Secure File Transfer Alternatives to FTP

Aspera / IBM

Secure File Transfer Alternatives to FTP

Over the years, the traditional file transfer protocols such as FTP have exhibited significant shortcomings in its ability to transfer data at speed and scale required by today’s common business practices. We’re finding that organizations require the ability to not only transfer large files seamlessly, securely across large distances, but they also require this to be done at speed to ensure business continuity. As these business demands continue to increase, the shortcomings of traditional file transfer continue to expose themselves as well, paving the way for new technologies to address this growing concern. 

IBM’s Aspera patented data transfer protocol known as FASP or Fast and Secure Protocol stands out as one of the most well-adopted technologies to help organizations address these common challenges by supporting organizations that send large amounts of data great distances quickly and efficiently. The FASP transfer protocol is fundamentally different in its approach to transfer data in its use of UDP over TCP at the foundational transport layer. TCP poses inherent challenges through what’s termed an in-order delivery mechanism of data to limit packet loss. In comparison, UDP allows for out of order data transfer providing far superior throughput in transferring large data sets. More on TCP Vs. UDP. 

FTP Shortcomings
Here are some examples of the common shortcomings of FTP

Speed is a primary drawback when addressing FTP in comparison to UDP-based data transfer protocols. Aspera (built on FASP) can transfer data up to 100X faster than FTP. For example, on a high-end PC with RAID-0, Aspera can transfer files at around 800 Mbps and at around 500 Mbps on a commodity PC.

Further, basic FTP inherently lacks proper security measures. When data is transmitted via basic FTP, data is actually shared in plain text! To ensure data privacy, organizations need to take separate security measures to ensure they are sharing data over an encrypted network. If an organization has neglected to set up proper security protocols, FTP will not add that needed layer of protection for users. 

FASP Benefits
IBM’s Aspera FASP provides considerable benefits over the traditional protocols like FTP when considering speed, security and reliability. 

First and foremost, speed is going to be a major differentiating factor. As an example consider the following example of moving data using FTP and FASP supported Aspera.

  • To move a 100GB file over a 100Mb/s network internationally:
    • FTP software: 100+ hours
    • Aspera: 2.5 hours
  • To move a 10GB file over a 1Gb/s line in the US:
    • FTP software: 10-20 hours
    • Aspera: 1 minute, 24 seconds

Further, IBM Aspera’s FASP uses built-in security measures that allow for encryption in-flight and at rest. With Aspera you won’t have to consider additional security measures to ensure data is sent securely, rather security is built in at every stage of the data transit process. These security measures are offered through the standard open-source OpenSSL toolkit. 

Next Steps
If you’re looking for a more resilient, fast and secure data transfer technology consider looking at a solution built on FASP over the traditional FTP. The IBM Aspera solution acts as a superior data transfer solution in its ability to transfer data quickly and securely at scale. 

If you’d like to learn more about Aspera and FASP versus FTP, consider reaching out to one of our highly capable team members here at PacGenesis.

About PacGenesis
PacGenesis is a leading IBM solutions partner, recently gaining gold partner status through IBM! Over years of service in technology solutions, PacGenesis has supported over four hundred customers in its installation and use of leading technology-focused solutions. To learn more about PacGenesis, follow @PacGenesis on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or go to


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