IBM has announced continued adoption of the company's Aspera Files hybrid cloud-based content sharing service and enhancements to the platform that are enabling more media and entertainment companies around the world to speed content collaboration and distribution.
Based on Aspera FASP® technology, IBM Aspera Files™ is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering on IBM Cloud that accelerates the sharing and transfer of large files and directories – even the largest content files and associated metadata – directly from its native storage environment whether on premises or in the cloud. A multi-tenant solution, Aspera Files is designed to be easy to use and quickly available, providing transfers at maximal speeds in predictable times and offering a rich set of capabilities for sharing, distributing and managing large files.
The cloud service is offered as an all-inclusive platform hosted on the IBM Cloud with built in Aspera transfer service and IBM Cloud object storage. Files can also seamlessly connect Aspera transfer nodes and storage running on all major third party cloud infrastructure providers and storage deployed on customer premises to provide advanced security & user access controls, fast, direct transfer of content of any size, at any distance independent of storage location.
A new pay-as-you-go option enables customers small to large to take advantage of the power of the Aspera platform with a cost-effective offering that scales with their business, and the brandable workspace model accommodates the project nature of most digital media businesses. New customers such as Beelink Productions in Dubai, action concept in Germany and Outpost VFX in the UK are using Aspera Files to replace existing and often cumbersome content sharing techniques, and to exchange content with an ecosystem of other Aspera users.
"Media companies are moving fast, constantly innovating and looking for technologies that help them accelerate business," said Michelle Munson, CEO of Aspera. "Aspera Files gives companies high speed sharing quickly, without having to provision infrastructure. In addition, they can quickly and easily leverage the rich features of the solution via an online trial sign up, and an online pay-as-you-go experience."
More than 20 new capabilities have been introduced for Aspera Files since its launch, including:
- One click sharing of folders with authenticated 3rd parties for upload and download and one click invitations to submit content and metadata as packages to branded dropboxes;
- Media carousel previews to view and manage large numbers of video and photo files;
- New Drive and Mobile Applications to browse, share, sync and send and receive packages from the desktop and to contribute content from iOS and Android devices;
- Advanced Security for fine-grained control over folder sharing and package delivery with external recipients and enterprise single sign on;
- Ultra-fast Auto-scaling transfers to Aspera clusters running in the cloud (10 Gbps).
- Clients Move to Aspera Files
Headquartered in Dubai, Beelink produces and distributes exclusive content, mainly Arabic drama series, from their studios in Egypt. With a growing audience base, Beelink committed to offering 3 exclusive Arabic drama series made of 30 episodes each during Ramadan: Grand Hotel, Wanoos, Series and Heba Regel Elghourab. To meet an expanded production schedule, Beelink replaced its legacy HDD distribution, which often resulted in unacceptable delays, with Aspera Files. The company was in full production within hours, with nothing to provision or deploy except an install-on-demand browser plug-in.
Beelink organized episodes in folders on a per series basis and used the "share" facility with view-only permissions to distribute only authorized content to their customers required to login for content access audit purpose. Assets were uploaded from Egypt over a 50Mbps line and then downloaded by Beelink customers at the highest speed from Aspera Files, which is built on top of Aspera FASP high-speed transfer technology. Episodes reaching 17GB were uploaded to Files and downloaded within 25 mins by customers running 100Mb/s lines.
"We are pleased with the Files service and the support we received by the local team to get us started within hours," said Hala Obied, business coordinator at Beelink. "The breadth of features and functions coupled with the simplicity of the user interface allowed our customers to pull down their assets in minutes."
Action Concept, a leading action film producer in Germany, reaches top markets in over 100 countries with prime-time productions. It has also established itself as a sought-after producer for commissioned productions and in-house formats. The company turned to Aspera Files for a recent project with a Chinese client that required the production company to move large volumes of video material between their German facility and a business partner in South Korea. Previously, the company used FTP or physical FEDEX shipments to share video, but due to security concerns and an explicit request from the customer to avoid these methods of transport, action concept sought a new solution that could provide greater security and faster transfer times. Aspera Files made it easy for action concept to send and receive very large files that can reach two terabytes per captured scene in 4k or 6k resolutions.
"We decided to explore the possibilities with Aspera in large part because of its solid reputation in the industry, as well as the high level of security, ease of use and speed offered by the solution," said Tom Dülks, Head of Technology, action concept. "We were not disappointed."
Outpost VFX Outpost VFX is a high-end visual effects company with a diverse portfolio across feature film, broadcast and advertising, music promos and virtual reality. The nature of the business requires Outpost to send and receive large media files to and from clients on a regular basis. The company uses the dropbox function in Aspera Files to securely receive work from clients and subcontractors around the world, and once a shot is officially approved, they use Files' digital package-sending tool to deliver completed projects directly to the client.
"Aspera Files provides an affordable solution with the flexibility to scale up as we grow. The tool covers all the bases from a security standpoint, and Aspera's prominence with large studios grants us a reputation of gravitas when we use it – it shows that Outpost is a serious VFX supplier," said Danny Duke, managing director, Outpost VFX. "We couldn't be happier with our decision to select Aspera."
Aspera is demonstrating Aspera Files and is entire suite of high-speed file transfer and streaming solutions at IBC2016 from September 9-13 in Amsterdam, Hall 7, Stand G20.