Munson: Availability of Aspera High-Speed Transfer Service Expands

Availability of the Aspera High-Speed Transfer Service (ATS) that the IBM division introduced last year has been expanding since launching on Amazon Web Services in late November, according to Aspera CEO Michelle Munson.

ATS is being used in several Amazon Web Services regions, she said during a Feb. 8 webinar. Aspera also runs the service on the IBM software cloud and it is now available in “beta” via the Microsoft Azure platform as the next-generation transfer service there, she said, adding: “We will be bringing it out on the Google Cloud Platform this spring as well.”

As a result, ATS is available in a broad number of regions globally, she said. It’s available now in the western, central and eastern regions of the U.S., Europe (Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris), Asia Pacific (Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo), and more regions are coming, according to a slide she showed during the webinar. Aspera didn’t specify what regions are next.

Aspera developed ATS because “we’re living in a new world of massive unstructured data” and also due to a “mainstream interest in taking advantage of cloud computing and storage,” she said, noting: “Petabytes of data are commonplace” now. They’ve become, in a sense, “the new normal,” according to Aspera. Also, cloud-based computing and storage is “mainstream for the enterprise to the point that being able to ingest multi-terabyte and petabyte data sets into cloud storage is a common occurrence,” she said.

In addition, “there are also many needs to provide continuous updates of data from on-premises archives into cloud storage, to be able to share that data with external partners and supply chains,” and then to be able to distribute data “directly out from the cloud storage to your various business partners and customers,” she said.

As a result, infrastructure solutions alone are “really insufficient to meet the needs” of the enterprise today, she said. For instance, over a wide area network (WAN), “at distance, native cloud transport technologies are typically insufficiently slow; they can be unreliable and prone to failures for the most critical and largest data sets,” she said.

The many alternatives that have been proposed include the physical shipment of data on disc systems that is then delivered via “forklift or truck” to the cloud environment, she said. But that, too, can be very slow and “very difficult to manage,” and if any of that process fails, one needs to start from the beginning, she said.

Running one’s own solution can be “prohibitive for lean organizations and certainly doesn’t provide you with maximum leverage,” she said, adding it can also be difficult and “distract” an organization from focusing on its main business.

The turnkey and secure ATS is a multi-tenant transfer, subscription service, built with Aspera Fast and Secure Protocol (FASP) at its core, that solves many of those challenges for companies, according to Aspera. ATS offers the “fastest possible transfers” of data – up to 40 Gbps in and out of the cloud storage environment, Munson said.

ATS significantly accelerates the movement of data to and from the cloud at rates up to hundreds of times faster than standard Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)-based transfers, according to Aspera. It also provides the same transfer speed to all regions, “regardless of distance,” and seamlessly supports “extreme” data sets including large files, large numbers of small files and streams, Munson said.