Benedict XVI breaks Wikipedia records

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Florida's traffic spike

The announcement of the election of Pope Benedict XVI resulted in a spike of traffic over Wikipedia servers on April 19, 2005, 16:40 UTC. Many wanted information on the new pope.

As a result:

  • The Florida-based primary data center of the Wikimedia Foundation had an outgoing traffic spike to 17 Megabytes per second, 2100 HTTP hits per second;
  • The Paris-based caching data center had an outgoing traffic spike to 4 Megabytes per second.

The latter serves English, French and multimedia content to France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, the former to the rest of the world.

Because of the instant saturation, developers had to turn off certain costly features of Wikipedia, such as the internal search engine.

In addition, some news sources put Wikipedia as one of the fastest responses to the election. [1][2]

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