Potential Network Issue with Simultaneous Access to DepMap

While teaching a class using DepMap, I noticed that the DepMap homepage worked fine when I accessed it on my own. However, when students tried to access it simultaneously, it was blocked. I’m wondering if the same internet network is blocking simultaneous access.

That’s unfortunate that your students were getting blocked. We should investigate how to avoid that.

In the early days of the depmap portal, we had problems of automated scripts/crawlers hitting the portal for every gene and overwhelming the portal’s server and causing the site go offline for other users.

At that time, we put in place an automated system which temporarily rejects traffic from IP addresses that make too many requests too quickly. It’s always difficult to tune such things because it’s always difficult to judge what counts as “too quickly”. I suspect the networking for the students might be such that all the students’s traffic is being routed in a way that causes the portal to think it’s coming from a single IP address.

I’ll put it on our todo list to see if we can loosen our traffic throttle to see if that can improve the situation.