What the IT experts say about Obamacrash

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Days after the launch of the federal government's Obamacare website, millions of Americans looking for information on new health insurance plans were still locked out of the system even though its designers scrambled to add capacity.

Government officials blame the persistent glitches on an overwhelming crush of users trying to visit the HealthCare.gov website this week.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversaw development of the site, declined to make any of its IT experts available for interviews.

CGI Group Inc, the Canadian contractor that built HealthCare.gov, is "declining to comment at this time," said spokeswoman Linda Odorisio.

Five outside technology experts interviewed by Reuters, however, say they believe flaws in system architecture, not traffic alone, contributed to the problems.

For instance, when a user tries to create an account on HealthCare.gov, which serves insurance exchanges in 36 states, it prompts the computer to load an unusually large amount of files and software, overwhelming the browser, experts said.

If they are right, then just bringing more servers online, as officials say they are doing, will not fix the site.

"Adding capacity sounds great until you realize that if you didn't design it right that won't help," said Bill Curtis, chief scientist at CAST, a software quality analysis firm, and director of the Consortium for IT Software Quality. "The architecture of the software may limit how much you can add on to it. I suspect they'll have to reconfigure a lot of it."

"Adding capacity sounds great until you realize that if you didn't design it right that won't help"

As an IT professional I can attest that statement to be absolutely correct.

Who in the fuck did the regression testing on the software?

Almost 4 years down the road .. and to run into these problems now in the enrollment, which should not have been the most complex part of the design, demonstrates that this monstrosity is in for serious problems.
In an indication that traffic alone may not be the only problem, a government official with knowledge of the matter said that technicians at HealthCare.gov had not only added more servers but had also "improved system configurations."

The official did not elaborate.

But HHS announced late Friday that it would take down part of HealthCare.gov for part of the weekend, another sign that extra servers alone would not fix the problems.

The government official blamed the glitch on massive traffic, but outside experts said it likely reflected programming choices.

"It's a bug in the system, a coding problem," said Jyoti Bansal, chief executive of AppDynamics, a San Francisco-based company that builds products that monitor websites and identify problems.

Hancock's analysis suggested that the security questions were coming from a separate server and that better system architecture would have cached the questions on the main HealthCare.gov server.

"The more you have to ask another database for information, the more it can get overwhelmed," said Jonathan Wu, a computer scientist and co-founder of ValuePenguin, a data and research website that offers spending-related tools for consumers.


I see you dumbasses continue to blame healthcare.gov. They have little or nothing to do with most of this. The enrolling states are being over-run and directing traffic to the healthcare.gov system that was never designed for state traffic. Each state has it's very own systems and many of them are operating perfectly. Others? Not so much. When the dust dies down we'll all see this with different and clearer eyes.

Here we see the system architect in charge of Obamacrash:


The funniest thing I read on the internet were conspiracy theories that republicans were organizing DDOS attacks on the healthcare.gov site so they could drive the site to crash.

LOL seriously?
I thought "tea baggers" were supposed to live in trailer parks with no internet access...is the Left trying to have it both ways again?