As a non-profit running one of the world’s busiest web destinations, Wikipedia provides an unusual case study of a high-performance site. In an era when Google and Microsoft can spend a half-billion dollars on one of their global data center projects, Wikipedia runs on fewer than 300 servers from a single data center in Tampa, Fla. It also has servers in Amsterdam at the AMS-IX peering exchange.
“The traditional approach to availability isn’t exactly our way,” said Mituzas, who spoke about Wikipedia’s infrastructure Monday at the O’Reilly Velocity conference. “I’m not suggesting you should follow how we do it. But losing a few seconds of changes doesn’t destroy our business. As long as a crash doesn’t turn into a disaster, there’s no witch hunting or heads rolling.”