back to article IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster Brexits from London to Frankfurt – because GDPR

IBM Cloud will lift and shift its GPU cluster from London to Frankfurt to avoid falling foul of GDPR post-Brexit. Big Blue slipped out the news in a Tuesday post that announced: “Watson Machine Learning will migrate the GPU cluster from London to Frankfurt to serve European Union clients due to General Data Protection …

  1. Andy 73

    Genuinely...

    ...if moving from one server to another is difficult for you in this day and age, you might need to think about your software practises.

    1. TomChaton

      Re: Genuinely...

      Perhaps it's a lack of imagination on your part if you can't envision a scenario where complex long-running operations on petabytes of data might be tricky to move.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Genuinely...

        Well appropriate checkpointing and when possible a sneakerware transfer might help.... Surely someone might have seen this coming in an organisation aware of what has been happening in the last 3 years?

        1. MrDamage

          Re: Genuinely...

          Given the "Yes, no, maybe, can you repeat the question?" clusterfuck that was Brexit negotiations, can you blame IBM for waiting until they knew what the fuck was going on before making a decision?

          1. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: Genuinely...

            But they said nothing would change ! It was all Project Fear to insinuate businesses would move away !

      2. Andy 73

        Re: Genuinely...

        "Perhaps it's a lack of imagination on your part if you can't envision a scenario where complex long-running operations on petabytes of data might be tricky to move."

        Been there, done that - nine petabytes of data moved. Sure, it wasn't a standard deployment cycle, but it was a thing we were prepared and able to do.

        But note that the article specifically said "Customers do not need to move their data".

        I can (and do) imagine far worse problems!

        1. TomChaton

          Re: Genuinely...

          I agree, moving data should be simple. But note I said specifically "complex long-running operations", not data.

          Shutting down a pipeline and then just restarting it may not quite as simple as all that in some cases, is all I was saying.

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Genuinely...

            Shutting down an arbitrary pipeline, no. Shutting down a pipeline designed for restart - and they should be, yes. And having worked on very substantial numerical codes in the past, I have seen and do know it can be done properly.

            Again - anyone who had read the news would surely have made an effort to get this going bnefore now - or has this computationaly big been running for >3 years without modification?

            1. whitepines Silver badge
              Linux

              Re: Genuinely...

              or has this computationaly big been running for >3 years without modification?

              Clearly you have no experience with academic code, as in software written by PhDs that have nothing to do with computer science but are Big Names in their chosen field (material science, for instance). Poorly written doesn't quite capture the spirit of the thing.

              Icon 'cause some of them only code for Windows. On software intended for supercomputers.

              1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

                Re: Genuinely...

                Well, that is not strictly true. I was a PhD student once - working on numerical analysis problems and we checkpointed - toyou had to given the reliability! Later, moving to a technical organisation providing serices - "you better had bloody checkpoint" would have been in most people's minds. Still, 3 years, continuously, no changes to the code - that must be a small minority of codes.

          2. Mike 16 Silver badge

            Re: Checkpoint/restart

            Recall doing that on a machine that was old (built in 1956 or so) at the time (1971 or so) with long-running FORTRAN jobs. Yeah, checkpoint to cards was a PITA, but it beat restarting from scratch.

            I imagine technology has advanced a bit since then (despite examples in recent memory :-)

            1. Glen 1 Silver badge

              Re: Checkpoint/restart

              Technology has, but people haven't

        2. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Genuinely...

          Moving the data is fairly easy, what is not is when you have a long-running model with a large dataset in memory. That is the problem.

    2. Andy 73

      Re: Genuinely...

      Fascinated by the down votes on that first post. How many years have we been banging on about the infrastructure and processes needed to do stuff in the cloud?

      Saying that we should be ready and able to do this by now, even for large systems, should not be controversial.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "users don’t need to move data,"

    Presumably that only applies to UK users or PII about UK resident subjects, otherwise the data will fall foul of GDPR.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Presumably that only applies to UK users

      Hm, I dunno - the third country thing is all about *transfers* of data. Come 2021, Euro customers won't be able to transfer personal data to the UK to process, so the cluster has to move to Europe.

      The data already there... is already there.

      C.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Presumably that only applies to UK users

        The data already there... is already there.

        Which is fine as long as absolutely no processing is performed on the data or the data does not include any data covered by the GDPR. It doesn't matter how or when the data gets there, it's the processing that matters (and data transfer is a process).

    2. ExampleOne

      I assumed it meant they were going to organise moving the data instead.

      Container full of storage on a lorry in London, ship it, at other end replay storage logs since it was cloned in London.

      Depending how their storage is set up, this could be pretty trivial or pretty painful, but the basic logistics are not complicated, especially if customers move most of their workloads in advance if the shutoff.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Storage and processing in racks plugged in to ups in lorry . Closely followed by generator truck to top them up every 15mins

  3. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

    This needs some thought

    Is this Snafu plus Snafu, or Snafu squared. We should be all familiar with exponential growth by now.

    1. jonathan keith Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: This needs some thought

      Multiple SNAFUs are always multiplicative, never additive. It therefore doesn't take much to blow past the FUBAR threshold.

  4. Tubz

    Pointless And Political

    Complete BS from IBM, UK will be GDPR compliant as its UK law now and any amendments will probably be implemented too, to keep things simple with our so called EU partners/competitors/dictatorship. Wonder if IBM getting any thick brown envelopes under the table ?

    1. wabbit02

      Re: Pointless And Political

      Nothing to do with if the UK adhears to the same rules as the EU - its the EU's perogative to grant adequacy or negociate as part of trade deal.

      Isnt the whole point of Brexit to allow regulatory divergence

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Pointless And Political

        My best guess from speaking to Brexit voters is the point of voting for Brexit is to feel that your side won.

        1. TolerantViews

          Re: Pointless And Political

          It's a tough life for the side that lost, I suppose.

          1. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: Pointless And Political

            Cheering for your crappy side even though they're objectively worse is admirable when supporting a football team. And in pretty much no other circumstance.

            1. Yes Me Silver badge

              Re: Pointless And Political

              I thought Brexit was a form of football, with the economy being kicked around pretty much at random.

            2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: Pointless And Political

              "Cheering for your crappy side even though they're objectively worse"

              Objectively, eh? Eye of beholder, much?

        2. Matthew 25
          FAIL

          Re: Pointless And Political

          The whol point of voting to remain is also to feel that your side won.

          Only it didn't.

    2. trolleybus

      Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

      "... any amendments will probably be implemented too."

      Perhaps probably isn't good enougn for IBM?

    3. Andy Bell

      Re: Pointless And Political

      Could this be another instance of someone wanting to be outside the EU but keep all the good stuff of being in the EU ?

      A common data sovereignty landscape over a continent is a Good Thing. We didn't want this, and now we don't.

    4. ExampleOne

      Re: Pointless And Political

      Except AIUI the UK approach to these things as a member was:

      A) sort of implement something that looks vaguely like the EU directive

      B) get sued in CJEU

      C) get told it isn’t compatible with EU law

      D) GOTO A)

      Which was sort of tolerated as a member, but based on history will not be tolerated from a third party state. This means that the UK won’t just have to pay lip service to implementing and enforcing GDPR compatible rules, it will actually have to do it!

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Pointless And Political

        There's an article in this fine publication about new UK snooping laws. Why is anyone surprised this little island (wannabe) dictatorship isn't magically compliant with GDPR at the same time?

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Pointless And Political

          "Why is anyone surprised this little island (wannabe) dictatorship"

          Who are the wannabes? The voters who marginally voted for independence in the first referendum? Or the voters who voted overwhelmingly in the second?

    5. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Pointless And Political

      @Tubz

      "UK will be GDPR compliant as its UK law now and any amendments will probably be implemented too, to keep things simple with our so called EU partners/competitors/dictatorship"

      I know you said 'to keep things simple' but we are talking about politicians. And while we have our politicians they have 27 countries of simpletons who managed to make a recession worse for their people by action. I am not sure anything could be simple enough to get through 27 countries of politicians all trying to agree on the location of their back orifice with a map and two hands.

      Of course we knew that so voted leave

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Pointless And Political

        Mostly pointless because Watson doesn't work.

        They are being sued by just about everybody that ever bought one over here

        It only remains to be renamed and quietly forgotten about

    6. MOH

      Re: Pointless And Political

      You sure about that?

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/04/23/uk_snoopers_charter_sequel/

    7. Terry Barnes

      Re: Pointless And Political

      Why take the risk? Easier just to move things to the EU. That this would happen was pointed out time and time again before the referendum. IBM aren’t the only ones taking steps like this.

    8. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Pointless And Political

      "Complete BS from IBM..."

      The only complete BS came from the two Brexit campaigns and their supporters with their completely bogus claims that the UK would be transformed into a land of gold, jewels, riches, overflowing jobs and blue passports and that there would be no adverse consequences whatsoever from leaving the European Union.

    9. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Pointless And Political

      "Wonder if IBM getting any thick brown envelopes under the table ?"

      Why? Your side "won"

      Quit being a sore-winner

    10. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Pointless And Political

      Wonder if IBM getting any thick brown envelopes under the table ?

      From diehard Remainers ?

    11. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Pointless And Political

      Have you familiarised yourself with "The Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019"?

      You may find that, as a 3rd country, the UK is no longer a suitable processor for UK data.

  5. fredesmite

    REMEMBER -- CLOUD COMPUTING

    is just using someone's else COMPUTER .. praying they care about your stuff as much as you do

  6. IGotOut Silver badge

    Watson...

    ...are they still using that name for a general Mish mash of vaguely related software and hardware, often fudged together on some obsolete equipment?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Watson...

      But with Artificial Intelligence - IBM now being completely devoid of the genuine variety

  7. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    "The IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster-fuck"

    You missed a sub-heading pun there (or maybe it was too obvious to be used... I am easily amused, after all)

  8. David Woodhead

    English please

    IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster Brexits from London to Frankfurt – because GDPR

    I don't have the time or inclination to parse this garbage. Please write in English. UK: US, Australian or whatever - I don't mind.

    Don't make it hard for people to understand what you're trying to say.

    1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: English please

      Have a coffee, the world will seem better.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: English please

      It's a flippant headline. The headline's there to make you click and read.

      IBM Watson GPU cloud cluster Brexits from London to Frankfurt – because GDPR ---> An IBM Watson-hosted GPU cluster is Brexit'ing from London to Frankfurt due to GDPR.

      Brexit'ing being a made-up verb for something happening to do with Brexit.

      C.

  9. James Anderson Silver badge

    Law of un expected consequeces

    Pleople seem to regard the EU as guardians of citizens privacy and they do seem to try very hard if somewhat in fee tally.

    One side affect I have noticed is that the annoying “ we use cookies , agree out terms or go elsewhere “ message on many sites you are not just agreeing to host their cookies but much much more particularly agreeing to receive notifications.

    So if you are getting p**ded off with your browser gong ping notifying you of something you have no interest in every ten minutes, give thanks to the EUs efforts to protect you.

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