Imagine that I have someone in Bejing who offers me his supercomputer for processing an intensive job.

How does it compare sending job from Berlin to Bon,to sending the same job to Beijing? I am aware that the latency for communicating between Berlin and China is orders of magnitude higher but are there any ohter isssues that impend this kind of service?

2 Answers 2


Especially with China, you'd have to cope with the GFW, rendering reasonable data exchange unreliable at best and impossible at worst. We've pretty much given up working seriously with China on a technical basis.

Everything else is "just" a matter of bandwidth and latency.

  • Zac,where can I read more about this? Sep 28, 2018 at 9:31
  • 1
    About supercomputing, the GFW, bandwidth or latency?
    – Zac67
    Sep 28, 2018 at 9:36
  • Grid computing systems? Sep 28, 2018 at 9:47
  • For general info, you should try Wikipedia - most articles are pretty good. For a specific answer your questions are much too broad (it all depends on what the workloads look like, what kind of coupling and scheduling you need etc).
    – Zac67
    Sep 28, 2018 at 9:52

With any supplier, you also have to consider commercial and legal constraints; when those suppliers are in a different country, even more so.

If the data is originating in the European Union, there are numerous data privacy obligations which specifically cover sending certain kinds of information outside the EU. (See for example General Data Protection Regulations.) If you have anything which might be considered personal data, they are even more onerous. If you have "pure data", perhaps big piles of molecular force finite-element-modelling, then maybe it's not so onerous.

And just from a commercial point of view, you have to understand what country has jurisdiction for any civil or indeed criminal legal issues. Does your supplier have adequate (from your point of view) security for your own and your clients' data, IPR and so on? Do you have adequate access to legal support should things go wrong? Are decisions actually enforcable?

Be aware also of legislation which might cover things like encryption export control, especially of US-originated software. (See for example Export of cryptography from the US.)

I have no experience with data processing export from Berlin to Beijing specifically, but lots with UK, other EU, Hong Kong, USA, Canada.

Do not underestimate the challenges of international data processing across countries, languages, legal and judicial systems.

Just as Zac says, everything else is "just" a matter of firewalls, bandwidth, and latency.

  • Thanks,could you point to some Uk data export processing links? Sep 28, 2018 at 15:05
  • You're best looking up GDPR impact in your business sector, as this replaced UK law via the Data Protection Act 2018. I believe there is consensus is that GDPR or something very closely equivalent will remain after Brexit, via an "adequacy stement" or something similar.
    – jonathanjo
    Sep 28, 2018 at 15:42

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