Blackboard Inc. has announced plans to open a new data center in Canada this summer, responding to growing interest from Canadian institutions for an in-region facility to host and manage their learning environments. The new data center will be located in Calgary, Alberta, and will be the company's seventh production facility. It joins Blackboard's existing hosting facilities in the United States, the Netherlands and Australia.

Blackboard Managed Hosting currently supports about 8.5 million active users and approximately 950 education, corporate and government clients worldwide. Overall, the number of clients hosted by Blackboard has grown by over 20 percent in the last two years.

As the management of learning environments becomes more complex and the need for more reliable uptime becomes more important, institutions have increasingly leveraged Blackboard's hosting capabilities. In doing so, they're achieving greater uptime and a partner with the technical expertise to manage installations, upgrades, and day-to-day system maintenance, enabling their institutional IT staff to spend more time working to improve overall systems to better support learning programs.

With guaranteed uptime rates of up to 99.9 percent, Blackboard provides a reliable, secure and high performance infrastructure that supports student and institutional success. Blackboard's data centers typically average over 150 million Internet hits a day during peak times, and are staffed around the clock to guard against threats to physical and data security, natural disasters, and network outages of all types, while also providing a highly reliable and secure hosting environment.

"Opening a data center in Canada underscores our commitment to providing the best mix of technology and services to institutions in Canada," said Harry Choi, vice president of Blackboard Managed Hosting. "We've seen that clients who rely on our deep experience and technical expertise spend less time worrying about system management and can devote more of their attention to improving and growing programs, so we're excited to present a stronger set of capabilities to Canadian institutions."