Aspera General Usage

These FAQs have been asked and pertain to general usage of Aspera Upload Acceleration.

Question Answer
Is reporting for Aspera available via Control Center?
  • In the new Akamai Control Center UI, go to > ORIGIN SERVICES > NetStorage > Reports.
Is there a performance difference between the Aspera Client UI vs. the CLI? No. The Client UI simply executes the CLI in the background.
Can Aspera be used for delivery (downloads)? No. Aspera is intended for content management (uploads), not delivery (downloads). Aspera integration requires the use of an SSH key on each Client, which is not generally a practical configuration for end user delivery.
Does NetStorage have a limit on maximum throughput via Aspera? There is a 900Mbps limit per connection. However, multiple connections can be made to the same Storage Group (connections are load-balanced by DNS returning multiple IP's).
Are files uploaded through Aspera Upload Acceleration verified consistent? Yes. For comparison, this is similar to existing protocols such as SFTP or SCP.
Is there a performance benefit for small objects? From initial testing in nominal environments, small object transfer rates have shown significant improvement compared to SCP. The expected performance level is impacted by client environments, the machine make-up, available bandwidth, network conditions, load on storage, etc.
How much faster is Aspera than FTP, SCP, and other traditional methods? This number generally can not be quantified because there is a large variance in terms of what various customers are seeing from an upload performance perspective utilizing the existing protocols. From testing, Aspera Upload Acceleration has in all cases outperformed existing methods but it is not safe to presume that we will always be “X times faster” than what you may already be seeing.
Can content be ingested directly from Amazon S3 to NetStorage, via Aspera Upload Acceleration? Yes. Asperasoft offers a Knowledgebase Article that details this process. At the time of this publication, it could be found at:

Command-line transfers from Object Storage

This approach depends on the ability to initiate the transfer via ASCP running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, this approach is unlikely to work for other CDN vendors.

Note: Asperasoft offers the following performance-related comment: "The transfers from AWS EC2 instances (with S3 storage) using Aspera software (the ASCP command line, Console Smart Transfers, etc.) would typically not be any slower than an Aspera transfer from the customer's premise to NetStorage, because the bottleneck transfer speed to NetStorage (~600Mbps) is not greater than the bottleneck speed in transferring between the customer premise and S3.”
Why do Aspera Client stats show a high Average Loss? This will occur if you ask an Aspera Client to send content faster than your bandwidth will allow. It's a common result on low bandwidth networks (e.g., a vpn/home network). You should set the target rate appropriately (via Preferences settings in the respective Aspera Client’s UI).
Note: Aspera is generally not as effective from low bandwidth networks.
Is there a Performance Service Level Agreement (SLA)? No, but there is performance guidance. Asperasoft currently maintains a “Performance Calculator” that you can use:

IBM Aspera File Transfer Calculator

What settings should be used for MIN-RATE and MAX-RATE? We recommend that you set them as follows:
  • MIN-RATE (the “ascp -m” flag) - This should never be explicitly set. It should be left at the default of zero (“0”). Aspera Upload Acceleration always tries to attain a fair target rate depending on network conditions.

  • MAX-RATE (the “ascp -l” flag) - Set this to a value that will not result in saturation of your local network. Aspera Upload Acceleration will consistently attempt to use all of the bandwidth it has been configured to use.

Can I change the Connection names in the Aspera client to something other than sshacs@<storage group>.aspera.upload.akamai.com? Yes. Right-click on the connection name in the list of connections on the Connection Manager screen.