Wikipedia is a citizen-generated online encyclopedia that relies on its users to keep things accurate and up-to-date. (Photo : Wikipedia)
If you're any one of the hundreds of millions of people on Planet Earth that use Wikipedia, you may have experienced some frustration this morning while trying to access the user-based online encyclopedia. Wikipedia servers were down on the morning of August 6 due to cut cables between data centers in Tampa, Florida and Ashburn, Virginia. Normal operations resumed after a few hours.
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Wikipedia and its various associated sites were cut off at approximately 9:15 a.m. EDT, according to the Wikimedia blog. The blog also states that all sites, except for the mobile version, were back up by approximately 10:18 a.m. EDT. The mobile site services returned around 11:35 a.m. EDT.
Wikipedia has stated that it does not believe the cut cables were due to malicious intent.
From the Wikimedia blog post:
"At about 6:15am PDT, we were alerted to a site issue and our team found severed network connectivity between our two data centers. Upon checking with our network provider, they informed us that the outage was caused by a fiber cut between the two data centers.
The data centers - one in Ashburn, Virginia and the other in Tampa, Florida - are connected by two separate fiber links (for redundancy). While Ashburn serves most of the traffic, it needs to talk to our Tampa data center for backend services (e.g. database)."
A look at status.wikimedia.org shows that Wikipedia and its affiliated sites are now working fine, and the issue has pretty much been resolved.
A nationwide survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2007 showed that more than a third of American adults consult Wikipedia as a source of factual and accurate information.