Scaling REDCap Resource Needs as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

The Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) at the University of Washington (UW) maintains a REDCap instance that has seen nearly exponential growth since its inception in 2009, making it one of the largest globally. We've been successful in operating that instance with a modest resource allocation and computational infrastructure. Before the pandemic, we had scaled to nearly 20k projects, more than 10k users and more than 1k unique user logins per week. Since March of 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global Pandemic, we have onboarded more than 2500 new users, more than 400 new Covid-19 related research and public health projects and now stably see more than 20k sessions per day and with as many as 2800 concurrent users. Our instance sends as many as 70k emails per week – up to as many as 20k a day. These new activities caused by Covid-19 have seen a resource need exceeding the initial design requirements as it relates to notifications, alerts, emails, concurrent users, and data integrity. In order to support the continued growth and complex needs of both COVID and non-COVID related projects at the UW, some significant infrastructure engineering changes were required. In this poster, we present our REDCap infrastructure, as well as the explosive growth we have observed during Covid-19 and how we have architected solutions to scale accordingly.

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