VPRO Uses FileCatalyst for File Transfer on a Three-Mast Sailing Ship

VPRO deploys FileCatalyst Direct for reliable and managed file transfer over satellite during its remarkable series, “Beagle: On the Future of Species”

Fortra [formerly Unlimi-Tech Software], the pioneer in accelerated file transfers is pleased to announce the selection of FileCatalyst Direct by VPRO. The Dutch broadcaster uses FileCatalyst Direct aboard the VPRO-Beagle three-mast sailing ship, the clipper Stad Amsterdam. So what role does FileCatalyst play on a sailing ship with three masts, twenty-nine sails, and “endless quantities of rope”?

File transfer, of course. The Stad Amsterdam was commissioned by VPRO to retrace one of the most famous voyages in history, that of the HMS Beagle and its famous passenger, Charles Darwin. 150 years after the publication of Origin of the Species, a complement of scientists from different disciplines are collecting data while a camera crew documents the voyage. This data, along with high-definition video for the television series, is sent back to the mainland over satellite via two VSAT domes.

During the first leg of the trip, however, the ship’s original file transfer software proved to be unreliable and slow. A working solution was needed, and fast. A choice needed to be made between an expensive hardware solution or different software. VPRO chose the FileCatalyst software solution.

FileCatalyst CEO Chris Bailey recalls initial conversations: “As we listened to the problem being described, we knew right away that FileCatalyst would work for VPRO. Every item on their requirements checklist, from bandwidth scheduling, to retry and resume facilities, to maximized transfer speeds, were problems that FileCatalyst has been designed from the ground up to solve. The match couldn’t have been more perfect.”

At the top of this list was reliability. FileCatalyst provides reliability by using the HotFolder application to instantly reconnect dropped connections, using whichever of the two domes is available. This, along with other resume, retry, and verification facilities, allows the transfer to stubbornly pick up where it left off.

To create the 35-episode series, H.264 high-definition video is sent from the Stad Amsterdam to VPRO’s production facilities at regular intervals. A weekly window of 2 Mbps connectivity opens up, and it is critical to deliver large media files during this period. The previous transfer system was chocked by latency as high as 3 full seconds, resulting in a “transfer funnel” of only 70 Kbps. FileCatalyst’s UDP-based protocol is virtually immune to poor network conditions, meaning that the full 2 Mbps link is used during this short transfer window.

Francis van Gorp, technology consultant to VPRO says, “As soon as we deployed the software we immediately saw that FileCatalyst used full bandwidth and decided to install the software on the live link to see how it behaved under extreme conditions.”

“File transfer is no longer an issue: files get across on time because bandwidth is used to the max; when the systems routes traffic from one dome to the other transfer picks up automatically; and even under extreme weather conditions with a very unstable satellite link, FileCatalyst uses every moment of connection time to send files across.”

Read the entire case study.

About VPRO:

The VPRO operates in various media, producing radio and television programmes, filling digital theme channels, operating an innovative website, publishing a programme guide and organising cultural activities for members. Every week the VPRO broadcasts an average of 19 hours of television and 57 hours of radio–. The broadcasting corporation responds to specific interests with four non-stop theme channels. The website http://www.vpro.nl is progressive in terms of technology and more in depth in terms of content, and is updated daily.

About the VPRO-Beagle:

To celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birth year, and the 150th anniversary of his publication of “On the Origin of Species”, VPRO is running a 35-part series called Beagle: On the future of species. The project reconstructs Darwin’s 5-year long voyage on the HMS Beagle in the course of one year, and makes an attempt to assess where the world stands today in light of Darwin’s evolution theory. Life on earth is under continual change. Is there reason to worry about the future? Can science offer us sufficient answers to some of our most compelling questions? Are we leaving behind an inhabitable world for future generations?

About FileCatalyst:

FileCatalyst technology is developed by HelpSystems, a world leader in file transfer solutions. FileCatalyst provides software-based solutions designed to accelerate and optimize file transfers across global networks. Being immune to packet loss and latency, FileCatalyst can send files much faster than methods such as FTP, HTTP or CIFS, while adding security and reliability.

About Fortra:
Fortra is a software company focused on helping exceptional organizations secure and automate their operations. Our cybersecurity and automation software protects information and simplifies IT processes to give our customers peace of mind. We know security and IT transformation is a journey, not a destination. Let’s move forward. Learn more at  www.fortra.com.