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Client case: The Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia

'LeaseWeb’s network has a highly redundant design with good connectivity.'

Brion Vibber
Chief Technology Officer of Wikimedia

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The request

  • Bandwidth
  • Using a stable hosting provider
  • Good connectivity
  • A redundant hosting network
  • A good uptime

Our solution

After Wikimedia had requested an offer for bandwidth services, LeaseWeb decided to make the 2Gbps in bandwidth available in the form of a sponsorship contribution, in kind, for a period of three years. LeaseWeb’s reason for sponsoring Wikimedia is related to the fact that both parties have similar visions with regard to the development of the internet.

The Wikimedia Foundation uses the bandwidth of LeaseWeb’s comprehensive hosting network for its internet traffic in Europe. LeaseWeb handles approximately 2 Gigabits per second (Gbps). Wikimedia needs LeaseWeb’s facilities in order to handle the billions of page views on its free encyclopaedia Wikipedia.


THE ORGANIZATION

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects attract more than 300 million unique visitors each month, which ranks Wikimedia #4 on the list of the world’s most popular web environments. Wikipedia is available in more than 265 languages and contains more than 12 million articles that have been contributed by a volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. The Wikimedia Foundation is based in San Francisco and funded with donations and gifts.


WIKIPEDIA

Wikimedia manages many different internet publishing projects, including Wikipedia. All of Wikimedia’s publishing projects run on the same central infrastructure, of which most components are located in Florida. The European component of Wikimedia’s hosting infrastructure is accommodated on servers in the Amsterdam region.

Brion Vibber, Chief Technology Officer of Wikimedia, says: “We have our own fibre-optics network in Amsterdam, but due to the size of our internet projects and because of our commitment to ensuring the stability of our websites, we prefer to spread our risks. LeaseWeb is one of the two external bandwidth providers and currently handles about one-third of our internet traffic.”

Due to the amount of traffic to Wikimedia’s sites, specifically Wikipedia, the company required a hosting solution with a large bandwidth, one that could grow alongside Wikipedia.

“LeaseWeb is a stable hosting provider, the largest in the Netherlands and a major world player,” says Vibber. “What’s more, very few hosting providers have this much bandwidth in their networks. The amount of bandwidth offered by LeaseWeb is exceptional. It gives us the guarantee that LeaseWeb will always be able to keep up with our growth.”

Wikipedia, the largest publishing project, is expected to contain increasingly more visual data in the future, including streaming video. “We can’t say what our future plans are at this moment,” commented Vibber, “what we do know is that Wikipedia, our largest project, attracts many visitors and continues to grow in size tremendously. Wikipedia ranks among the top-five of the most-visited websites on the comScore MediaMetrix list. This requires a bandwidth provider with a considerable network. LeaseWeb is one of them.”


REDUNDANT HOSTING NETWORK

The design of LeaseWeb’s global hosting network gives Wikimedia the confidence that its internet traffic is handled by a professional hosting provider. Vibber says “LeaseWeb’s network has a highly redundant design with good connectivity and ample possibilities for variation when selecting internet paths. In addition, the network is made up of sophisticated Cisco and Juniper components with a hierarchic and efficient structure. This gives us the confidence that a good uptime for our internet projects is guaranteed. For any web environment and for Wikipedia in particular, you never know how the need for bandwidth is going to develop in the future. With the large overcapacity at LeaseWeb, nearly twice as much bandwidth as we use, we are assured of a hosting environment that can handle strong growth. “


THE SOLUTION

Con Zwinkels, Managing Director of LeaseWeb says, “Wikimedia is a non-profit organisation with charitable objectives that are closely in line with the ideals of our own organisation. Similar to Wikimedia, we would like the internet to remain an ‘open’ community that allows people to exchange information with minimal restrictions. As industry pioneers, we have always defended the ‘open’ character of the internet.”