Why the train now stores your data from microsoft and amazon

Why the train now stores your data from Microsoft and Amazon

Actually, the Deutsche Bahn for the basic conversion of their computer infrastructure had taken time until the year 2022. But these days, the last computers are reduced in the train data center Berlin-Mahlsdorf.

Everything in the cloud

At peak times, the railway had operated around 8000 servers themselves to evaluate the huge data stream from the turning and rail infrastructure. Also, the sale of tickets on apps and the train website. But the tasks of the Bahn-IT is also attending the infrastructure for the smartphone app DB Navigator or in real time the condition of 28.000 turnouts to monitor. Alone by the remote control of the course, around 3600 disturbances were recognized in the past year and prevents.

The own rail servers are no longer available. Everything comes from the cloud. These are data centers of Microsoft and Amazon, which provide storage space and computing services via the Internet with their services Azure and AWS. "We have virtually lifted the IT applications in the cloud under the rolling wheel and then further optimized", Says Christa Koenen, IT boss of the train. "So we have now migrated several hundred applications in the cloud. And after two weeks ago the last application has left our data center, we could now start with the backbau."

"There is nothing wagging"

The customers of the train should be best noticed by the conversion behind the scenes. With more than 1500 bookings per minute, it operates one of the large ticket systems in Europe, the purchase of the tickets over digital channels such as train.or the app DB navigator allowed. "This is our ruckgrat, nothing can wobble. And that is now in the cloud so."

On the contrary: The App DB Navigator now does not zip around with a rough rush because the cloud servers can hardly be overloaded. When the Bahn Executive Board in 2016, the decision to relocate 450 applications of the train to the cloud, the decision in the public was also critically recorded. At that time, it was already apparent that a US group will come to the train, which in case of doubt is subject to US law.

US provider in criticism

Not only since the enthusiasm of Edward Snowden is clear that the data protection laws in the US are clearly laxer and collect services like the NSA in a coarse volume of persons and companies. This data protection match between Europe and the USA also has also in the judgment of the European Court of Justice ("Schrems II") played a role with which the EU Privacy Agreement "Privacy Shield" was tilted with the USA. Thereafter, the standard representation is not enough to provide the providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google for the invoices of legal obligations for their customers in Europe.

Bahn It-boss Koenen says: "Of course we have given a very special focus on safety and privacy right now at the beginning of the project." On the one hand, the railway sets a hard shutter, which should prevent curious glances of US services: "We take all the data, and only we can decelerate you. That, only we have access to the key and not the cloud provider", Stresses the manager of the railway IT daughter DB systel. Therefore, the train can also operate applications where data protection plays an important role in the cloud.

Capping and fine print

In addition to the technical protection, the train also relies on fine prints: "We have secured that with the CloudProviders accordingly contractually secured and subject to compliance regularly." In doing so, the train invite European data centers in Frankfurt – which has specifically expanded this about Amazon Web Service – and in the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, Koenen sees the danger of making himself dependent on a rough cloud operator. The web therefore pursue one "Multi-Cloud Strategy". In addition to Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure is also used. Suppliers from Germany or Europe kept empty. "At the time of the invitation to tender, there were still a significant functional cheek between providers from the US and the European competitors. And my association after that has not yet sufficiently changed", Tell Koenen.

Change possible

But that can change. The railway will continue to observe the market because the cloud landscape will evolve in the coming years. "And it is absolutely not excluded that we then change the cloud provider accordingly."

Affected by the change were also around 1000 employees who were busy in the railway data centers. "Of those we have almost all kept and further educate." Many had made a so-called cloud driver’s license and now worked in the operation of the closed services. Some have also gone into software development and write programs for Deutsche Bahn. Professionals are also searched here: The train introduces around 1000 IT and digital experts per year, trend rising.

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