Digital assets, regardless of size or how far they have to travel, should flow at the speed determined by business, not artificially constrained by network bottlenecks. Workflows associated with high-speed transfers should be automated using existing IT infrastructure, to operate like an interconnected, high-speed digital delivery pipeline.
Through open, partner-integrated service-oriented architectures (SOA), the supply chain connecting global suppliers, partners and customers, can and should be fully optimized and transformed through automation. Predictability can be achieved throughout all aspects of the pipeline. Moreover, established business processes and IT investments can be utilized, building on what your company already knows and owns.
With Aspera’s high-speed transfer and automation platform, enterprises can manage and automate file transfer and processing from very simple to the most complex and challenging workflows, internally within the organization, and across locations. Aspera’s cohesive location-independent architecture optimizes and integrates three key segments of the content delivery pipeline: receiving, processing, and distribution.
The Aspera software platform runs on commodity hardware, with no proprietary or expensive custom hardware appliances, allowing customers to build on and extend IT investments, automate file processing (where appropriate), and reduce costs associated with sending, receiving, processing, and distributing content. In turn, this reduces lead times and operations costs across all aspects of the delivery pipeline.
Across all segments of the pipeline—contribution, processing, and distribution—predictability can be achieved to ensure timely delivery of content under fixed schedules. Irrespective of location, suppliers and distributers can predict precisely how long it will take to send, process, and receive files. Aspera fasp™ transfer technology provides complete predictability of file movement over distance, while Aspera Orchestrator provides predictability through consistency of configuration, automation, and deep visibility into file processing workflows—to ensure assets can be rapidly and fluidly processed, tracked, and reported on. Combined, Aspera’s pipeline platform provides comprehensive predictability for long-haul data movement and processing in support of content delivery.
Build On What You Already Own
Commercial software from Aspera and partners can be configured and extended to provide highly available service-oriented architectures using established business process and IT infrastructure. Deployed file-based workflows and policies provide the groundwork for identifying targeted business processes, composition areas, and transforming manual processes to automated services, where appropriate. Industry standards have matured. deployed on one platform can integrate with those running on another—through web services (SOAP, REST, XML), open APIs, SSH, and any number of commodity wire protocols (FTP, HTTP, SMB2, NFS, SCP) and application-specific APIs and management tools. Applications for integration include but are not limited to FTP, antivirus, encoding, quality control, transcoding, watermarking, and DAM/MAM automation.
An open platform architecture should provide extensibility, composition, and optionally integrate client and server components available through industry standards. Aspera fasp™ transport provides breakthrough advantages in speed, efficiency and bandwidth protocol over legacy transfer protocols. Aspera automation tools can identify and ingest content delivered via any transfer mechanism, enabling seamless integration into companies' existing infrastructure while delivering the benefits of a highly automated content pipeline.
Moreover, Aspera-integrated solutions provide high availability options for business-critical workflows to ensure continuous non-disruptive operation in support of high-volume file processing workflows—where many files of varying size and type are processed concurrently or in sequence.
A range of use cases and applications are supported—from basic automation and forwarding to supporting advanced, complex workflows:
Easy Contribution and Automation
Many customers today need a simple, easy to install tool kit to send and receive content from partners. This can be as simple as a single client (the origin) sending files to a point-to-point client, server, or highly available cluster (the destination). Basic automation and forwarding supports moving files from server to server based on simple directory- or folder-specific rules called Hot Folders.
Advanced Contribution and Integration
Similar to the above scenario, but in some cases customers need file movement and processing deeply integrated with the media workflow. Content comes in from multiple providers running different operating systems and platforms, and is directly ingested and processed across a diverse workflow.
One example is Australia’s leading subscription television provider that services content from 200 channels to over 1.6 million homes. The provider needed an easy ingest contribution platform that integrated with third-party processing applications, for encoding, transcoding, watermarking and content verification. Folding content preparation steps into the file transfer process will boost overall performance of the broadcast supply chain.
Advanced reporting capabilities are often required to quickly track and audit exchanges with other media and production companies. In some cases, companies prefer an out-of-the-box management solution. In other cases, management information should be collected and piped into a 3rd-party management framework.
Secure contribution and antivirus scanning—from basic to advanced
In scenarios where end-to-end security between suppliers and receivers is required, Aspera solutions provide comprehensive security, including integration with industry-leading antivirus vendors and enterprise storage vendors. Security should be provided end-to-end and top-to-bottom. This includes secure user and endpoint authentication, authorization, encryption (in transit and at rest), integration with antivirus and other security technologies (such as directory services or identity management) deployed by an organization. Federal standards for encryption (AES-128) and FIPS-140 compliance should be met.
Aspera offers a range of contribution and workflow automation capabilities, to provide both simplified out-of-the-box configuration where needed—and deeper integration with complex workflows.
High-volume internal processing and transformation
For many larger companies or high-volume workflows processing large volumes of data, processing resources must scale fluidly and remain continuously available during periods of extreme processing—both internally and externally. For some companies, the volume of content ingested, scanned, and transformed is both extraordinary and growing. One Aspera customer receives and processes over 600 videos an hour, in support of 6000 file processing steps. The total workload amounts to over 500 million files processed each week
Ultra High Speed Ingest
For scenarios where high-performance is required, Aspera has integrated its contribution and ingest platforms with leading storage partners to obtain linear storage performance scalability across metropolitan and long-haul networks, over any distance, with speeds of 10Gbps and beyond. For companies involved in production, content delivery networks (CDNs), and high-speed B2B scenarios, these solutions can complement or replace established ingest systems such as FTP.
Over the years, Aspera has established strategic partnerships with storage vendors to enable highly scalable storage-to-storage performance using any network—from 1Gpbs to 10Gpbs—and providing customers with a way to scale transfer speeds to support rapid contribution, processing, and distribution.
"With Aspera, we get a full suite of solutions that accelerates almost every aspect of our highly customized workflows, giving us a key strategic advantage over other audio publishers.” Joshua Crone, Vice President, Infrastructure, Technical Services at Random House