Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS)

Mission Possible
DVIDS well armed with Aspera for toughest military content distritbution


The Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) is a distribution service that provides public domain content—photos, videos, audio, stories—submitted by the military to news organizations and other interested parties, such as military families. For most media organizations, DVIDS is the go-to source for all content and much of the information collected overseas, from major military actions to activities of local soldiers abroad. The content ranges from broadcast B-roll to family messages from soldiers during the holidays. They even conduct live interviews with soldiers overseas for news organizations.

Don't forget storage: on top of the speed, performance and reliability of Aspera software, it also synchs up seamlessly with DVIDS' Isilon storage system, allowing directory pathing and freeing up employee time during the transfer. While a seemingly small factor, controlling the transfer from source to storage is a huge benefit to DVIDS and others, allowing end-to-end automation and optimization of the transfer.

DVIDS collects this content from across the globe and sends it to a distribution hub in Atlanta. Files are transferred using satellite, FTP, and also some proprietary transfer protocols, such as NorSat’s Assured File Transfer (AFT), and Northrop Grumman’s Fast File Transfer (FFT). For some files though, particularly larger video files, DVIDS needs a more consistent, fast and reliable protocol—that’s where Aspera comes in.

Speed is of the utmost importance for DVIDS to maintain its leadership role as the go-to source of military content for news outlets. For any file over 10 MB, DVIDS always uses Aspera, instead of FTP or other proprietary transfer technology. Aspera’s software helps DVIDS move files ranging from 10 MB to as high as 5 GB. Files are generated on site by each military unit and immediately transferred to Atlanta for distribution. Anytime network conditions, transfer distances, file size or other factors prevent a transfer, Aspera is used as the guaranteed delivery mechanism. This type of guarantee is paramount to DVIDS’ overall workflow. 

“The intelligence and defense industry has been relying on Aspera for transfer of mission-critical data for a number of years,” said Kip Schauer, director of government sales at Aspera. “DVIDS illustrates the power of Aspera’s technology, allowing rich files to be sent quickly and reliably from literally anywhere on the globe with a satellite uplink or Internet connection. We’re proud DVIDS trusts Aspera for such a critical workflow.”

Each military unit has a proprietary transmitter, which is synched up with Aspera to send files either by Internet or satellite. This allows the content to be collected on the spot, and immediately sent to the Atlanta center with no intermediary.