Wikipedia Through the Looking Glass/2006 Wikipedia database crash

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File:2006 Wikipedia database crash - The Wikipedia POV.pdf

2006 Wikipedia database crash

An extremely mysterious event, it happened either in August or September 2006. Almost no evidence of it can be found today. Supposedly millions of editing "diffs" were lost forever. The backups were found to be corrupted, and the SQL database had to be patched back together from random pieces, many belonging to [sic]. A coverup is suspected.

Kelly Martin said on this 2015 Wikipediocracy thread,1:

"You're asking about operational reliability from an organization that used to serve the entire PHP codebase for all of Wikimedia from a single, nonredundant NFS root server with no backup? The only reason they don't do this anymore is because it once failed and they had to scramble to fix it. Only after they'd been burned did they take any proactive measures to ensure uptime."
"Wikimedia Engineering is a laughingstock. Especially given the budget and degree of loose cash that they have. Even today they tend to run with far less redundancy than would be considered acceptable in a reputable organization."


"And you're talking about that mysterious September 2006 "database crash", I take it. Allegedly millions of diffs simply vanished, and the backup was incomplete. There is so little hard information remaining about what happened, I have no material for the book wiki."
"No, that's a different incident entirely. I'm not knowledgeable of the situation behind that. The NFS crash caused substantial downtime but no data loss (they were able to piece together a working copy of the Mediawiki code, mainly from Brion's development computer and various email messages). There was another downtime caused once by the failure of the sole internal DNS server. Detect a pattern here, do you?"


"Is this chronicled in public email anywhere? I haven't read anything painfully funny recently."
"We already went thru wikipedia-l2 and foundation-l3 archives from that period, and there was almost nothing said at the time. Damned if I can find anything on Vibber's talkpage4 either. They must have oversighted edits."
"There was something in the Signpost on 21 August5. Not sure if that was the same incident. Technical screwups were commonplace back then."