Once upon a time, Aspera, the high performance file transfer leader was a standalone company. IBM made a brilliant move and acquired them. However, Akamai missed out on a big opportunity, in acquiring one the best small companies in the media and entertainment space. If Akamai would have acquired Aspera, it would have pushed them deeper into the video production workflows of most large studios, broadcasters, post production houses and labs. Instead, Akamai chose to integrate Aspera UDP file transfer technology into its platform, stopping at the edge. Aspera enables studios, broadcasters and post houses to exchange mezzanine size video files amongst each other, and across long distances. Signiant and Arkena are the other two top high performance file transfer companies.
These three are what I call B2B Video File Delivery Network (VFDN). The difference between VFDN and B2B CDN is VFDN strictly deals with the upload and download of large video files that sometimes reach 100GBs in size, although its usually smaller, like 10GB to 30GBs. All major studios, broadcasters and post production houses use one of the three technologies, and sometimes two, for exchanging files across countries. The protocol used in the transfer of the larges files is UDP, and in the case of Arkena, they support UDP and Multi-TCP. Aspera and Signiant use the public Internet to transfer files, while Arkena uses a Private Network, the courtesy of its VPN technology. Signiant is the last stand alone company of the three. I bet they’ll they get acquired by the likes of Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), or maybe even Akamai, later this year. Signiant would be a good addition to VDMS, and drive them deeper into the workflows of the professional film-makers, studios and broadcasters. Here is a snapshot of the three.
B2B Video File Delivery Network v1