Comparison of Aspera File Delivery and Synchronization Tools

Your Aspera server has several tranfer tools, besides ascp and A4, that can be used for automatic file delivery and synchronization:

See the following table for a complete comparison.

  Hot Folders Watchfolders Sync
Supported platforms Windows only

Windows
macOS
Linux
AIX
Solaris
Linux on z Systems
BSD
Isilon

Windows
macOS
Linux
AIX
Solaris
Linux on z Systems
BSD

Additional license required No No Yes, a Sync-enabled license is required on both endpoints
Interface Aspera desktop GUI Node API in any command line, command line on the Aspera client, or Console web UI Aspera client command line, Console web UI for management only (no creation)
Client applications

Desktop Client
Point-to-Point Client
Enterprise Server
Connect Server

Point-to-Point Client
Enterprise Server
Connect Server

Point-to-Point Client
Enterprise Server
Connect Server
IBM Aspera Drive

Server configuration required No No Recommended
Create in Console No, but you can monitor transfers Yes, you can create, monitor, and manage No, but you can monitor Sync jobs and their associated transfer sessions
Transfer modes
  • Client to server (push)
  • Server to client (pull)
  • Client to server (push) only
  • Client to server (push)
  • Server to client (pull)
  • Client and server (bidirectional)
File delivery or synchronization File delivery:

Files and folders added to or modified within a Hot folder on the source are automatically sent to the destination folder. Files deleted from the source are not deleted on the destination.

File delivery:

Files and folders added to or modified within a Watchfolder on the source are automatically sent to the destination folder. Files deleted from the source are not deleted on the destination.

Synchronization:

All file system changes (additions, deletions, and modifications) are synchronized from source to destination (push or pull) or synchronized between source and destination (bidirectional).

File system monitoring Windows operating system notifications File system snapshots collected by the Aspera Watch Service (asperawatchd)
  • In continuous mode: file system notifications
  • In scan (on-demand) mode: Sync scans the file system on the source side and compares it to the Sync database
  • Aspera Watch Service
Transfer schedules
  • Immediate (as soon as a file system change in the Hot folder is detected)
  • On a user-specified schedule
  • Immediate (as soon as a difference between snapshots is detected)
  • Immediate (in continous mode or when using Sync with the Aspera Watch Service)
  • On a user-specified schedule (Sync run as a cron job)
Growing file support No Yes (on Enterprise Server and Connect Server) No
Database space requirements None At least 2 GB free per 1 million files, 3 GB free per 1 million files on Windows At least 2 GB free per 1 million files, 3 GB free per 1 million files on Windows
Best for
  • Push and pull delivery with a simple GUI interface that does not require Console
  • Push delivery from non-Windows platforms that is managed and monitored through Console
  • Precise synchronization between two endpoints of all file system changes (including deletions)
  • Bidirectional synchronization
  • Very large file sets - up to 100 million items across thousands of directories
Limitations
  • Windows only
  • GUI must remain open
  • In pull mode, Hot folders pull files even if they are in use
  • Challenging set up when not done in Console
  • Transfer rate of millions of small files can become limited by the speed at which database metadata can be written
  • Continuous mode available only for Windows and Linux sources
  • Transfer rate of millions of small files can become limited by the speed at which database metadata can be written
More information Hot FoldersAspera Enterprise Server Admin Guide for Windows Aspera Enterprise Server Admin Guide Aspera Enterprise Server Admin Guide or Aspera Sync Admin Guide