IBM has introduced Aspera Files, a new SaaS platform by Aspera, an IBM company, that allows any organisation, small to large, to establish a branded web-based presence for the fast, easy and secure exchange and delivery of any size file-based media or data between end users across separate organisations, combining multiple storage platforms. Content can be stored and easily accessed in multiple cloud and on-premise storage systems, and sharing between users and trusted organisations is as easy as drag-and-drop regardless of where the content is located. Built on Aspera FASP transport technology for distance-neutral transfer of large data over the internet, the platform will break all the enterprise barriers of conventional file sharing, enabling high-speed access, delivery and exchange of any size data, at distance, regardless of network conditions.
The requirement for today’s enterprise to conveniently ingest, exchange, and distribute file-based digital media content and big data fast, securely, and with the “scale-up” capacity of cloud platforms is at an all-time high. Media companies and enterprises at large are creating more high-resolution content and data sets than ever, with increasingly shorter turnaround times in highly competitive markets that also depend upon secure inter-company collaboration. Until today, no single application platform has existed that can solve all of the major barriers of the file exchange problem in this environment.
Aspera created Files to meet these requirements:
– Simplicity – Companies small and large can easily sign up, establish a uniquely branded web presence under their ‘Organisation’ and be immediately operational. Branded ‘Workspaces’ can be created under each Organisation for project-based content sharing within a community of users. Sharing is as easy as drag-and-drop regardless of where the content is located, on multiple on-premises storage systems or across remote cloud infrastructure.
– Convenience – Users can share files with any authorised individual or group by simply selecting the item, the target user or group, and the appropriate access level. Shared content appears automatically in the Workspaces of the target users with the appropriate permissions. Users can also select finished content from any authorised storage location and send it to the inbox of other users or groups. Recipients are notified when a new digital package has been received, and they may browse and download specific files or folders in the package, or download the entire package itself.
– Performance – Built on top of Aspera FASP and Aspera’s Direct-to-Cloud storage technology, direct ingest, transfer, exchange and storage of even the largest (4K) media formats occurs at maximum speed over the longest long-haul global WANs to both on-premises and cloud/CDN ‘object’ storage. The platform supports storage and transfer of content in all major commercial and open source cloud platforms—IBM SoftLayer Swift, AWS S3, Azure Blob, Google Storage and Openstack Swift, and will be extensible to major CDN cloud storage in the future—and supports traditional (SAN/NAS) storage on premises via Aspera servers and clusters.
– Security – Aspera Files delivers complete security of content across authorised users within each Organisation, with third-party partners, and with trusted organisations. The platform introduces a breakthrough distributed content access control system that enforces content sharing permissions on behalf of content owners and securely authenticates each end user’s access through a delegated OAuth authorisation and secure access key system. Content transfers may be encrypted on the wire and at rest, with optional client-side and server-side encryption.
– Scale – Built on the new cross-platform Aspera Cluster Manager with Autoscale, Aspera Files can easily scale up with new transfer server instances in an Organisation’s location of choice, on premises or in the cloud, to meet variable demand in throughput and storage. The distributed self-scaling clustering technology automatically adds new transfer nodes as transfer load increases, automatically moves heavily utilised transfer nodes into an unavailable pool, and automatically spins down surplus nodes when transfer demand subsides.
– Customisation – Both Organisations and Workspaces allow for custom branded logos and lightweight custom re-skins. A platform API allows organisations to leverage native content sharing, transfer and scale out properties within their own media management systems.