IBM's Aspera Paves an IoT Data Expressway

With the company's cloud-friendly Big Data transfer technology, Aspera is helping customers brace for the impending flood of Internet of Things traffic.

IBM snapped up file transfer specialist Aspera in 2013 to help customers move large data files to the cloud. Now the company is banking on its bandwidth-optimized FASP protocol and related technologies to help customers cope with slinging Internet of Things (IoT) data across the globe and between devices, data centers and third-party clouds.

Although the company is best known for accelerating the transfer of big data sets for enterprises and massive files for media and entertainment companies – irrespective of distance -- Aspera's FASP tech has evolved over the years. Today, Aspera is also thinking small.

The company is still undeniably focused on addressing the challenges of transferring cloud-based big data for companies. But according to John Heaton, director of Sales Engineering at Aspera, the combination of adaptive bandwidth capabilities and lightweight requirements allows businesses to take distance out of the equation when they're rolling out their IoT initiatives.

"Our software scales with the available bandwidth, it changes with the network itself," Heaton told Datamation. It works "pretty much with every type of network that exists," from commodity Internet to high-speed data center linkages, and can also be configured to "be a good network citizen" and scale back before transfers impact other vital workloads.

Earlier this year at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) tradeshow, Aspera announced its next-generation file transfer binary (ascp4), which speeds up transfers of both small and large files. "The architecture transfers up to one million files per minute for even the smallest file sizes (e.g. <10KB) and achieves > 5Gbps transfer rates for global RTT and packet loss conditions (200ms / 2%)," announced the company during the event.

Naturally, most IoT devices transmit information in a decidedly different manner. "Sensors are inherently not file-based," noted Heaton. Instead, they stream data. Here, too, Aspera has adapted its technology (FASPSTREAM) to accommodate for streaming.

Further, the company's software is "very lightweight" and a natural fit for low-power IoT devices, said Heaton. "We deploy on cell phones and processors," and not just those from Intel, an Aspera partner.

Finally, Aspera tackles two of the biggest obstacles enterprises face with managing Internet data transfers: unpredictability and distance.

"You are no longer collecting data in the same facility and can't optimize for that distance," said Heaton. Businesses can now think in global terms when rolling out advanced, IoT-enabled services. "I want to run this service in the United States, but I want all these devices in China." Now, CIOs can say yes to both, he said.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: big data, internet of things, IoT

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