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Flexible learning for 10,000 Malaysian schools: YTL, Red Hat

AvantiKumar | Sept. 20, 2013
About 5.5 million students, 500,000 teachers, and five million parents now have access to the cloud-based learning environment in 1BestariNet1, say the partners.

Damien Wong, ASEAN General Manager, Red Hat modified 

Photo - Damien Wong, ASEAN General Manager, Red Hat Inc.


Open source solutions provider Red Hat has teamed with Malaysian telco YTL Communications to deliver a scalable cloud platform called 1BestariNet, for e-learning to 10,000 Malaysian schools.

YTL Communications (YTL Comms) chief executive officer Wing K Lee said the open source driven cloud platform would provide a cost-effective and flexible channel for e-learning in Malaysian primary and secondary schools.

Wing said YTL Communications was contracted in December 2011 by the Malaysian Ministry of Education to build a virtual learning environment (VLE) for 10,000 schools within 12 months.

The undertaking included the provisioning of high speed 4G Internet network access in just 12 months, he said "Meeting the aggressive timeline required an unconventional departure from the traditional approach of deploying application servers in schools, to a cloud-based approach where 10,000 VLEs and schools are deployed into the 1BestariNet cloud. This approach would enable all schools to access their individual school's VLE via 1BestariNet or through any Internet connection."

A cloud solution with features that include reliability, support, performance, and scalability were needed, said Wing. "Red Hat was selected as a key partner for the 1BestariNet project due to its ability to provide a cost-efficient platform by leveraging open source software. Red Hat's highly scalable, affordable, open source model was the most effective in running a large-scale cloud deployment project like the 1BestariNet."

With Red Hat's open source solutions, VLEs for 10,000 schools were built and deployed within the first six months of the project, he said. "Today, 5.5 million students, 500,000 teachers, and five million parents have access to the cloud-based VLE in 1BestariNet."

Open source as mainstream technology

Red Hat general manager, Asean, Damien Wong, said: "Our alliance with YTL Communications has been a very fulfilling experience for both parties. Red Hat's ability to deliver enterprise-ready, reliable open source solutions enabled YTL Communications to achieve greater efficiency in services and cost savings on their IT infrastructure for this project."

"We expect more businesses to adopt open source solutions as it is a mainstream technology that not only liberates resources, but at the same time, provides an IT infrastructure that is secure, robust, and agile," said Wong. 

YTL Comm's Wing said the 1BestariNet VLE system currently runs on 60 Dell and Intel Xeon-based servers with 2,400 cores for virtualisation hypervisors to support the distribution of applications to the schools.

Built on a flexible Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization infrastructure, the VLEs can continue to scale and support additional processing or storage capacity as and when needed, he said. "This can be achieved by scaling out horizontally and through adding more physical processing and storage capacity to the virtualisation farms."


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