HealthCare.gov: The (infrastructure) fix is in

How do you solve a problem like HealthCare.gov? The HHS department's progress report offers maddening clues

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There's only one way that those numbers can be true: What was there before was not enough power to run zombo.com, much less a massively promoted, high-traffic website. I'm simply shocked there were people in engineering and design positions for this site who were heading into launch day with woefully inadequate infrastructure resources. Such a vast amount of money spent, and they couldn't pony up for a reasonable firewall?

Any insiders want to spill the beans?

I would absolutely love for someone in the know to shoot me an anonymous email with details on how the site was constructed on launch day. I'll bet it was a few 1Us running a half-dozen VMs behind a 100Mbit firewall. That's pure conjecture, of course. But the way the site functioned (or rather didn't function), it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Also, the report mentions the agency implemented real-time monitoring as part of the postlaunch fixes -- $70 to $150 million, and monitoring wasn't part of the original mix? Did the feds splurge on the Scotchgard and undercoating, and there wasn't enough left over?

Rather than talk to people who had actually designed and built large-scale Web applications, the government hired the usual contractor suspects and turned out a complete turd of a project for a huge pile of money. I realize that railing against wasteful government spending is as useful as the proverbial hole in the head. But with a project so highly visible and so important, I guess I expected a little more responsibility. The joke's on me, I suppose.

That said, kudos to the group that rushed into a raging five-alarm fire and managed not only to put out the flames, but actually rebuild the house while it was still burning. I can't imagine the tense hours invested, the all-nighters, the tons of take-out Chinese food -- and all that soda. However, to be clear, just because the site is performing better doesn't mean it's doing the job it was intended to do. That remains to be seen.

At least the feds beefed up the infrastructure to appropriate levels -- and maybe the government learned some lessons in the process. Somehow I doubt it. Call me cynical.

This story, "HealthCare.gov: The (infrastructure) fix is in," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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