IBM gets fast file transfers with Aspera acquisition

Aspera is one of the few technology companies that has won an Emmy

Continuing to bulk up on its cloud software portfolio, IBM is acquiring Aspera, a company with an Emmy-award-winning, high-speed bulk data transfer protocol.

IBM said it will use the technology to help customers more effortlessly copy their data to IBM cloud services, building on the company's purchase of the SoftLayer cloud service in June.

The Emeryville, California-based Aspera created its technology, dubbed "fasp," to transfer large files across a public network more quickly than the speeds typically achieved through basic TCP (transmission control protocol).

IBM claims fasp can cut the time required to send a 24GB file around the globe from 26 hours to less than a minute. Aspera also has software for encrypting files before they are sent over a network, for secure transmission.

One heavy user of Aspera's technology has been the entertainment industry. Television networks, movie studios and animation houses use the protocol to send large digital video files from one location to another.

The company even won an Emmy for fasp, in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development.

IBM will use Aspera's technology in a number of its offerings. Customers of the company's SmartCloud products and services can use fasp to speed transfers of large data sets to the cloud. The software will also be added to IBM's Smarter Commerce portfolio to give businesses additional controls around its business-to-business file transfers.

Aspera will also boost IBM's ample intellectual property portfolio; it holds a number of U.S. patents around fasp.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IBM plans to complete the purchase by early 2014, if all the customary closing conditions are completed.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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