How in the world does AOL govern 3PB of media content?

IBM Cloud Stories
Apr 13, 2016 · 3 min read

The global digital media and technology company turned to Aspera, an IBM company, to handle data movement, sharing, and exchange

Do you remember when AOL just meant America Online or Do you recall how it was one of the first portals to the internet — and in fact the only part of the internet some of us were aware of — 20 or so years ago? I do and I can still hear the sound of my dial-up modem now…and after a pause to get connected…“You’ve got mail!” This was one of the original internet memes, before internet memes were actually a thing.

Times sure have changed.

Today AOL is a global digital media and technology company that distributes content not only via viewers’ computers, tablets or smart phones, but also on 19 over-the-top devices, such as game consoles and other television peripherals (as well as the televisions themselves) with wireless access.

There are hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide who read and watch AOL original, award-winning content on platforms such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Moviefone, in addition to old favorites like and MapQuest.

All that information creation and exchange generates a huge amount of data — 2 to 4 TB per day — and the incessant demand for high-speed transfer for file sharing between AOL Studios’ bi-coastal production facilities. AOL needed to find a way to support its production infrastructure and tool set and keep up with continued growth.

After evaluating several different vendors and even considering developing a solution in-house, the company decided to deploy a full suite of high-speed transfer and automation software from Aspera, a component of the IBM Cloud Video portfolio, to support its new media management platform.

In order to share and exchange enormous media files from its production facilities in new York and Los Angeles, AOL uses Aspera’s Fast, Adaptive and Secure Protocol (FASP®) technology. For ad-hoc content ingest and sharing with 3rd party partners, the company uses Aspera Shares and Faspex. It also employs the Aspera On-Demand cloud-based solution to transfer large video files and metadata from each on-premise 1.5 PB data center SAN directly to its media asset management system so it can be shared as soon as possible. Aspera Orchestrator and Aspera Console automate the workflow and offer complete visibility to production teams. The integrated hybrid cloud solution also provides enterprise-grade security, high reliability and bandwidth control.

The beep-chirp-ding-hiss of the dial up modem is so 20th century. Now we have a nearly insatiable demand for what we want when we want it: just as we no longer expect to wait for our email to be delivered (though, many of us wish we could take a pause from email), we couldn’t possibly fathom waiting a whole year for that “new” movie to come out. AOL knows this. Aspera moves the world’s data at maximum speed, regardless of file size, transfer distance or network conditions, and this is why AOL counts on it to produce digital content at the speed of today.

Read the press release

Learn more about Aspera

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