According to Reuters, the Verizon Terremark data center experienced a failure on Sunday that led it to lose network connectivity. Not unusual, but, in this case, it managed to take down the embattled HealthCare.gov web site that has been the source of much stress for the current administration
Terremark operates the data center behind a federal system. The data center determines eligibility for government subsidies to buy insurance nationwide and hosts HealthCare.gov. While the initial issues have been mostly around bugs and scaling issues, this recent outage only compounds the problems.
“Online insurance exchanges opened on October 1 under the law to offer health insurance plans to millions of uninsured Americans. But it has been marred by technical glitches and delays as would-be customers encounter error messages and long waits, often failing to make it through the system despite repeated tries.”
The lessons to be learned from the HealthCare.gov debacle include the fact that deployments of such high traffic on-demand applications have to go through the right amount of testing. However, I suspect the issues are more around bad architecture than bad clouds; the site was just not designed to scale.