Happy Birthday Wikipedia!

January 15th 2015 marks as the fourteenth year since Wikipedia.org began providing the world with an endless supply of information. Take a look at the known and unknown facts surrounding one of the most popular sites in the world.
Have you ever wondered about the smallest park in the world?
Or what colors are in noise?
You’ve definitely wondered what it’s called when you are allergic to Wi-Fi, right?
The world has been asking questions like these since the beginning of humanity, but it wasn’t until Wikipedia.org formed fourteen years ago that we were able to easily access the answers with such ease and with all answers located on one convenient site. Thanks to modern technology and the 76,000 active Wikipedia contributors we can quench our undying thirst for knowledge.
Wikipedia now holds 4,678,430 articles in the English language. This does not include the information published in the other 290 languages that Wikipedia speaks. All articles are free to access and hold very few copyright restrictions. Wikipedia has formed what they call a “free content license” which allows users to freely use and distribute the information found on the site without fear of legal repercussions.
Just as our minds are constantly learning and adapting, Wikipedia.org is constantly expanding and growing. New wikis are now available for news, quotes, images and books that follow the same free content licensing agreement. Contributors are adding content around the clock for the use of our fellow man all around the world.
This does not mean that the quality of the information is always spot on. Wikipedia acknowledges that their database contains somewhat suspicious information that isn’t always cited properly or proven fact. It’s best not to use the wiki for crucial research or as a basis for making critical decisions.
As a non-profit organization, Wikipedia.org is not for sale and depends on donations from users of the site to maintain their giant database. This leads one to wonder how and where Wikipedia could possibly store so much information.
Wikipedia.org maintains an impressively tidy infrustructure from a single datacenter in Tampa, Florida as well as a few servers spread around the globe. Through the use of fewer than 300 servers Wikipedia is able to effectively and efficiently distribute information to all corners of the globe. These meager resources are able to handle impressive amounts of data including:

  • 50,000 http requests per second
  • 80,000 SQL queries per second
  • 7 million registered users
  • 18 million page objects in the English version
  • 250 million page links
  • 220 million revisions
  • 1.5 terabytes of compressed data

According to DataCenterKnowledge.com, “Wikipedia.org is powered by the MediaWiki software, which was originally written to run Wikipedia and is now an open source project. MediaWiki uses PHP running on a MySQL database. Mituzas said MySQL instances range from 200 to 300 gigabytes. In addition to Squid, Wikipedia uses Memcached and the Linux Virtual Server load balancer. Wikipedia also uses database sharding to set up master-slave relationships between databases.”
This amazing power of web hosting reminds us of home sweet home. Midphase employs many of the same services and infrastructure used behind the scenes of Wikipedia.org.
Thank you Wikipedia.org for satisfying curious minds across the globe when searching for strange and compelling topics like the story of Phineas Gage or Yvonne the runaway cow with an exorbant reward. Happy birthday Wikipedia from all of us at Midphase.com!

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