The Japanese National Institute of Genetics (NIG) has chosen to deploy Aspera’s web-based Connect Server software to support its research in the field of life sciences.

NIG carries out genetic research at a number of facilities, including the Bioresources Center, DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) and DNA Sequencing Center. These facilities each generate data sets of up to 20GB, which need to be distributed and exchanged with other scientists on a daily basis.

Previously, NIG relied on FTP file transfer and physically shipping hard drives, but these methods proved to be too unreliable, time consuming and expensive. The institute therefore decided to deploy Aspera's file transfer web application, Connect Server, which enables high-speed uploads and downloads from within a browser.

Connect Server features a web-based directory that allows researchers to browse the data they need, share files among large groups of users, and upload data from third parties. The company's patented “fasp” transport technology helps to eliminate the bottlenecks associated with conventional file transfer technologies such as FTP, HTTP and Windows CIFS.

According to Aspera, fasp uses standard, unmodified IP networking and is implemented in software as an application protocol. It requires no changes to the operating system or driver installation on the file transfer endpoints, no new appliances, and no network changes.

The company claims that users can achieve 1Gbps global WAN transfers on commodity computer hardware, dramatically increasing the speed that large data packets can travel over IP networks. This also means that transfer times can be guaranteed, regardless of the distance of the endpoints or the condition of the network.

“With Aspera we are able to consistently transfer at our full available bandwidth of 1Gbps while respecting other important internet traffic,” said Professor Toshihisa Takagi at NIG’s DNA Data Bank of Japan. “Because of the simplicity of the software with user-friendly web and desktop GUIs, our researchers are able to immediately move data online without a great deal of training.”

Complete security is built in, including secure endpoint authentication, on-the-fly data encryption, and integrity verification, according to Aspera. The company's vice president John Wastcoat said that, as well as improving data transfer speeds, the software has enabled NIG to reduce capital and operational costs.