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Network World - An apologetic Obama administration has had technical people working around the clock to address problems with its Healthcare.gov website, which has been unable to cope with visitor traffic since launching on Oct. 1. One vendor, Compuware, is also doling out some free insights into what's wrong with the Obamacare site after remotely running some of its own application-performance management (APM) tests.
“One that stood out as a problem is Pingdom,” says John Van Siclen, general manager at the Compuware APM business unit. As a third-party monitoring service integrated in as a component of the Affordable Care Act website, Pingdom doesn’t seem to be used well at Healthcare.gov, contributing to the site’s slowness. “It’s not keeping up.”
Compuware says it ran its free tool, Ajax Edition, and also its cloud-based APM service, to get a bead on what can be seen remotely about Healthcare.gov’s performance as related to both how the site’s software components interact with each other and the incoming traffic of user requests from across the country.
Healthcare.gov was supposed to be the site where buying health insurance was going to be as easy for the public as purchasing an airline ticket online, as President Obama once put it. But now, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to soon join the site’s main contractors, including CGI and QSSI, to testify before a House panel about the site’s technical problems and how they might get fixed.
Here’s more on Compuware’s observations about what’s wrong with the site:
- Loading the Healthcare.gov home page takes a very long time by the standards of other healthcare sites to download just the 59K initial HTML document, which is “probably caused by bandwidth constraints on its web server, as most of the time this is contributed to the server response time and not the network.” There’s a need to optimize the use of third-party components and make sure the initial HTML page can be served faster from the web servers.