The Wikimedia Foundations has been upgrading and adding new servers for capacity and performance increases to meet the demands of our users. Due to this demand  we are soliciting request from other non-profit organizations that would like to acquire  some of our older systems that are no longer able to keep up with demand. These servers have been used by Wikimedia Foundation on different projects for over 3 years and are no longer covered by their warranty. These are good systems though, and while we may overload them and need replacements, they are more than suitable for many non-profits to use.

Close-up on a rack of Wikimedia servers in our datacenter in Ashburn, Virginia

We’re donating some of our older servers to like-minded US non-profits, who can apply by e-mail to show their interest.

Most systems (but possibly not all) have the following specifications:

  • Dual CPU 2.5 GHz Intel(R) Xeon(R) some may have AMD processors
  • 2-8GB RAM
  • Most servers have multiple HDD
  • A majority are manufactured by Dell
  • Should work fine but not guaranteed (see Disclaimers)

Disclaimers: The Wikimedia Foundation does not guarantee the operation or use of these servers in any shape or form. They are old, some may have dying fans, bad HDD sectors, and the like. Servers have been wiped of information, and they ran through that, but no promises on function! Also, most servers have rails, but occasionally one may not, and we do not sort through them for these things. However, most are standard Dell 1u servers and getting replacement rails is fairly simple. Some servers are well over 3 years old, we do not just turn off servers when they hit the 3 year mark, we turn them off when they are no longer worth using in any role or function on our cluster in a reliable manner. In most cases, it is simply the hardware technology has updated to the point that a new server is much faster, and since we demand high performance of our servers, it is worth upgrading for our needs.

At this time we are only able to donate these servers to U.S. based non-profits  whose core values are similar or in support of our own. This means we do not donate them for individual use. Since these servers were purchased with donations to support the Wikimedia Foundation, we feel we need to further donate them to other like-minded organizations, since that is how the money for the servers was meant to be spent. This means that we cannot, in good conscience, donate these servers for profit or personal use to individuals or corporations.

If you are a US organization and you would like to receive some of these servers for your NON-PROFIT use, please email, applications should only be made via email. Applications in this post’s comments will NOT be accepted.  TO BE ELIGIBLE, YOUR EMAIL MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Subject: Server Decommissioning Donations for <NONPROFIT NAME HERE>
  • Your name, contact information, relationship with non-profit requesting the servers
  • Registered non-profit name and proof of status
  • Organization’s website
  • Information on the non-profit, who they are, what their mission statement and goals are.
  • Shipping address information for a FedEx Ground delivery to where the servers need to go.
  • How the servers will be used. (We like to know and share with folks!)

Please keep in mind that deciding where these go is pretty tough, so the more detailed you can be in your email is best. (i.e. ‘Wikimedia uses these for our sites.’ is pretty vague where ‘Wikimedia is the non-profit foundation that runs Wikipedia. Server donations to us would be used to run our websites that allow access to Wikipedia and its sister projects.’ is a lot nicer. ;). Also, by submitting and possibly accepting servers from us, you are giving us permission to post about it here on our technical blog.

The submission period will remain open no less than two weeks from this posting.

Chris Johnson
Operations Engineer