Servery Wikimedie

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Wikimedia Meta-Wiki

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Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects are run from several racks full of servers. See also Wikimedia Foundation's technical blog and blog posts by Phabricator users.

System architecture

Simplified overview of the MediaWiki software as deployed by Wikimedia Foundation (as of January 2020). Essentially a complex version of a LAMP "stack".

Network topology

The Network topology is described in "Network design" at Wikitech.


  • Our DNS servers run gdnsd. We use geographical DNS to distribute requests between our five data centers (3x US, 1x Europe, 1x Asia) depending on the location of the client.
  • We use Linux Virtual Server (LVS) on commodity servers to load balance incoming requests. LVS is also used as an internal load balancer to distribute MediaWiki requests. For back end monitoring and failover, we have our own system called PyBal.
  • For distributed object storage we use Swift.
  • Our structured data is stored in MariaDB since 2013.[2] We group wikis into clusters, and each cluster is served by several MariaDB servers, replicated in a single-master configuration.
  • We use Memcached for caching of database query and computation results.
Wikimedia server racks at CyrusOne


As of May 2018, we have the following colocation facilities (each name is derived from an acronym of the facility’s company and an acronym of a nearby airport):

Application services (primary) at Equinix in Ashburn, Virginia (Washington, DC area).
Application services (secondary) at CyrusOne in Carrollton, Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth area).
Caching at EvoSwitch in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[3]
Caching at United Layer in San Francisco.

Caching at Equinix in Singapore.


The backend web and database servers are in Ashburn, with Carrollton to handle emergency fallback in the future. Carrollton was chosen for this as a result of the 2013 Datacenter RfC. At EvoSwitch, we have a Varnish cache cluster and several miscellaneous servers. The Kennisnet location is now used only for network access and routing.

Ashburn (eqiad) became the primary data center in January 2013, taking over from Tampa (pmtpa and sdtpa) which had been the main data centre since 2004. Around April 2014, sdtpa (Equinix – formerly Switch and Data – in Tampa, Florida, provided networking for pmtpa) was shut down, followed by pmtpa (Hostway – formerly PowerMedium – in Tampa, Florida) in October 2014.

In the past we've had other caching locations like Seoul (yaseo, Yahoo!) and Paris (lopar, Lost Oasis); the WMF 2010–2015 strategic plan reach target states: "additional caching centers in key locations to manage increased traffic from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, as well as to ensure reasonable and consistent load times no matter where a reader is located."

EvoSwitch and Kennisnet are recognised as benefactors for their in-kind donations. See the current list of benefactors.

A list of servers and their functions used to be available at the server roles page; no such list is currently maintained publicly (perhaps the private racktables tool has one). It used to be possible to see a compact table of all servers grouped by type on icinga, but this is no longer publicly available. The puppet configuration provides a pretty good reference for software what each server runs however.

B-roll of servers in Texas in 2015

Status and monitoring

You can check one of the following sites if you want to know if the Wikimedia servers are overloaded, or if you just want to see how they are doing.

If you are seeing errors in real time, visit #wikimedia-techpřipojit se on Check the topic to see if someone is already looking into the problem you are having. If not, please report your problem to the channel. It would be helpful if you could report specific symptoms, including the exact text of any error messages, what you were doing right before the error, and what server(s) are generating the error, if you can tell.

Energy use

The Sustainability Initiative aims at reducing the environmental impact of the servers by calling for renewable energy to power them.

The Wikimedia Foundation's servers are spread out in five colocation data centers in Virginia, Texas and San Francisco in the United States, Amsterdam in Europe, and Singapore in Asia. As of May 2016, the servers use 222 kW, summing up to about 2 GWh of electrical energy per year. For comparison: An average household in the United States uses 11 MWh/year, the average for Germany is 3 MWh/year.

Only the few servers in Amsterdam run on renewable energy, the other use different conventional energy mixes. Overall, just 9% of Wikimedia Foundation data centers' energy comes from renewable sources, with the rest split evenly between coal, gas and nuclear power (34%, 28%, and 28%, respectively). The bulk of the Wikimedia Foundation's electricity demand is in Virginia and Texas, which unfortunately have both very fossil fuel heavy grids.

!Server name!Data center location!Provider!Date opened!Average energy consumption (kW)!Energy sources!Carbon footprint (CO2/year)!Renewable option and cost
eqiad Ashburn, VA

20146-20149 USA

Equinix (Website)
February 2011 May 2016: 130

May 2015: 152

32% coal

20% natural gas

25% nuclear

17% renewable

1,040,000 lb = 520 short tons = 470 metric tons

= 0.32 * 130 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 2.1 lb CO2/kWh for coal

+ 0.20 * 130 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 1.22lb CO2/kWh for nat gas

+ 0.25 * 130 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 0 lb CO2/kWh for nuclear

+ 0.17 * 130 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 0 lb CO2/kWh for renewable

In 2015, Equinix made "a long-term commitment to use 100 percent clean and renewable energy". In 2017, Equinix renewed this pledge.
codfw Carrollton, TX

75007 USA

CyrusOne (Website)
May 2014 May 2016: 77

May 2015: 70

23% coal

56% natural gas

6% nuclear

1% hydro/biomass/solar/other

14% wind (Oncor/Ercot)

790,000 lb = 400 short tons = 360 metric tons

= 0.23 * 77 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 2.1 lb CO2/kWh for coal

+ 0.56 * 77 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 1.22lb CO2/kWh for nat gas

+ 0.06 * 77 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 0 lb CO2/kWh for nuclear

+ 0.15 * 77 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 0 lb CO2/kWh for renewables

esams Haarlem

2031 BE Netherlands

EvoSwitch (Website)
December 2008 May 2016: < 10

May 2015: 10

"a combination of wind power, hydro and biomass" 0 n.a.
ulsfo San Francisco, CA

94124 USA

UnitedLayer (Website)
June 2012 May 2016: < 5

May 2015: < 5

25% natural gas

23% nuclear

30% renewable

6% hydro

17% unspecified (PG&E)

13,000 lb = 6.7 short tons = 6.1 metric tons (+ unspecified)

= 0.00 * 5 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 2.1 lb CO2/kWh for coal

+ 0.25 * 5 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 1.22lb CO2/kWh for nat gas

+ 0.23 * 5 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 0 lb CO2/kWh for nuclear

+ 0.36 * 5 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * 0 lb CO2/kWh for hydro/renewable

+ 0.17 * 5 kW * 8765.76 hr/yr * ? lb CO2/kWh for unspecified

eqsin Singapore Equinix (Website)

See also

More hardware info

Admin logs

Offsite traffic pages

Long-term planning

Historical information


  1. See MediaWiki analysis, MediaWiki WMF-supported extensions analysis.
  2. "Wikipedia Adopts MariaDB" [Wikipedia Adopts MariaDB] (text/html). Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  3. Suffered a major DoS attack on September 6/7, 2019. See dedicated article on WMF website.