The Lab #13: Optimized Scraper Management with ScrapeOps: A Deep Dive



Using Scrapeops dashboard to monitor your web scraping operations


Welcome to the new episode of The Lab on The Web Scraping Club, where we’ll see how to manage a fleet of scrapers with Scrapeops, a web scraping commercial solution that allows you to have a dashboard for the scrapers’ execution, a job scheduler, and a proxy aggregator.

Note: I don’t have any commercial agreement with Scrapeops or referral program linked with them, I just find this could be a useful solution for large web scraping projects.


Large web scraping projects and their challenges

Web scraping has become an essential tool for many businesses and organizations to gather data from the internet. However, large web scraping projects pose unique challenges that require careful planning and execution. One of the most significant challenges is monitoring hundreds of scrapers and their executions, as well as scheduling the spiders using tools like Scrapy. In this blog post, we will discuss these two challenges in detail and provide some solutions to overcome them.

This article is sponsored by Serplythe solution to scrape search engine results easily.

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Web Scraping Club readers can save 25% on all SERP scraping plans by using the code TWSC25.

Monitoring Hundreds of Scrapers and their Executions

Web scraping projects often require the scraping of multiple websites, and for each website, multiple pages need to be scraped. This means that a large project can involve hundreds of individual scrapers, each with its own set of requirements, settings, and parameters. Monitoring the status of these scrapers and their executions can be a daunting task, especially if you are relying on manual checks. Most web scraping frameworks, including Scrapy, have built-in logging capabilities that allow you to track the progress of your scrapers and identify any issues that arise. By reviewing the logs regularly, you can catch and address errors before they become significant problems. But doing it manually for hundreds of scrapers of course is not feasible in the long term.

One of the best ways to monitor scrapers is by using a web scraping monitoring service. These services allow you to monitor all of your scrapers from a single dashboard, providing real-time updates on their status, performance, and errors. Some monitoring services also provide alerts and notifications, so you can quickly address any issues that arise.

Scrapy Cloud by Zyte

One of the most known monitoring web interfaces is Scrapy Cloud by Zyte, where you can schedule your scraper and monitor their executions, and it integrates naturally with Scrapy (also because Scrapy is maintained by Zyte itself)


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Scheduling Process and Tools for Scrapy Spiders

The scheduling process is another challenge that comes with large web scraping projects. Scheduling involves determining the frequency of scraping, setting the start and end times of the scraping process, and managing the execution of multiple scrapers simultaneously. This process can become overwhelming when dealing with hundreds of scrapers, especially if they have different schedules and requirements.

Besides Scrapy Cloud, which we already covered before, other solutions include Scrapyd and Cron (or Task Scheduler if you’re working on Windows)

Scrapyd

Fortunately, there are tools available to help you manage the scheduling process for Scrapy spiders. One such tool is Scrapyd. Scrapyd is a web service that allows you to schedule and run your Scrapy spiders from a remote server. With Scrapyd, you can manage the scheduling of your spiders from a single dashboard, regardless of where they are running. We have seen how it works in another THE LAB post

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