CTL Blog

The New Online Library: Improved Durable Storage

January 27, 2022 | 1 Minute Read

The Online Library is receiving an overhaul. If you haven't read the previous entries in this series about why these changes are being made and what's new in this new version, please do so.

Online Library files have long been stored in the SPH data center. This has generally worked well, with one notable exception. Files in an Online Library are stored on a course-by-course basis. Even if a course runs four times a year, the same folder is used for all offerings of a course. This works well — until a file is deleted out of a current offering but students in previous offerings of the class try to access that same file. Because all files for all Online Libraries for all offerings of a class are stored in the same place, and because storage in the SPH data center is not infinite, that file can sometimes get physically deleted. Students in non-current offerings of the class sometimes run into an issue where a file was deleted out of the current version of the class, but is still listed in a CoursePlus site from two or three years ago.

The new version of the Online Library fixes this problem. Files are now stored in Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage Service (S3), which provides near infinite storage capability. Because there is no need to delete Online Library files out of S3, deleting a file in the current offering of a course will not cause it to be removed from previous offerings of the same class. S3 also provides significantly increased security around file access, and replicates data across multiple data centers in a large region of Northern Virginia.

As we discuss all of the new features of the Online Library, please reach out to the CTL Help team if you have any questions!