IBM Acquisition of Aspera Expected to Boost File Transfer Speeds in Hosted Applications

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IBM will be acquiring Aspera, Inc, a provider of high-speed transfer technology that reduces transmission times for large files or data sets by up to 99.9 percent, in a deal expected to close in early 2014. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This technology is expected to accelerate IBM’s Smarter Commerce digital supply chain initiative, extend its Managed File Transfer capabilities, and be integrated with its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure next year. Being able to get data to and from the cloud faster enhances cloud services, and even enable security features, bandwidth controls and predictability.

Aspera’s ”fasp” technology is designed to overcome inherent bottlenecks in wide area networks that slow the transfer of the extremely large files common in high-definition video, Big Data, game development, scientific research, and other applications. A 24GB file that used to take 26 hours to transfer halfway around the world can now potentially reach its destination in just 30 seconds.

Aspera has the unusual distinction as an Academy Award winner in the Engineering Development category for its technology which has been used by television broadcasters, movie studios and animation houses. Other high-profile customers include Apple, which uses Aspera for video uploads to the iTunes store, and files for BBC, Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.

The acquisition is expected to leverage Aspera solutions to solve data transfer problems across a greater number of industries and scenarios. Aspera president and co-founder Michelle Munson said, “By tapping into IBM’s innovative capabilities and global resources, we will solve ever expanding data movement challenges for our customers now and in the future.”

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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