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HealthCare.gov's Cloud Computer System Cost Five Times as Much as Expected

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Whitehouse.gov

The cloud computing contract for the federal government's Obamacare exchange came in a lot higher than originally planned, reports NextGov:

The government's contract with Terremark, Verizon's cloud division, had already quadrupled from $11 million when it was first awarded in 2011 to $46 million at the time of HealthCare.gov's disastrous launch in October 2013. That included a $9 million adjustment just days before launch when testing revealed the cloud could only support 10,000 concurrent HealthCare.gov users rather than the expected 50,000.

CMS ordered an additional $15.2 worth of cloud services from Terramark between the launch date, when most users were unable to access key portions of the site, and Nov. 30, when officials declared the site was performing at an acceptable level, according to a justification for other than full and open competition document posted on Thursday.

That contract adjustment paid for added cloud storage plus firewall upgrades, additional software and various other services.

Once again, it suggests that the federal government didn't know what they were getting into when the exchanges launched last October. Asked about the increased cost, a federal health official tells NextGov that "if the additional services were not added urgently, the exchanges would not function as designed and citizens would continue to have issues using the marketplace." In other words, the original plan had been for a system that wouldn't work.