What Happens When You Type en.wikipedia.org?

Thursday, 2019, October 3 - 11:4512:30

Effie Mouzeli and Alexandros Kosiaris, Wikimedia Foundation


What happens when you type en.wikipedia.org? One of the most popular interview questions we have been asked quite a few times. But what about what happens on the server side? What happens on our end?

At Wikimedia, we run the world’s favourite encyclopædia and one of the top 5 websites of the Internet! In our talk, we will describe the architecture of Wikipedia, how routers, load balancers, caching, a bit more caching, message queues, databases, microservices, and containers are pieced together to serve you, and how open source plays a master role in it.

Furthermore, we will briefly talk about our transition from a monolith, to service-oriented architecture and microservices, to migrating them to Kubernetes.

Wikipedia is a very good example of a complex system; joining this talk will help you demystify one in an understandable way.

Effie Mouzeli, Wikimedia Foundation

Effie studied physics and scientific computing but decided to follow neither. Instead she became a sysadmin, later systems engineer, now SRE. She has worked in a number of startups and small organisations, where her responsibilities were usually automation, infrastructure architecture, and working closely with developers. Currently, she is one of the newer members of SRE team at the Wikimedia Foundation. Away from work, she loves camping, concerts, and dressmaking.

Alexandros Kosiaris, Wikimedia Foundation

A Linux sysadmin, turned FreeBSD sysadmin, turned Linux sysadmin, turned systems engineer (somewhere along that path there’s a Devops hat as well), Alexandros has been in the space since 1999, starting as a hobbyist, then a professional. Currently working with the Wikimedia Foundation, he has pushed forward for more virtualization and better orchestrated microservices and environments for their execution. The kubernetes project is a current passion.

@conference {239470,
author = {Effie Mouzeli and Alexandros Kosiaris},
title = {What Happens When You Type en.wikipedia.org?},
year = {2019},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = oct,