- Note: these deployments have been delayed to the week of April 18 due to several new obstacles that have surfaced recently. These will require either a significant amount of WMF time to investigate and resolve, or the implementation of several suboptimal workarounds that we'd rather avoid. Because the WMF does not want to compromise on the risks and technical aspects of this project—or put unnecessary strain on the team involved—the WMF has decided it best to postpone this by a few weeks.
To launch a new data center, the Wikimedia Foundation will make all Wikimedia wikis read-only during three low-traffic periods over the next two weeks. The new servers, seen here, are located in Carrollton, Texas
Over the next two weeks, the Wikimedia Foundation will be shifting all Wikimedia wikis into read-only mode for three short periods. This will allow us to launch a new data center in Texas, something that will increase the chance that Wikipedia and all of our sites will always be available, even shortly after a disaster.
This will happen once in the coming week, on March 15 at 7:00 UTC, as a five-minute test of the read-only mode. The new data-center launch will happen on Tuesday, March 22, and Thursday, March 24, when the wikis will be read-only for 15–30 minutes each time.
It will not be possible to edit any page on any wiki during these times. If you try to edit or save during this time, then you'll get an error message about the wiki being in read-only mode. If you get that message, just hang on; you should be able to save your edit once everything is back to normal—but it might be just as well to make a copy of it first, just in case.
On behalf of the WMF, we apologize for the disruption—in an ideal world we'd be able make to this switchover without editors noticing, but limitations in MediaWiki prevent that at this time. This is something we're working to change.
The new data center in Texas will be a full and complete copy of our main data center in Virginia, available in case anything takes the latter offline, whether that's weather or a power outage. The two-day test later this month will see the WMF run all of its operations through the new center to ensure that it works, then shift back to Virginia. This is akin to making sure that you can actually restore your computer from a backup drive if you needed to, as opposed to finding out one day that your computer just died and the backup you were counting on is dead.
You can follow our schedule over at Wikitech. If we're forced to postpone the test or migration, it will show there.
We'll be running site notices on all Wikimedia sites and a watchlist notice on at least the English Wikipedia shortly beforehand.
More details will be available in a Wikimedia Blog post early next week; please leave any questions in the comments below.
- ^ We have not yet settled on a specific time, but just like the five-minute test, it will be during a low-traffic time (for example, 7:00 UTC).
- Whatamidoing and Ed Erhart are a community liaison and editorial associate, respectively, with the Wikimedia Foundation. When not on the clock, they edit as WhatamIdoing and The ed17.