Wikipedia Fails When European Data Center Overheats

The site was offline for approximately two hours Wednesday afternoon, between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. ET.

"Due to an overheating problem in our European data center many of our servers turned off to protect themselves," said a posting on the technical blog of the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia. User traffic was routed to the organization's Florida cluster of servers, but a failover procedure that changes DNS entries was "broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally," according to the blog.

While the problem was quickly resolved, according to the blog, it took an hour to restore access to everyone due to caching effects. An update to the blog later said the outage "seems to have lasted longer than an hour."

Wikipedia's Twitter feed said the organization was continuing to experience overheating problems in the Amsterdam data center that could result in service glitches.

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One Wikipedia user named "Jimmy" said Wikipedia users would long remember today, the day after the site's failure, "as the day every English speaking student failed their research papers."