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EFILM Selects Aspera’s High-Speed File Transfer Software

Aspera, creator of a high-speed file transfer technology, announced that EFILM, a leader in digital laboratory services for film and television, has selected and deployed Aspera’sfasp 2.0 software as a high-performance file transfer foundation in its digital laboratory business.

“The performance and bandwidth control of Aspera’s file transfer software, combined with our investment in high-bandwidth network connectivity and state-of-the-art computing and storage facilities, is enabling EFILM to provide our customers with the highest quality and most cost-effective digital laboratory services worldwide, with unprecedented turnaround times,” says Robert Eicholz, vice president of technology and corporate development at EFILM. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with Aspera as we build out our file-based workflows.”

EFILM provides state-of-the-art film finishing tools to its clients, which includes studios, independent filmmakers, advertisers, animators and visual effects companies. The investment in Aspera software is intended to further enhance EFILM’s existing telecommunications offerings with additional options for high-speed transfer of file-based media.

“Our first experiences with Aspera’s software were transfers of reels of film from Los Angeles to a sister company in London, England,” reports Chris Marzullo, EFILM systems engineer. “Transfers achieved over 95 percent utilization of the bandwidth end-to-end, allowing us to quickly move large files between continents securely and efficiently. We quickly realized the ability of Aspera’s software to enable our data-driven production processes and have now deployed it in several parts of our business.”

One of the first experiences with Aspera’s software at EFILM occurred in the fall of 2007, when an executive producer, scheduled to work with the EFILM editors, made a last-minute request on a Saturday morning for a large film file that was still in London. The EFILM team had recently deployed Aspera’s Enterprise Server software in London and in Hollywood. Using Aspera, the large transfer was done in about 30 minutes, and the color timing session began on schedule.

“Media that used to be shipped over traditional land-based carrier systems as tapes or on hard drives can now be transported across the network,” continues Eicholz. “The speed is dramatically faster than traditional FTP and robust. We also have complete visibility into our bandwidth utilization. ”

Aspera’s adaptive rate control technology allows EFILM and its customers to continue to use their Internet bandwidth for other tasks while still achieving maximum throughput. The adaptive rate control dynamically adjusts the transfer speed to use only the available, unused bandwidth, allowing for maximum bandwidth utilization without impacting other network activity. This capability is especially valuable in international locations where bandwidth is scarce and expensive.

When needed, EFILM operators have the ability through the Aspera browser-based management console to override the default bandwidth policy and to prioritize a transfer on-the-fly, to achieve a guaranteed completion time. Unlike conventional or accelerated transfer solutions, Aspera’s fasp protocol can adjust the relative bandwidth used on the fly and guarantee the speed and finish time of a high-priority transfer job, physical bandwidth permitting, regardless of network distance. Through the Web-based console, operators can manage, track and monitor what is being transferred and can receive notification of transfer status through e-mail.

EFILM found that while FTP was perfectly adequate for moving small files, it was really impractical for the truly massive collections of files–e.g., 25,000 files at 13MB each, or much more that needed to be transferred globally. Hard drives, too, have presented problems, including harmful viruses, time-consuming loading and unloading, need for encryption, and, sometimes worst of all, long delays in customs. By contrast, high-speed telecommunications provide fast, secure, efficient transport.

“Companies like EFILM are inspiring our work to extend both the raw performance of the fasp protocol and the management, reporting and deployment capabilities of our software,” comments Aspera president and co-founder Michelle Munson. “It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with the EFILM team, and we look forward to supporting their future technology achievements locally and globally.”