Aspera is the only solution currently out there that can provide a reasonable way for people to access data in a timely manner

—Laurie Goodman, PhD Editor-in-Chief, GigaScience

Business Challenge story

GigaScience is an online open-access, open-data life sciences journal, co-published by BGI and BioMed Central, that publishes “big-data” articles covering the full spectrum of biological and biomedical sciences, including fields based on difficult-to-access data such as imaging studies, neuroscience, and systems biology. With a goal of making research reproducible and reusable, research articles transparent, and large-scale data easily accessible and citable, GigaScience hosts the complete data sets associated with each published article in a comprehensive public database, GigaDB. The data sets submitted in support of articles published in the GigaScience journal can reach multiple terabytes in size. GigaScience sought a transfer solution to provide a fast and efficient mechanism for authors, reviewers, and content consumers to upload and download large data sets to and from GigaDB while also providing ease of use for users with varying levels of technological expertise.


GigaScience selected IBM® Aspera® Connect Server to rapidly transfer all the data sets that accompanied submitted manuscripts to the GigaScience database and IBM Aspera Console to manage and monitor the entire end-to-end transfer process. Content submitters, reviewers, and research users use the IBM Aspera Connect plug-in to upload and download large data sets at maximum speed.


In the past, it could take an entire week for a user to download just a small portion of data. With Aspera, uploads and downloads to GigaDB are fast, reliable, and simple, regardless of the data set size. GigaScience has received positive feedback from users, including one author who was very impressed when a 1.2 TB set of data was fully uploaded in a matter of hours rather than days, a sharp improvement over the previous results seen with FTP. Aspera’s speed, reliability, and ease of use make it possible for GigaScience to realize its goal of improving the accessibility and reproducibility of research and articles for the life science community. With high-speed transfers, GigaScience can review, accept, and publish manuscripts more quickly and return their decisions to the submitter within their target of two weeks.

Solution Category

  • IBM Cloud
  • Solution Components

    • Aspera
    • Aspera High Speed Xfer