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“Because they have to worry so much about safety and security, they are constrained in ways that other businesses aren’t,” he says. “Delta can’t just host its systems on Joe Blow’s cloud server somewhere else in the way that another business might be able to do.”

First, AWS, Azure and GCE are not just "Joe Blow's cloud server", they are multi-billion dollar companies, and they all can provide hosting environments compliant with a multitude of security programs including SOC 1, 2, 3, PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc.

If a hospital can store patient records on AWS, why can't Delta store my flight records there? If the government is worried that a public cloud leaves them open to terrorist attacks, then they can sponsor them to run on Gov Cloud for better isolation.

But more importantly, moving a complex high volume legacy system to "the cloud" is no panacea, whatever dependencies or lack of redundancy that caused this failure could cause the exact same failure mode in "the cloud" (plus it can open them to all new failure modes).




The time-critical parts of a hospital's workflow are less IT-dependent than the time-critical parts of an airline's workflow. You need a computer to handle admissions in hospitals, but you can get by with the actual medicine with the computers offline (there's a LOT of paper replication).

Besides, if $CLOUD_PROVIDER has a couple of hours outage and the patient records aren't available, not that much backs up. There's not that much in the count of patients that's affected by, say, a 2-hour outage. But that same length of outage can affect thousands of passengers across a dozen airports, and cause knock-on effects for days.


I wasn't comparing uptime needs of a hospital versus an airline, but their security needs.

Every major cloud provide offers multiple independent regions, and I haven't heard of any suffering from a multi-region outage.

If an airline's application can't tolerate an outage, then they better not host it in a single region, whether they host it themselves or host it in the cloud.

Delta is on day 2 of their outage, Southwest's was 12+ hours.

Google had a major outage in April -- it lasted 18 minutes. In June, AWS lost a single Availability Zone (out of 3) in Sydney for about 12 hours.


> I haven't heard of any suffering from a multi-region outage.

It has happened in the past [1].

[1] http://www.crn.com/news/cloud/300074866/microsoft-explains-w...


>>I wasn't comparing uptime needs of a hospital versus an airline, but their security needs.

Uptime needs are security needs too for various reasons. e.g. lack of uptime is just another way to get a Denial of Service attack.

edit: a typo


Hmm. Doesn't that just factor out to saying "it fails a lot and looks like its going to keep doing it and maybe even more in the future but its too important to move so meh?"

Can't stop to sharpen the axe. Too much wood to cut.




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