jump to last post 1-4 of 4 discussions (63 posts)

Healthcare.gov crashed under stress. How much stress?

  1. profile image60
    AnalogousMethodposted 3 years ago

    Remember how the healthcare.gov website crashed under the huge numbers of people who were visiting it? Remember how politicians were telling us that it was a sign of how popular the program is?

    Well, we finally found out just how many people all logged on at once and caused it to crash.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won … -problems/

    2,000.

    2,000 users brought it down.

    To give you an idea of how bad that is, if you went to Hostgator and bought a website plan for $150/month, and installed a Wordpress default website, you should be able to handle at least 10 times that amount, if not more.

    1. psycheskinner profile image79
      psycheskinnerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      That is 2000 simultaneous (not total) users on the same step (not everyone on the site at the time) on the fed site only (states also have sites).

      1. profile image60
        AnalogousMethodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        2000 people trying to do that first registration step simultaneously. As I mentioned, a basic server could handle 10 times that amount easily.

        Free forum software can handle over 50,000 simultaneous users.

        Myspace tested 1,000,000.

        This means that they didn't stress test the server, and they didn't put any load balancing in place. It's just a pitifully low number, nothing like what they try to paint it as. They made it sound like it only crashed because there were hundreds of thousands of people all logging in at the same time.

        1. psycheskinner profile image79
          psycheskinnerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          It is a crappy piece of software.  But it is not correct to suggest it crashed after the 2000th person used the site.  There is a difference between crappy and completely useless.

          1. profile image60
            AnalogousMethodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Which is why I titled it "under stress". 200 visitors at once is more stress than 200 visitors over a week.

            It's also why I said 2000 people logged in "at once".

            I disagree, if a website is supposed to be able to serve a customer base of hundreds of millions, and it can't even handle 2000 simultaneously, then it is useless. It would take something like 6 years to get everyone who doesn't have insurance signed up at that rate.

            edit: not signed up. Registered.

    2. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah unfortunately the raw number is completely irrelevant what causes crashes is network overload which is not related to how many people are using the site but how information transfer is occurring.

      As an example if I were to DDOS a small site I could crash it by myself. So one person can bring down a website, so saying 2000 did and this proves something is just false.

      1. profile image60
        AnalogousMethodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        2000 people under normal browsing conditions causing an overload is definitely a problem.

        Are you really trying to compare a DDOS attack to the load from a single normal connection? A DDOS from one person creates more than one simultaneous connection, so it's invalid comparison anyway.

        Stop making excuses for extreme failure. Every citizen should be ashamed that our government created this atrocity. A $150 website with default settings would do better than this $500 million atrocity.

        1. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Sorry do you have any data that it was not DDOS'd? All data is coming from a single IP so its still only one user.


          Anyway my only point is your metric (2000 people) is irrelevant. What we need to make an assessment is how data is being moved. Sorry but that is simple fact.

          1. profile image60
            AnalogousMethodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Do you have any data that it was?

            They've been having a congressional hearing on the website, and nobody reported any attacks. There's no reason to assume there were any attacks, as the report was that 2000 users attempting to register caused it to crash. Not 2000 users were executing a DDOS.

            It's not irrelevant. It's perfectly relevant. Websites are supposed to handle users. It doesn't matter how specifically they screwed up, what matters is they screwed up so royally that they couldn't even handle a tiny number of connections.

            You're looking at a broken bleacher and saying "well, that doesn't really matter that 200 people broke it". The goal was to handle 10,000, and it didn't even support 2% of that. Failing to meet 2% of your goal is kind of a big deal.

          2. Josak profile image60
            Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            I have no data it was, you have no data it wasn't, it not being mentioned proves nothing (particularly since it may well be part of a criminal investigation)

            OK let's use your bleacher analogy.

            The correct metric is how much weight was on the bleacher you keep wrongly using a metric of how many people.

            As an example that could be 200 babies at maybe 2 kg each or 200 450 kg severely obese people.

            All I am saying is you have the wrong metric and until you start using the right one we won't know what this means. Sorry but that is simple fact.

            As for the seriousness, eh, new websites go down, happens all the time, no one died, no big deal.

            1. profile image60
              AnalogousMethodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Lol, I don't have any data either that a group of dinosaurs landed in a spaceship and physically took control of the servers and started screwing with them.

              You can't say "Well you don't have any proof it didn't happen". A reasonable person waits for proof to start believing something.

              Besides, if it were due to illegal activity, don't you think the politicians would prefer to say that Obamacare is under attack by right-wing hackers, instead of saying "We're complete imbecils and we can't make a website with obscene amounts of money"?

              The metric of people is the correct metric, because it is designed to handle a specific amount of people. Weight is a consideration, and they use averages while allowing for variance.

              Clearly you will make any excuse for any level of incompetence by the politicians you like. There is no excuse. Just like there is a proven method of making bleachers, there is a proven method of making a website. Failure is not excusable anymore.

              Especially considering that Joe's Bleachers can make that bleacher for $50,000, and the government spent $40 million and still it broke after 2% of expected activity.

              Keep making excuses, it's funny to watch.

              1. Josak profile image60
                Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Actually I don't believe I like any of the politicians involved at all.

                You are still categorically, factually using the wrong metric, until you accept that this you have no point to make. Your insistence on using the wrong metric (because you don't actually know the values of the correct one) makes your observation invalid.

                I also don't think you know the first thing about creating a website with legal consequence or how difficult and expensive that is.

                I also already explained why a DDOS attack would not be revealed.

                If a reasonable person waits for data before making a conclusion then you are not a reasonable person. You have not waited for the correct data and are assuming on the value of a no optimal metric.

                As for the screw up (Assuming there even was one), again it could simply be one mis-written line of code or a even a simple syntax error in the load chart by a single developer. The consequences of this site going down for a while were basically zilch no matter how hard you try to blow it out of proportion.

                Let's talk about inefficiency though, in a way that ACTUALLY matters ACTUALLY impacts human lives rather than this nonsense.

                The US private system was the most expensive system in the first world, it was the least effective system in the first word, I am in Australia right now an Angiogram here (as an example) costs 33 American dollars. In the US the average costs under the private system? 914 Dollars Almost thirty times more expensive.

                SO yes I am more than comfortable with governments running this since the Australian government is thirty times better at running a healthcare system cost wise than the American private sector AND provides better outcomes AND has better rating under the OECD and WHO AND has a higher doctor and patient satisfaction.

                These figures are replicated for other socialized systems all around the world.

                Of course that actually MATTERS that costs lives. Your example means nothing.

                1. wilderness profile image92
                  wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  No your angiogram didn't cost $33.  It may have been priced at that silly figure, but only a fool would think that was the actual cost.

                  1. Josak profile image60
                    Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    Nope cost. Actual cost. It's an extreme example but go have a look at the Forbes list on costs or the Wikipedia rankings on spending. Averages are in the three to four times range.

                    Sorry, I know it's shocking. But unless you pull the "it's all a conspiracy card" it's true.

                    The only thing it doesn't account for is college education here is kind of free (complicated system but much freer) which makes paying doctors less much more feasible because they don't have huge debts to pay themselves.

                    But that is just another example of how much better governments are at running some things than the private sector.

                    As for how much it was priced at, for citizens it's completely free. (obviously the money comes from taxation).

                  2. Josak profile image60
                    Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    There are lot's of reasons, no profit margin, cheaper doctors, more efficient systems.

                    A big one is hospital markups.

                    Some have been caught with 1000 times markups in the US, there was a case of 10 000 percent markup on Tylenol.

                    Capitalism can really suck sometimes.

    3. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Are you implying that the quality of a website is an indicator as to the social value of the ACA? Or are you simply stating the healthcare.gov website performs badly? If the former, then no, that's a non sequitur. If the latter, then yes I agree.

      1. profile image60
        AnalogousMethodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I'm trying to show the absurdity of the whole project. Remember, the same people in charge of the website are the people who are in charge of your healthcare plans, and safely handling the personal information you enter on their website.

        It should be criminal what they have done. They spent $40 million on a bleacher that the market would have provided for $50k, and it collapsed under 2% of expected weight.

        It's not just that they made a website with some glitches. It's that they are so far off the mark that a rational person shouldn't be able to trust them anymore. How could you trust someone who promised bleachers that could hold 10,000 people, and the whole thing collapsed when 200 got on? That's not even close.

        How can you trust someone who promised you professional bleachers, but ended up making them out of balsa wood?(And I bet balsa could still hold more than 200 people)

        People don't seem to be grasping the scale of the incompetence and waste. If a private company(private sector, public company) did this, the people in charge would be going to prison.

        1. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Let me be clearer. On the one hand you have a technology project. On the other you have the ACA. Are you suggesting that the poor performance of healthcare.gov indicates the social value of the ACA, or are you simply criticizing what seems to be a poorly managed technology project? Just trying to clarify what your overarching point is.

      2. profile image80
        Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        It's one of many indicators that government is wasteful and inefficient.  IF it runs Obamacare the way it runs just about every program, we're in for trouble.

        I asked another person here on HubPages to name one time the government did anything efficiently.  I'm still waiting for a reply.  I guess that is the reply.

        1. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          The Australian government entirely runs it's healthcare system at an average one quarter of the cost per person with better results than the American private sector. Ditto for a whole ton of other governments scoring in the same range.

          For an American example we already have healthcare research in vaccines/treatment, Polio, Tuberculosis etc. were all discovered in American public research bodies and pretty much all of the truly massive drug developments of the modern era were too. Penicillin (discovery and research), Chemotherapy etc. 

          Those four combined are probably the most important thing that has been accomplished in the modern era full stop.

          1. wilderness profile image92
            wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            No it doesn't.  The numbers are easy to manipulate to make it seem that way, but they do not "operate the system" for 1/4 the cost.  An example is the education of doctors, nurses, etc.  That cost is included in the price of health care in the US, in the doctor's bill presented to the patient; in Australia it is conveniently swept under the rug in the form of taxes.

            Because so much of the cost is paid by the tax system, it's easy to make the money disappear, but trust me on this; it's still there, and still being paid.  The doctor's teacher, the grocery store he bought food at while in school, the apartment owner where he lived while learning; all are paid by someone, somewhere and it's all part of the cost of healthcare.

            I have no doubt whatsoever that the Aussies pay less for healthcare than Americans do, but it's not 1/4 of the cost.

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Yes I know, I said exactly that in response to one such comment to both of you a day ago, I didn't feel the need to repeat, the cost of education is not included. In Australia the government pays half of the cost of university and allows the other half to be paid off at zero interest and set rate. Healthcare is 430% cheaper on average now what percentage of that do you really think is half the cost of university education per doctor and nurse?

              Let's be ridiculously generous and say that cost is 80% of that 430 that still means that government does this 350% more efficiently than our private system can.

          2. profile image80
            Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Let me make myself totally clear:

            1.  Our government has done many GREAT things.  People love to give examples of these great things.  I agree with most of the examples.  Were any of these great accomplishments finished efficiently and with little waste, or were these great accomplishments finished with a flood of taxpayer dollars?  Our government is the most wasteful government.  Can anybody name another government that is more wasteful and still in power?

            2.  Liberals always give examples of government efficiency in other nations.  That's my point.  Our government is broken; America's government is anything but efficient.  That's precisely why we need to reform and minimize the size of our government.

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Name any non state agency on Earth that has ever accomplished anything as great as penicillin, the vaccine for Polio or putting a man on the moon in the modern era.

              You can't because there aren't any.

              Penicillin has saved literally billions of lives is any cost too expensive for that sort of development?

              But yes the development of streptomycin was done on a $130 000 grant budget it has since saved tens of millions of lives... I would call that quite efficient and it was the American government.

              1. profile image80
                Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                You could be a politician.  You avoided the question.  We are in total agreement that our government has accomplished some amazing things.  Have any of them been accomplished efficiently?  Your lack of an answer or your avoidance answers the question emphatically.

                At the end of your statement, you mention a single example.  Great.  Our government is the most wasteful government in history. 

                Can you name a single government that is as wasteful as ours?  Can you name another government that is less efficient?

                1. Josak profile image60
                  Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  Yeah I gave a you a very significant example... This is not an easy stat to just find or evaluate since there is no solid definition of efficient in this context.

                  I am sure the tens of millions of people still alive because of it are quite pleased with the efficiency of that $130 000 though.

                  Honestly I don't know where to find stats on what government is most efficient or how you would measure that.  But the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim i.e. you.

                  1. profile image80
                    Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    lol  The burden of proof lies with the people who want to convince us that the government should expand, people who support President Obama.  I don't need to convince you that government is efficient; you already seem to believe that the government is efficient. 

                    This question is at the heart of both Republican and Democrat ideologies. 

                    You are right, however, that it is a difficult thing to prove.  Efficient is a term that would be difficult to truly define in this context.  Don't you dare cut and paste a definition!  lol

        2. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          You don't seem to get it. Try it this way, if the website was the most efficient, well designed website you'd ever seen, and was praised by business and technology gurus throughout the land, do you believe that would demonstrate the ACA is an excellent piece of legislation?

          1. bBerean profile image60
            bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

             

            That makes no sense.  Websites aren't that tough.  Properly building the website, which is central to the sign up process, after spending several years and hundreds of millions of dollars, simply means they took too long and spent too much doing the minimum required, nothing more.  Failing at even that, on the other hand, is a huge red flag. 

            If I get an RSVP for an event, and that invitation is as expected, I will consider attending.  If they misspell my name and state the event will take place Junuary 33rd, at 27:30, I'm not going to try to find out what it should have said...I'll pass.  If they can't even get the invite right, why on earth would I expect it to be a well done event?  Oh, and then to hear they paid the printer $725 per invitation?  Indefensible.

            1. Don W profile image82
              Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              If it was a great website, would that mean the ACA is an excellent piece of legislation? Simple question.

              1. bBerean profile image60
                bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Yes it is a simple, (in context) silly, irrelevant, strawman question.  The answer is "No," just because someone is capable of building a good website, that does not mean what they represent is good.  Considering their success, I suspect any porn site probably works well.  That does not mean porn is good.  If a group, business or government is too incompetent to even arrange for a functional site, however, it still reflects poorly on the administrative skills and judgement of  that group.  I'd say someone who can't even match the abilities of a purveyor of porn ought not be trusted with a huge portion of the worlds biggest economy.

                1. Don W profile image82
                  Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  "The answer is "No," just because someone is capable of building a good website, that does not mean what they represent is good."

                  Absolutely. And from that we can infer the common sense principle that the way something is presented does not necessarily demonstrate the value (good or bad) of that which is presented. By that reasoning we can conclude that the way the ACA has been presented does not necessarily demonstrate the value (good or bad) of that piece of legislation. Simple logic.

                  1. bBerean profile image60
                    bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    Too simple of "logic," perhaps.  I am someone frequently responsible for projects.  I own every aspect and a failure at any level, be it by me, a team member I have assigned and support, or a contractor I have vetted, selected and commissioned, is my failure and speaks to my competency for the entire task.  This is how it works in the real world and it is foolish to hold government to a lesser standard.  Still simple.  If you truly don't see it I can't imagine why not. 

                    While the web failure indicates incompetency regarding administration of the obama/democare tax, there remains another issue.  Regarding the viability of this monstrosity of a power grab, it is already beginning to fail under it's own weight, (as it was probably designed to do).

                    Of course, conservatives have been sounding the warnings for years, but now as obama/democare unfolds, these problems are gradually becoming undeniable.  It is so obvious, only the the most staunch supporters of Obama refuse to set down the kool-aide.  Even many of the liberal media and ultra liberal entertainers are jumping ship.

          2. profile image80
            Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Y O U don't seem to get it.  I'm not saying that the website indicates that Obamacare is poor legislation; I do believe Obamacare is bad legislation, but I don't believe that is the case due to a bad website.  I'm saying that the website is another example of how the government is inefficient.  The same website could have been better and less expensive had some company, like Amazon, been in charge of it; businesses are more efficient than the government, because they have to turn a profit.  IF Obamacare is as efficient as the making of the website, it will be a failure, IF.

            1. John Holden profile image59
              John Holdenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Amazon efficient lol The only thing that they are efficient at is avoiding taxes.

              1. profile image80
                Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                They have a budget and a surplus.  Can you say the same about America's government? 

                No.

                1. John Holden profile image59
                  John Holdenposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  Amazon has failed to make a profit for most, if not all, of its history.

                  I'd also say that it is not governments place to make a profit.

                  1. profile image80
                    Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    Amazon is infinitely more efficient than the American government, even with all of its financial shortcomings.  Nothing is less efficient than our government.

                    Our government shouldn't waste money like it does.

            2. Don W profile image82
              Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Do we have to SHOUT. Italics is the traditional way of adding emphasis to a word, and is so much more elegant, don't you think?

              I'm glad you're not saying the website indicates Obamacare is poor legislation, as that would be nonsensical. So thank you for the clarification. Those are very big "ifs" and I don't believe you and I know the answers to them with any certainty. The important point is that laws can, and do, change over time. There is no reason any problems with the ACA that become apparent can't be addressed. As you know, plan, do, check, act is a basic principle of business management. And yes, businesses have to be efficient to maintain a profit. But that's one of the problems of a completely "free market" health care system. When turning a profit conflicts with doing what is morally right, guess which one a corporation will choose? That's is why the government intervened in the first place.

              Edit: and according to Forbes Amazon is a lousy business, so you may want to choose a different example: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/ … -business/

              1. profile image80
                Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Amazon is still more efficient than our government even if it loses money each quarter; it would have done a better job making a high-traffic website too.  That's how efficient our government is, but hey it's okay to put another 1/6 of the entire economy in the hands of an inept government.  That's exactly what Obamacare stands to do.  What could go wrong?

                This legislation should never have passed the way it is.  It's half-baked legislation, and more and more Democrats are becoming aware of that.  Now we have to fix it, or it is destined to fail.

                1. Don W profile image82
                  Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  Nope. You are still conflating two separate things. The website is not the legislation, it is a website. The legislation is the legislation. Do you see? Does the website need fixing? Yes. Can we reasonably conclude that there is therefore something wrong with the legislation? No. That's a non sequitur . . . (see above reply to bBerean for the rest).

                  1. profile image80
                    Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    Let me clarify my view:

                    1.  The website needs to be fixed, because it is a failure.

                    2.  Obamacare needs to be fixed, because it will be a failure.

                    I'm not saying that a poor website means that Obamacare will fail or that the two are even the same.  I am saying that the website helps illustrate how inept our government is.  Obamacare will, in my view, also illustrate how inept our government is.  The two can be separate and yet prove the same point.

                    Further, an inept government should never be expanded.  That's my view.  Let's face it, fixing a website will be easy compared to fixing Obamacare.  Fixing Obamacare will be easy compared to fixing an inept government.  None of these will be a success if the entity running them, our government, can't seem to balance a budget and act financially solvent.

              2. HowardBThiname profile image90
                HowardBThinameposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Obamacare IS poor legislation. That will become glaringly apparent in 2014.

                1. bBerean profile image60
                  bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  Painfully obvious.  For many it has been obvious for years now.  Sad that instead of being able to conceptualize the inevitable results of implementation and avoid that pain, we have to endure it for enough folks to understand.  Very sad.

                  1. profile image80
                    Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    It's worse than that.  Once we see it isn't working, we're told to stay the course and give it a chance. 

                    Six people signed up on the first day.  The website wasn't working properly, but operators and phones were still working. . .

                2. Don W profile image82
                  Don Wposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  That's your opinion. What is glaringly obvious right now is that some people (especially within the GOP and the fundamentalist Tea Party) will actively try to sabotage the legislation, for political reasons, and because they believe Obama is a [insert your chosen Obama slur here].

  2. profile image60
    AnalogousMethodposted 3 years ago

    Analogy time.

    The government contracts to have bleachers made. The bleachers need to be able to seat 10,000 at a time.

    When the bleachers are finished, 200 people climb on, and the bleachers crumble to the ground.

    Now, a DDOS analogy suggests that maybe 200 people bunched up on one spot and started jumping up and down, while carrying 100-lb backpacks and using saws on the structure, but that's not what happened. 200 people acted normally on it, and it failed miserably.

    How anybody could look at that mess and make excuses for it is beyond me. Engineering is a science. We have very accurate mathematics to back up the kind of materials and structure needed to make a bleacher that holds that many people, and to do so safely. There is, literally, no excuse for failing to do so.

    The same thing happens with web design. There are very accurate methods and best practices for handling server requests. They were followed as miserably as the bleacher analogy.

    Again, don't make excuses for it. There is no excuse.

  3. profile image60
    AnalogousMethodposted 3 years ago

    If you were going in for a surgery, would you be ok if the power company that would be keeping the machines running could only power 2% of the city at a time?

    If you were sending your child to school, would you send them to a school that only managed to teach 2% of the curriculum?

    If you ordered 100 computers from Dell, and they sent you 98 defective ones, would you reorder from them in the future?

    If your financial advisor promised you $10,000 per year on your $100,000 investment, would you give him another chance after he gives you a $200 check for the first year?

    If you contracted to have a custom house built, and you only ended up getting a foundation poured for $10 million, would you keep sending that contractor money?

    I really don't know how else to put it, the bleacher example is the best. There is mathematical structure behind the process of building a safe bleacher, just as there is mathematical structure behind running a server. It would be like hiring someone to make a pizza and giving them a recipe, but having them use dirt, mustard, and tofu instead of flour, eggs, and salt. There's no reason not to follow the recipe, and there is no excuse for screwing it up.

  4. profile image60
    AnalogousMethodposted 3 years ago

    I don't think I've ever seen someone bend so far backwards to try and justify something.

    The metrics for web traffic have nothing to do with the number of visitors? Lol. It's all about the visitors. The whole system is designed for the visitors.

    Of course, what do I know? I've never made a website, according to Josak.

    No, Josak. If it was a line of code, they would have found that during testing. But they didn't test. There is no way they tested. If they tested, they would have very quickly seen that nothing worked. That's the whole point of testing.

    And don't get started on healthcare costs, unless you want to actually talk about healthcare costs. Not to mention your complete non-sequitur of the Australian government doing a better job than the American private(lol) healthcare sector, which makes you trust the American government(what does that have to do with the Australian government again?) to handle it all, even though they can't make a simple website.

    Lol, I'm done. Citizens should be calling for the heads of the people who wasted billions on this pathetic site.

    1. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Still not using the right metric.

      Still going on about something that has no real consequence.

      At worst they failed to do a proper huge load test, as in they didn't test what happened when 2000 people logged on at once.

      Google Doodle a website run by the most successful internet company in the world had the same problem a year ago, stuff happens, it's no big deal, Google is obviously capable of running it's business and so there is no inference to be made that the US government is not.

      As for the governments issue I was referring to the fact that thus far all first world governments have succeeded at this (I also gave a precise example) I highly doubt ours cannot by simple mass probability.

 
working