Wikipedia Adds European Data Center

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The creators of Wikipedia will add about 50 servers in a new European traffic hub in a “green” data center in Amsterdam, the company said today. The Wikimedia Foundation has signed a contract with EvoSwitch, which will donate more than 300,000 euros (about $415,000) of in-kind support in bandwidth and hosting services.

The Wikipedia site is hosted on about 300 servers in a primary data center in Tampa, Fla. The 50 servers at the EvoSwitch data center in Amsterdam will provide content storage and delivery. Amsterdam is one of the world’s most important network hubs, with hundreds of European networks exchanging traffic in the city’s data centers.

“We’re very pleased with EvoSwitch’s professional and well secured data center environment, which includes a highly cost-efficient infrastructure in a location that is of great strategic importance to us,” said Brion Vibber, Chief Technology Officer for the Foundation. “We will be using the Amsterdam site for caching in particular, aiming to reduce the response time of our project websites in Europe. EvoSwitch will also be a good location for backing up content that is stored at our Florida data center. Finally, we will be relocating European publishing projects to EvoSwitch, such as Toolserver.org – a project of the German Wikimedia chapter.

“The Amsterdam servers will both retrieve the content from the servers in Florida, as well as store it,” Vibber added. “Web pages can then be displayed to Internet users directly from Amsterdam, which will improve the speed and accessibility of the web pages in Europe significantly. I expect that we will further increase our capacity at EvoSwitch in the near future due to the required storage capacity and new European publishing projects.”

EvoSwitch is a 100,000 square foot data center supported by 20 megawatts of power capacity that is generated entirely from sustainable energy sources including, solar, wind and biomass. The facility uses free cooling (fresh air economization) to reduce its use of energy for air conditioning. Vibber says this was a factor in Wikimedia’s selection of EvoSwitch.

“As operators of one of the most heavily accessed web property on the web, we are aware of the impact that the Internet and its energy consumption have on the environment,” said Vibber. “EvoSwitch’s energy-saving measures, combined with their use of green energy and CO2 compensation are very attractive to us.”

“We are strong supporters of Wikimedia and their Wikipedia publishing project in particular,” said Eric Boonstra, EvoSwitch’s Commercial Director. “The Foundation’s operations coincide with the objectives of our own organization, to keep the Internet ‘open’ and stimulate freedom of expression and the transmission of knowledge via the Internet. This partnership is all the more special to us because of Wikimedia’s faith in EvoSwitch.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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