Started as Perl CGI script running on single server in 2001, site has grown into distributed
platform, containing multiple technologies, all of them open. The principle of openness
forced all operation to use free & open-source software only. Having commercial alterna-
tives out of question, Wikipedia had the challenging task to build ef\ufb01cient platform of freely
Wikipedia\u2019s primary aim is to provide a platform for building collaborative compendium of knowledge. Due to different kind of funding (it is mostly donation driven), performance and ef\ufb01ciency has been prioritized above high availability or security of operation.
At the moment there\u2019re six people (some of them recently hired) actively working on inter- nal platform, though there\u2019re few active developers who do contribute to the open-source code-base of application.
Generally, it is extended LAMP environment - core components, front to back, are:
\u2022Linux - operating system (Fedora, Ubuntu)
\u2022PowerDNS - geo-based request distribution
\u2022LVS - used for distributing requests to cache and application servers
\u2022Squid - content acceleration and distribution
\u2022lighttpd - static \ufb01le serving
\u2022Apache - application HTTP server
\u2022PHP5 - Core language
\u2022MediaWiki - main application
\u2022Lucene, Mono - search
\u2022Memcached - various object caching
Many of the components have to be extended to have ef\ufb01cient communication with each
As application tends to be most resource hungry part of the system, every component is built to be semi-independent from it, so that less interference would happen between mul- tiple tiers when a request is served.
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