3.5 years ago by
We apologise for recent usage difficulties with the public server. A few things were going on over the last weeks and we can offer feedback about what the root causes were, along with available solutions.
First, our compute provider had some issues recently (during the time-frame you mention). Beyond our control, but these things happen, are not planned, and are something we recognize as an inconvenience - even though the duration of any specific issue is nearly always very brief. If you run into an issue, sometimes just giving it 10 minutes or so is enough of a wait. Our up-time is very strong - and the available compute, breadth of tools, and the size of free public account disk space for users is among the best, if not *the* best, for free public bioinformatics web-based resources. Not only Galaxy public servers, but really any bioinfo analysis platform. Those with GUI interfaces or not.
Second and last, Galaxy just went through another significant release cycle. I am sure the changes have been noticed by all. The updates and additions were comprehensive. These will continue. We beta-test, but with that much change in play, small issues are going to come up once all is integrated and in use by the thousands of users working at any particular time. We address issues in real-time and communicate transparently about it - here in Galaxy Biostars (in prior posts), in the Galaxy Trello development board, and through Github (where the code base is developed, open source and open access). And as a side note, I can let you know that there is constant process and performance tuning done by the core team in collaboration with community contributors. Learn more about Galaxy resources here.
If usage is bothersome or work is time sensitive, it could be that an option like a Galaxy Cloudman is a better fit. AWS offers grants to help cover costs and cloud instances are straightforward to set up and use - even for non-technical users. A local Galaxy is also an option that can be started up quickly (maybe 30 minutes the first time through, then closer to 10 once the process becomes more familiar). Local Galaxy servers are great for many use cases. Review a more completele dsscription of 'Use Galaxy' choices in the http://galaxyproject.org wiki.
We certainly take responsibility for performance of the http://usegalaxy.org public resource, so please know that we do not wish for this message to be interpretted as an excuse to minimize the real impact server issues can have on our community. Any issue that impacts usability is taken seriously and addressed with priority. Whenever any end-user has a question, we welcome posts here at Galaxy Biostars and the opportunity to provide feedback/status. Responses over weekends/holidays may be delayed as compared to weekdays, but that is true on nearly any Q&A forum, for the usual reasons (people are online less and/or not working during those times). That said, the Galaxy Main public server is monitored 24/7. Many member of our team reviewed this post much earlier today and I am sending this reply at 1am on a Sunday night over a US Holiday weekend :) We care about minimizing issues, maintaining open communication channels, and offering the best user experience possible.
I hope that this post helps to explain what has been going on and the available alternatives for using Galaxy, so that everyone can find the best option for their needs.
Cheers! Jen, Galaxy team