Space is big. Really Big. If it was data it could be transferred with IBM Aspera.

The genius that was Douglas Adams wrote: “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

The same could be said for some of the data files being created in businesses today. These could be anything from medical images to video files, collections of ERP data or data replication. I remember just a few years ago, a file that was more than a few MB was considered large. But these days it can be quite common to think nothing of files being hundreds of MB or even multiple GB.

To a great extent, with fast internal networks and lots of storage, file size is almost irrelevant these days. Except for one key area: the movement of large files, or large amounts of data over long distances. Even if you think you have a large capacity high speed network, once you start to move large amounts of data over a significant distance, you hits problems that are a combination of physics and network transfer protocols. The distance, and the need to send responses as part of the protocol means that the larger the amount of data being sent and the longer the distance, the transfer time starts to get exponentially longer.


Moving a large file is no problem on a high speed LAN, or even across a fast WAN link over a short distance, once you start moving across potentially thousands of miles, your transfer times become unworkable. This is the problem that IBM Aspera offerings solve by using the FASP protocol to move data at high predictable speed even over long distances.

While we are all now used to our business transactions being essentially instantaneous, this hasn’t been the case in moving large data files for business use as these might have had to be scheduled out of process time due to the time taken instead of being moved as part of a business process as would happen with transactional data.

world network links.jpg

A typical business might be using MQ to move transactional data between applications and systems. They might also be using MQ Managed File Transfer to move file contents. But with MQ’s message size limit of 100MB per message, these wouldn’t be large enough to see a problem even when moving large distances. But supposing MQ is also looking to trigger the movement of much larger files, say between the office in New York and the office in Singapore. A design file of 10GB would be impractical to send over FTP as it would take too long, but using Aspera, then depending on the network link speed it could be sent in minutes, if not seconds. This transfer then becomes possible to be just another standard part of the business process, and can be viewed in this way as an extension to IBM MQ and IBM MQ MFT.

Aspera speeds

To that point IBM recently announced a new set of parts to make it easier for customers using IBM MQ or other integration products to start using Aspera offerings to meet this need. See the announcement letter for IBM Aspera High Speed Transfer for MQ here and start to accelerate your data transfer needs.

MQ Aspera


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