That scream you heard this afternoon was millions of high school and college students crying out in pain as they realized that Wikipedia was down.
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, crashed this afternoon when its European data center overheated. According to the site’s technical blog, once one of its data centers has a failure, all traffic is supposed to be automatically routed to another center, in this case Florida, via a “failover” device. This will cause the DNS — the file that tells a domain name where to go — to automatically reroute to the secondary location. The problem today was that Wikimedia, the company behind the site, discovered that the failover was also broken.
The problem has now been fixed, but domain name servers the world over will now have to play catch up with where they are supposed to direct your traffic.
Wikipedia is one of those sites you take for granted because it’s always “there”, so understandably some people are shaken by this. We do however have a solution for those of you trying to finish term papers and essays right now … there’s this magical place called a “library” …