IBM Case Studies Afrostream: High-speed Content Transfer with IBM Cloud
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Afrostream: High-speed Content Transfer with IBM Cloud

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Cloud Computing
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Cloud Storage Services
Logistics & Transportation
Quality Assurance
Demand Planning & Forecasting
Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
System Integration
Afrostream, a subscription-based Video on Demand (VOD) platform, needed to efficiently and reliably transfer African and African American content from major film studios and content producers around the globe to the IBM SoftLayer® data center in San Jose. The company faced a logistical challenge due to its globally dispersed team and content providers. Afrostream's main office is located in California, the technical team is in Nantes, France, its IBM SoftLayer storage server is housed in IBM’s data center in San Jose, California, and Afrostream’s content providers and viewers are globally dispersed. Afrostream needed to ensure content could be reliably and efficiently moved across continents. This process was further complicated by the large volume and size of files that needed to be transferred, with digital files typically varying between 10 gigabytes to 1 terabyte each. Traditional transfer methods such as FTP were too slow and unreliable due to technical limitations, resulting in poor performance and susceptibility to network interruptions and latency over the WAN.
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Afrostream is a subscription-based Video on Demand (VOD) platform that provides millions of fans with local and international African and African American movies and TV series. With offices in the US and France, Afrostream hosts an extensive content library that is currently available to viewers in France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Sub-Saharan regions of Senegal and Ivory Coast. Additionally, the company has secured rights for many other African countries to bolster its growth in the African VOD space. To gather quality entertainment for its customer base, Afrostream signed content deals with major studios and independent American, African and British distributors that need to upload terabytes of digital content over the WAN to the company’s data center every day.
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Afrostream selected Aspera’s high-speed file transfer solution that is enabled for cloud infrastructure. Aspera’s industry recognition and Afrostream’s successful previous experiences with the technology were key factors in their decision. Afrostream easily deployed Aspera Server on Demand, which is tightly integrated with their existing IBM SoftLayer infrastructure for fast and reliable processing and distribution of content. With Aspera’s patented FASP® transport protocol natively integrated into SoftLayer, the Aspera solution enables high-speed transfers directly to SoftLayer’s object storage and interfaces with several other workflows to streamline the entire process from ingest to decoding and transcoding for play-out on multiple end-user devices. Aspera Server on Demand is easy to use and enables their business partners to effortlessly submit content to Afrostream’s server. Afrostream simply creates an account and provides login credentials to each content provider, and they can immediately begin transferring assets directly to Afrostream’s IBM SoftLayer cloud storage.
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By implementing Aspera Server on Demand, Afrostream has streamlined its entire digital workflow. Files are quickly and securely delivered without any delay. The solution has reduced content turnaround times from three days to less than 12 hours, so the latest TV shows and movies can be made available more quickly and reliably on the Afrostream platform for viewers to consume from their preferred devices. Other notable benefits include fast transfers, reliability, ease of use, and strong security. With Aspera, content providers upload their large media files to Afrostream’s cloud platform at maximum speed, regardless of file size, transfer distance or network conditions. The Aspera solution provides reliable transfers between distant locations, even in areas with poor connections and high latency over the WAN. Aspera’s intuitive user interface is simple to operate, even for non-technical staff. Aspera’s enterprise-grade security plan features built-in SSH authentication, encryption in transit and at rest, and data integrity verification for each transmitted block, protecting valuable media assets throughout the transfer process.
Afrostream achieved significant acceleration and optimization of entire transfer process to and from IBM’s cloud storage
Reduced content turnaround time from 3 days to under 12 hours
Increased ingest volume that now reaches 1,000 hours of aggregated content per month
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