As many of you will know, Ensembl now provides three website mirrors, in addition to the main site (http://www.ensembl.org/) located near Cambridge in the UK. These are:
Until the beginning of March we were only automatically redirecting users in the US, Canada and Japan to US West; the other mirrors were only reachable by explicitly visiting the appropriate mirror URL.
By “automatically redirecting” we mean looking at the IP address of each visitor, figuring out roughly where they were located, and sending them to the nearest mirror, a process referred to as Geo-IP-based redirection.
Since the beginning of March, we’ve been increasing the amount of redirection we do. Now, users in the eastern US are redirected to http://useast.ensembl.org/ and users in Australasia are redirected to http://asia.ensembl.org/. You may see a message to this effect the first time the redirect happens. You can of course override the redirection if you want to.
Users in the western US and Japan continue to be redirected to US West; we will be doing some tests over the next few weeks to see if Japanese users will get better performance from the US West or Asia mirrors.
For those interested, we’re using the free version of MaxMind’s GeoLite City which gives us the level of granularity we need, and has proven to be very reliable.
As always, please let us know your experiences of using the mirrors via the Helpdesk.
We are pleased to announce the public availability of an Ensembl mirror in Asia. It can be found at http://asia.ensembl.org/
. This provides a fully functional Ensembl website, but there are some things to note which I’ve listed below.
We don’t automatically redirect users to the new mirror, although we have plans for this in future. So for now you’ll need to explicitly visit http://asia.ensembl.org/
to access it.
If you use the login functionality, your existing login will work on http://asia.ensembl.org/
, and configuration changes will be shared between sites.
We don’t yet offer the Biomart or BLAST/BLAT services on the new mirror; these will come in the near future. We currently have no plans to offer an Aisa-based MySQL mirror, so you should continue use ensembldb.ensembl.org for MySQL queries.
We’re very keen to hear your experiences with this new mirror; please use the Helpdesk
in the first instance, or contact me directly.
We are pleased to announce the public availability of a second Ensembl mirror in the USA. This can be found at http://useast.ensembl.org/ . This provides a fully functional Ensembl website, but there are some things to note which I’ve listed below.
We don’t automatically redirect users to the new mirror, although we have plans for this in future. So for now you’ll need to explicitly visit http://useast.ensembl.org/ to access it.
If you use the login functionality, your existing login will work on http://useast.ensembl.org/ , although configuration changes will not be reflected between sites. We plan to support shared logins very soon.
We don’t yet offer the Biomart or BLAST/BLAT services on the new mirror; these will come in the near future. We currently have no plans to offer a US-based MySQL mirror, so you should continue use ensembldb.ensembl.org for MySQL queries.
We’re very keen to hear your experiences with this new mirror, particularly from our US users, please use the Helpdesk in the first instance, or contact me directly. We also have advanced plans for mirrors in other parts of the world, so stay tuned!
In the near future, we will be changing the way that the ensembl–dev and ensembl-announce mailing lists are managed.
The move to new hardware and list management software will increase responsiveness on the lists (ensembl–dev in particular has suffered from slow deliveries for some time), and in time will also allow us to provide a searchable archive of past posts.
The list addresses will change with the move:
- email@example.com becomes firstname.lastname@example.org
- email@example.com becomes firstname.lastname@example.org
The new addresses are active now.
All subscribers to the old lists have been moved to the new lists. Posts to the old list addresses will be automatically forwarded for a short time, but please update your email address books and any spam filters to reflect the new address list.
Information about the new lists, including details on how to subscribe and unsubscribe, can be found at http://lists.ensembl.org/.
As before, email@example.com is an open list which any subscriber can post to. Posting to firstname.lastname@example.org is restricted to Ensembl people.
All Ensembl sites are up and running – the outage referred to in the previous post only lasted for about 20 minutes.
As Anne mentioned, at approximately 03:00 UK time on 2 July, the Sanger Institute Data Centre suffered a power failure. The effects of this have taken taken the main Ensembl web site and other resources off line. We are working to get the services restored.
In the mean time, we have two US mirror sites available:
http://useast.ensembl.org is recently launched and provides genome browsing and search facility.
http://uswest.ensembl.org provides genome browsing, but search relies on the main site in the UK.
Please note that BLAST services require the main site at Hinxton and will not be available until the systems have been restored.
Thank you for your patience and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
We’re happy to announce that Ensembl is one of the launch partners for Amazon’s “Public Data Sets” initiative, so the MySQL data and index files for the current release of Ensembl can be accessed from within Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. From the Amazon website:
AWS Hosted Public Data Sets provide a convenient way to share, access, and use public domain or non-proprietary data within your Amazon EC2 environment. Select public data sets are hosted on AWS for free as an Amazon EBS snapshot. Any Amazon EC2 customer can access this data by creating their own personal Amazon EBS volume from a publicly shared Amazon EBS public data set snapshot. They can then access, modify, and perform computation on these data sets directly using an Amazon EC2 instance and just pay for the compute and storage resources that they use.
Details of how to access the data can be found at http://aws.amazon.com/publicdatasets .
We have plans to make much more use of AWS in the future, stay tuned!
We’re pleased to announce that Ensembl now has a mirror at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen (BGI-SZ). The mirror can be found at http://ensembl.genomics.org.cn/
Most of the functionality of the main Ensembl site is mirrored, however we’re still working with our colleagues at the BGI to provide the rest, for example BioMart.
Due to a combination of the volume of data comprising a single Ensembl release (the MySQL data and index files for release 48 take up apround 600Gb, and that’s without counting all f the flat-file dumps) and the very slow Internet connection between the UK and China, the we’re using a “sneakernet” solution – i.e. dumping the data onto a hard drive and shipping it to China. This has proved to be an interesting challenge but it’s working out pretty well so far.
We hope that this mirror will make life easier for our users in and around China. We’re actively trying to set up mirrors elsewhere around the world to reduce network delays and improve peoples’ Ensembl experience; we’ll post here as soon as any new mirrors come online.
I would like to thank our colleagues at the BGI-SZ, particularly Lin Fang, for setting this mirror up.