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Aspera brings high-speed file transfer to businesses
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Aspera brings high-speed file transfer to businesses 

Aspera’s solution is designed to remove the frustration associated with transfering large volumes of data. Using its “fasp” technology – fast, adaptive and secure protocol – users can get around TCP-based file transfer technologies, such as FTP and HTTP, to transfer data quickly regardless of file size, distance or network conditions.

“The ‘speed’ is [about] overcoming the bottlenecks you have with traditional ways of downloading, uploading, syncing file data,” said Michelle Munson, president, CEO and co-founder, Aspera. “The ‘adaptive’ aspect comes from the adaptable use of available bandwidth. The ‘secure’ is obvious – security, privacy and integrity of the data as it’s transferred.”

Although Aspera’s work began in the video domain, where the need for efficient file transfer was greatest, the company has since branched out to the media, life sciences, and the energy and oil industry.

Munson said she and co-founder Serban Simu started Aspera because of “emerging trends in the world,” then went on to add: “But little did we know that they would grow as much as they have.”

With a background in networking and engineering, she was exposed to companies that had the problem of handling data that was too big to share effectively across networks. While a number of solutions, such as CDNs and accelerators, were adequate to deal with the problem, she and Simu were interested in a solution that was software-based.

They were also concerned with the notion of control.

“We felt it was important [for businesses] to have control of the application over the transfer properties,” said Munson. “Not just the speed, but explicitly how fast, what data, and with transparent management, so they could see and control it.”

With the work it was doing, Aspera did not long go unnoticed. IBM finalized its acquisition of the company in January 2014 and promptly made it a key part of its cloud strategy.

“We are a unique company in the world, in our invention and in our market traction,” said Munson. “For a small company, we gained a really high degree of adoption in our key markets, and that excited IBM as to longer-term possibilities around us.”

IBM is taking a general purpose approach with Aspera, selling its products both individually – as standalones – and as part of its traditional managed file transfer product line.

As for Aspera, for the next year, it will continue to expand on its whole-system approach to file sharing. The company has just released Aspera Drive, a product that allows the user to share data of any size directly from the desktop.

“We’re breaking the size barriers in the desktop,” said Munson. “This is fundamental to where enterprises seem to want to go, and it does seem to fit the needs of our early customers, as well as the needs of more mainstream enterprise.”

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