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Access Washington web site keeps having outages

OlympianJanuary 2, 2014 

Department of Enterprise Services headquarters

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian

UPDATE: The Department of Enterprise Services says repairs are done and the intermittent outages at the Access Washington web portal should be over. 

“We worked with Consolidated Technology Services and we completed work installing a monitor that is going to switch traffic to an alternative server should one fail for Access Washington," DES spokesman Curt Hart said Friday. "We also installed an application that should prevent the problem with the feed that was occurring."

ORIGINAL JAN. 2 POST: The main web portal for state government in high tech Washington has had intermittent outages all week long, and state IT officials still don’t know what is causing the problem at Access Washington. The latest round of trouble was reported early Monday morning and the government hopes to get it sorted out by late Friday.

The Department of Enterprise Services runs the state’s agency web sites and its information technology crews were still looking for a cause of the outages on Thursday, spokesman Curt Hart said in an email. 

The site was “back up and running,” Hart noted, but it had been out most of New Years Day and earlier in the week. “This issue has been periodic and popped up most recently on Monday,” Hart added in an email.

He said two possible causes are suspected – a server that is the only one the portal uses. Many other state web sites utilize multiple servers so there is back up if one goes out, according to Hart. Hart said a feed used by agencies to update their information posts on the Access Washington portal also could be at fault. 

“I’m told it could be one or the other – or even a combination of the two issues. Again, we’re working to resolve the problem and hope to pinpoint and implement solutions by end of the day tomorrow,” Hart wrote.

To get to the bottom of it, DES is working with another agency, Consolidated Technology Services, which maintains many Enterprise Services servers including the one dedicated to Access Washington.

Other state agency sites did not appear to be affected, including that of Gov. Jay Inslee. Access Washington is an umbrella portal or hub that lets a visitor find information and links to individual agencies and programs. The site is considered well-traveled for a state site and had about 56,000 visitors in December. 

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