[Foundation-l] Scheduled intermittent downtime on all Wikimedia projects on May 24

Guillaume Paumier gpaumier at wikimedia.org
Mon May 30 10:28:07 UTC 2011


The maintenance was scheduled on Monday, for the day after that. We
had only a few hours to plan for it and communicate about it, and I
think we did a pretty good job given the time we had.

The maintenance banner was up for a few hours (not a day) prior to the
maintenance window to give readers & editors a heads-up. The notice
was also posted to social media channels (identica, twitter, facebook)
as well as on the most relevant lists.

I think that amount of communication is reasonable for a planned
maintenance operation that shouldn't result in long downtime.

As it was already mentioned in this thread, database errors weren't
expected during this network maintenance. It's always possible that
unplanned issues arise, and this is why the error page shouldn't be
too specific: if we plan for an issue and we end up encountering
another one, the error page may display incorrect information about
the cause or, more importantly, the severity of the issue.

About more ways to communicate on outages: I have a few items on my
todo list about this as well, so I'm glad that they were brought up in
this thread. The status.wikimedia.org page could certainly be designed
in a way that emphasizes the main information; I'm also investigating
whether we can use an API to display information on other places, e.g.
the Wikimedia blog (assuming the blog isn't down too).

I also agree the "WMF error page" could be improved. As a matter of
fact, I started thinking about how to improve it a few weeks ago. If
you're interested in this, I would welcome your help.


Guillaume Paumier

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