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Blackboard Outage to occur after Spring Grades are due

Just a reminder from our previous email that Blackboard services are planned to be migrated to the Cloud using Amazon Web Services hosted by Blackboard for Summer semester.  This means that instead of using hardware located on campus, it will now be located in the Cloud.  This will be called Blackboard Saas (software as a service). We are looking for this migration to occur somewhere between May 9-15th with us being fully functional in the Cloud/Saas environment on May 15th.  Project updates will be made available at:

We currently have a Blackboard Saas testing site with content that was migrated from our current Blackboard site at the beginning of March.  We are working on the ability for you to be able to login and see all of your classes that were in Blackboard at that point in time.  Updates will follow on how to login to that test environment.

We are letting you know this information in advance so that you can plan your schedule accordingly.  In order to migrate all of the data currently housed on our production system, we will need 6-7 days which will fall between May 9-15.   This is after Spring semester grades are due and before Summer semester starts.  We suggest that you request your Summer course shells prior to May 8th and plan to build them out now, so that you will not be hindered by the Blackboard outage.  If they are built out before May 8th, they will be migrated and in the system for you on May 15th.  Additionally, we advise you to clean up your course content before you perform a course copy to minimize space as we are migrating 3TB of data.  Anything that you can do to make your course smaller will shorten the outage time frame. Please contact Faculty Center at (231) 591-3826 for sessions on shrinking your course files. If you have development or non-integrated courses that you are no longer using , please call TAC to put in a work order to get them deleted. 

We expect this change to be seamless and all Blackboard functionality should be the same in the Saas environment.  This means that the access to Blackboard will still be through MyFSU with the same icons.  All Building blocks will still be available, course copies and integration with Banner should be the same.  As we get closer to our May 15th date, we will have more information.  Please check the website above to keep informed and for up to date information.

Have a great day!


Mary Holmes, Ph.D.
E-Learning Systems Administrator
Ferris State University
(231) 591-2067

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