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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jul 2 2012   9:13PM GMT

Should the outages of Amazon Data centers be of concern to healthcare IT?

Posted by: RedaChouffani

This past week, we have heard of outages of Twitter, Netflix and others online services being down for several hours due to some outages in data centers located in north Virginia from some severe storms. Some have seen that as a sign weakness and concerns for cloud computing.

While the data centers suffered mostly from power loss, and have caused some interruptions for thousands if not millions of users, no data has been reported lost, and all systems resumed within few hours.  These disruptions did happen to one of the market leaders in cloud services (Amazon), and it is certainly important to realize that this is not uncommon especially when natural disaster hits.

For healthcare organizations contemplating the use of the cloud for electronic medical records and other health related data storage require much more reliable resources that are highly available.  And it is equally important to note that these outages are not as frequent as some may think.

The fact is that whether medical information is cloud based, or on premises, downtime is never welcomed.  With the need of systems to constantly be up during the critical care of patients, one task IT will need to address when selecting and evaluating cloud services is that downtime can happen.  This would mean that the best defense against it, is to be appropriately plan for it through the review and plans of DR and BCP.

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