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October 29, 2013
Verizon Communications had a chance to be one of the heroes in the federal government's attempt to fix the Healthcare.gov fiasco. Instead, a major connectivity failure has Verizon looking as sheepish as everyone else associated with the troubled rollout of the "Obamacare" health insurance marketplace.
An outage at a datacenter operated by Verizon Terremark is being blamed for the disruption that rendered parts of the Healthcare.gov site useless for much of Sunday and early Monday morning. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement Monday morning saying the issue had been resolved.
The outage also affected other Verizon Terremark customers, though none with as high a profile -- or as infamous a reputation -- as the Healthcare.gov site.
Only last week, Verizon's Enterprise Solutions division reportedly was asked to be part of an expanded team effort to help fix technical problems that have dogged the healthcare exchange site since its launch.
There is nothing to indicate that Verizon Terremark will suffer any more glitches, and no one is calling for one of the biggest names in telecom to be yanked from the project. However, the occurrence of this one problem while the company was upon the national stage is troubling in itself. It comes at a time when carriers like Verizon are arguing that their cloud and datacenter performance and reliability are what separate them from other datacenter operators.
This outage is a reminder that things can go wrong even at datacenters run by storied telcos. Nobody's perfect, as the saying goes. Many large corporate enterprises probably like to think their traffic is more sensitive and mission-critical than anything the federal government is dealing with, and this matter of the Healthcare.gov outage is something they might just bring up as they talk to Verizon Terremark about hosting and managing their traffic.
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading
You want Dans? We got 'em! This one, "Fancy" Dan O'Shea, has been covering the telecom industry for 20 years, writing about virtually every technology segment and winning several ASBPE awards in the process. He previously served as editor-in-chief of Telephony magazine, and was the founding editor of FierceTelecom. Grrrr! Most recently, this sleep-deprived father of two young children has been a Chicago-based freelance writer, and continues to pontificate on non-telecom topics such as fantasy sports, craft beer, baseball and other subjects that pay very little but go down well at parties. In his spare time he claims to be reading Ulysses (yeah, right), owns fantasy sports teams that almost never win, and indulges in some fieldwork with those craft beers. So basically, it's time to boost those bar budgets, folks!
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