Wednesday, January 13, 2010

eBird switches to a new database server


For the past several months we've been preparing to migrate the massive eBird database and all the front-end functionality over to a newer, more powerful server. Thanks to the work of all our IS staff, that migration was completed yesterday, and all went smoothly. eBird users woke up on Tuesday morning with lightning-fast response times on most of the eBird output tools, and the My eBird pages.

Sometimes we have to spend time working on the back-end of eBird and prioritize that over creating new and exciting functionality for the front-end users. Now that we have eBird back on a solid database platform, we can proceed forward with much of the development we've been putting off for some time. We hope to focus over the next several months on making world-wide data entry a reality for eBird users, as well as unveiling a few neat tools we have up our sleeves.

Thanks for continued support of the project,

Team eBird

Brian, Marshall and Chris


  1. I like the new begin-time and length-of-time flexibility.

  2. Thanks for all of the back-end work. Thanks for the APIs that make things like BirdsEye available.

    For the curious, can we get any details on the new server configuration? Are you still running WebSphere? Clustered? Virtualized? How large is the database at the beginning of 2010?

  3. Awesome. Can't wait to see what's next! World data is already prepared for upload.

  4. Does this have anything to do with the fact that the ebird rarity map seems to have stopped working this week?

  5. Hi Techies

    This is from our Database Guru Tom Fredericks:

    The changes we made were two:  the hardware and the operating system of the machine hosting the database.  The hardware is an IBM x3650 M2, with dual quad-core 2.93 GHz processors, and 64GB of RAM.   We are attached to an EMC storage array where most of the database is housed.  Current size for the database (not only eBird but all monitoring projects including PFW and GBBC, is 142 GB.  That includes all the tables, data warehouses, indexes, everything.  The database is still Oracle 10g Rel 2 Enterprise Edition (unchanged,) but now running on RedHat Enterprise Linux 5.3.

    Everything else is the same (Websphere, etc.)

  6. I just saw that Collins has a new world listing system. I think that should be the next major priority for eBird (though I have not done any world birding).