Aspera reached out to me to talk about an important, but not always considered, aspect of working with cloud computing or virtualized environment - accessing needed data. These folks have decided that the common networking protocols are part of the problem. They've developed their own approach.
They would point out that the common protocols, including FTP, HTTP and file copies using Microsoft's common internet file system (CIFS) were designed prior to the introduction of today's high speed communications media. This means that some forms of storage virtualization were not included in the protocols. They would make a point that their approach works significantly better and adds some important new features such as the ability to transparently move information from one system to another even if the source and the target use different operating systems, different file formats and the like.
Aspera, however, isn't the only company that looked at this issue and came up with a workable solution. Competitors such as RocketStream, RepliWeb and several of the storage server suppliers have also addressed this issue. Before selecting a vendor, it would be good to closely examine the approach each has selected to learn which would be best for your organization.
All in all, however, Aspera appears to have taken an interesting approach that is worthy of consideration.