Wikipedia, a well-known service that provides an online encyclopedia anybody can edit, is down due to a power failure in their network facility. Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia as well as a number of similar services, is in the process of backing up the 170 gigabytes of data they host, and getting the servers up and running.
The power failure bears a striking resemblance to a similar outage at LiveJournal, a well-known blogging service recently acquired by Six Apart. Both interruptions have a lot in common: both are in state-of-the-art colocation facilities that provide redundant power with on-site emergency generators, and 24/7 on-site security and monitoring staff. LiveJournal is in the process of preventing future outages by purchasing smaller UPSs for their servers, in addition to the building-sized one provided by their host, Internap.
The Wikimedia failure is right in the middle of their most recent fundraising drive; you can help by donating here. All proceeds go to beefing up the servers that run the service.
Aside: Despite me shutting off my comments and trackbacks, I really do want to hear feedback from people on my posts. Please use the “feedback” link on the right side of the page. I’ll even post non-spam comments manually!