virtualising such configuration allows dynamic switching of database and moodledata context when entering a Moodle page.
As was mentioned above, all the Moodle clones are completely independent and WILL NOT share any data. Using many instances with an adequate MNet strategy allows for the making of strong and powerful distributed Moodle configurations, aimed at large organizations.
Note that Moodle do not support PostGres schemas at install time.
The VMoodle plugin set provides a complete and complex virtualisation process for Moodles and a set of network level administration capabilities. For the block running properly, compared to the original version in Moodle 1.9, Moodle 2 version of Moodle will need less core changes to operate in full feature range.
The VMoodle plugin set uses two components :
- the VMoodle block (this block) : Is used to provide access to the VMoodle management.
- the VMoodle Local component : provides all the backoffice and implementation for VMoodling.
Special MNET reinforcement
VMoodle based networks in a virtualisation configuration are intended to build coherent distributed platforms within an institutional environment. Urbanisation of such systems will often take some benefit of using extensively XMLRPC interactions between nodes for enhancing the distributed consistence. Standard Moodle codebase ensures MNet keys are renewed when a user jumps from a node to a remote node, but key ARE NOT renewed automatically when coming to obsolescence. The effect is that after a key has gone away, all services based on XMLRPC will be broken until key exchange has not been restored again. The VMoodle block provides an "automatic MNet key rotation" enhancement that fixes this situation. . This point is not resolved in Moodle 2.0 architecture and still needs a patch in the MNet core library.
VMoodle distribution is provided with adequate patches for this requirement.
IMPORTANT NOTE : On MySQL, VMoodle provides Moodle instance capturing for making deployment templates. This assumes the master Moodle controlling deployments needs having a MySQL user that has DATABASE CREATE permission.
Block Installation (quick install)
First install the local VMoodle component
VMoodle block will install just as a usual Moodle block.
- Unzip the block code in the "blocks" folder of your Moodle install.
- Trigger the administration/notification menu.
VMoodle Virtualization block Modules and Plugins database entry.