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Tech Titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google To Help Fix Healthcare.gov 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the with-a-little-help-from-my-friends dept.
wjcofkc writes "The United States Government has officially called in the calvary over the problems with Healthcare.gov. Tech titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google have been tapped to join the effort to fix the website that went live a month ago, only to quickly roll over and die. While a tech surge of engineers to fix such a complex problem is arguably not the greatest idea, if you're going to do so, you might as well bring in the big guns. The question is: can they make the end of November deadline?"
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Tech Titans Oracle, Red Hat and Google To Help Fix Healthcare.gov

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  • Amazon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qzzpjs (1224510) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @07:32PM (#45295737)

    I think they should have just listed the plans on Amazon. Almost everyone already knows how to buy stuff from them and their servers would have handled it.

  • Re:Why not IBM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @07:37PM (#45295811)

    No, they wanted it done and not outsourced to India.

  • Oracle? Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@macBOYSEN.com minus berry> on Thursday October 31, 2013 @07:45PM (#45295885) Journal

    I guess nobody in the decision making loop heard about Oracle's big California DMV fuck-up.

    -jcr

  • Re:Oracle! YES!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jbengt (874751) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @08:01PM (#45296049)
    I've had the misfortune of needing to use an Oracle system with a web interface to deal with a large client for construction management & billing. If that experience is any indication of how Oracle will fix the problem, the Feds would be better off keeping the very crappy existing system. (seriously)
  • by BradMajors (995624) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @08:47PM (#45296379)

    All Vermont needs to do is buy a copy of Kentucky's system. Kentucky's system works fine.

  • Re:Oracle! YES!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FlyingGuy (989135) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yuggniylf>> on Thursday October 31, 2013 @09:57PM (#45296779)

    One of the many problems is that most people do not know how to tune Oracle. Properly tuned Oracle, even when running on inadequate hardware, oracle can support TPS levels that many DB's only dream about with full ACID as a matter of course on the same hardware. I have watched Postgres, MS-SQL Server and DB2 just hit the floor while Oracle kept chugging right along, not always mind you, but more often then not.

    I am currently running 11gR2 on hardware that is at best adequate and can assimilate the entire output of 80% of the state of California's highway loop detectors ( approximately 50,000 raw data rows inserted every 30 seconds 24/7/365 ) and that into a rather poky 15TB drive array with 7500rpm 2TB drives, in raid 5 no less, then query all of that data filter,clean and analyze it and shove that data into another table all in the same 30 second period.

    The DMV project was a nightmare of never ending changes of requirements. When you think about the basic project, it aint that hard, but when there is no point at which you could say it was stable because the target just kept moving, I don't care who takes it on or who's DB engine you throw at it, it will fail.

    When it comes to scaling something out, you take you best guess at what you load will be. When your prospective load might be a large percentage of 300 million people it is a hard target to pin down and that is what ( along with a few bugs that escaped unit testing ) was their ultimate undoing. No one knows who's DB engine was behind it but I doubt it was any of the "web scale" DB's since they don't support ACID very well and this was one of those when it was absolutely essential.

  • Re:Answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @11:21PM (#45297123) Homepage

    Being that
    1: this code was already created by inexperienced developers.
    2: anything created from the group of these titans will by default be superior work compared to the last guys.

  • Re:Answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by recharged95 (782975) on Thursday October 31, 2013 @11:28PM (#45297177) Journal

    But all 3 companies listed will have those rock stars that will:
    a. look at the code and call is rubbish.
    b. ask to rewrite the whole thing
    c. charge an arm and a leg to do it within time.
    d. run it under agile (so THEY control the requirements, not the domain experts).

    Really they should have hired the guys that do turbotax and such.... it works for the type of users on this healthcare system. The above 3 will struggle through it as well... but will milk it for all it's worth.

    All I say to the Obamacare management team & Obama: TAKE A STEP BACK, WAIT.... ASSESS THE PROBLEMS one by one, THEN HIRE THE RIGHT FOLKS. This is a knee jerk reaction and will go down in flames. Of course, the valley and wall street is loving it....

    Young MBA folks: this is your Y2K computer problem moment. Remember those times: the panic, the flooding of cash, and nothing happened afterall? Yeah, get ready for another internet boom/bust.

  • Re:Answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 31, 2013 @11:43PM (#45297241)

    Rare? Nearly every government contract offered to the private sector since Bush took office has been no-bid. Remember the deals made during the Iraq War? Every single one of those was no-bid to Halliburton. This kind of cronyism is NOT rare at all; it is the norm, and has been for over a decade.

  • Re:Answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mysidia (191772) on Friday November 01, 2013 @03:46AM (#45297965)

    Almost universally in software development, starting from scratch is a stupid fucking idea repeated by inexperienced developers.

    When the code is an unsalvageable pile of crap; sometimes it does make more sense, to reevaluate the design, and re-implement the entire application properly, using the old code only as a reference; than to try and repair.

Once it hits the fan, the only rational choice is to sweep it up, package it, and sell it as fertilizer.

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