Wikipedia which is the world’s largest and free encyclopedia was down for few hours on 4th of July. It has never happened with Wikipedia in past and it was really a surprise for its users across the globe. All the sites which share Wikipedia’s content were not able to display the content on their pages. It was like a lock on the world’s knowledge store. All that came recently after this outage were rumors and the official acceptance has come recently stating that Wikipedia was down because of the overheating of its European servers. This news was published on Wikipedia’s technology blog. It further quoted that the servers were intentionally shut down because of the failure of cooling mechanism in the server room. This was done to prevent more damage and operations were resumed only when the temperature went normal and cooling mechanism was up.
Wikipedia remained off for more than an hour and in the mean time administrators tried routing the traffic to Florida based servers but that mechanism didn’t work either. This resulted in the failure of DNS resolution and that’s why users were not able to view the site and other sites were not able to display Wikipedia’s content on their pages. According to Wikipedia’s officials the problem was quickly resolved but it took some time in the pages to get cached for use by everyone. Wikipedia has more 15 million articles and obviously caching for such a huge site would have taken significant amount of time. Wikipedia is not the only site which was down because of such problem but several other sites like Intuit, Hotmail, Verizon Email, Walmart and wordpress have also experienced similar outages in recent past.
The entire Wikimedia and all its projects were impacted by this outage. Wikimedia is a charitable organization which is dedicating its services in developing free and multilingual content for public. Wikimedia operates some of the largest project of reference content in the world and Wikipedia is one of its projects. Wikimedia is based in San Francisco, and all the projects run by Wiki are Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wiktionary,Wikimedia Incubator and Meta-Wiki. The term Wiki is a Hebrew word for “quick”. The mission of Wikimedia is make a multilingual content available for people across the globe to which they can refer and get the information quickly. All the projects run by Wikimedia are non profit and charitable. Out of all the projects Wikipedia is one of the greatest successes and has its place in world’s top ten most visited websites. A brief introduction to other projects of Wikimedia is as follows : Wiktionary – Multilingual free content disctionary, Wiquotes – collection of quotes by renowned people, Wikibooks – free content text books, Wikisource – online library, Wikimedia Commons – free repository for free images and media on the net, Wikispecies – not targeted for general public and it has free information for all the species on earth, Wikinews – News site, Wikiversity – free learning community, Wiki Meta – a global community site for all Wiki projects.