Copyright©2012 Jon Steele
As the ChemSpider content and data mappings have continued to expand, the demands on our web services have increased dramatically. With the popularity of the site continuing to increase we anticipate even heavier usage of our web services. This is true for our involvement with the Open PHACTS project as well as from a number of software packages served up by analytical instrument vendors, especially in the mass spectrometry domain. Because of the increasing load on our systems, we have taken steps to prevent us from outgrowing our existing infrastructure and have implemented a new scalable, future-proof web services offering that your applications can rely upon.
Continual availability and business continuity for subscribers and academics
We have reinvented our web service infrastructure using Microsoft SQL Server replication technology in order to maintain multiple copies of the ChemSpider database. As a result all system resources are dedicated purely to web services with no background tasks running to affect the performance. Also, the databases are read-only which results in database lock contention being completely eliminated.
A standalone and scalable web service establishment for faster response times
The ChemSpider servers run on the VMWare virtualization platform which allows us to scale out the hardware by assigning more resources as required. In the future we can easily provide a consistently high-performance service even as usage further increases.
Over 1/4 million calls in the first 18 hours
Although ChemSpider web services are fast becoming a priority for us, we are still dedicated to ensuring the website experience is optimal. The changes we have implemented will reduce traffic to the website so you should already have noticed improvements in website performance and reliability.
Some examples of implementations of ChemSpider web service usage can be found here.
Access to the ChemSpider API is free to academic users; for commercial use please contact us at chemspider-at-rsc.org.