IBM Buys Aspera for Big WAN Data Transfers
January 21, 2014 Alex Woodie
IBM last week completed its acquisition of Aspera, the Northern California developer of the patented “fasp” WAN acceleration technology. IBM says it plans to offer Aspera’s technology and the fasp protocol as part of its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.
The fasp technology that Aspera sold as part of its eXtreme File Transfer (XFT) product is able to accelerate the transfer of large files by up to 99.9 percent. When applied against a large 24 GB file sent from here to China, that kind of technical mojo will reduce transmission times from 26 hours to 30 seconds. That is a serious speed up.
IBM says it plans to integrate the fasp technology into its SoftLayer cloud offering sometime in 2014. The technology will also find a home in other IBM offerings, including WebSphere Portal, e-commerce, business analytics, and managed file transfer (MFT) offerings (according to IBM’s website, it offers no fewer than six MFT products).
Aspera can boast that it’s one of the few technology companies to win an Emmy award. The company got the award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development due to the fact that nearly all the major broadcast television networks, Hollywood studios, and computer graphics animation houses use the technology to transmit huge media files.
The fasp technology is also in use in the slightly less glamorous IBM i world, where Crossroads Systems has licensed the Aspera technology to provide WAN file sharing for its SPHiNX line of disk-based backup devices.
IBM says plans to maintain Aspera’s business partnerships. Over time, those partners will transition to the IBM business partner program, the company says. Aspera currently has more than 2,000 direct customers, in the media and entertainment, government, telecommunications, and life sciences business.