MultiChoice Africa (MCA), the pioneer of multichannel digital satellite television in Africa and a Naspers group subsidiary, has conducted a strategic review of its Pan African satellite network architecture with a view to streamlining the administration and registration services it offers viewers in more than 18 countries.
MCA, through its in-house IT shared services network provider, Naspers Media Services company (NMScom), decided to upgrade its network in order to overcome significant performance bottlenecks, including bandwidth scarcity and network latency.
After exhaustive tests, MCA selected molecular sequence reduction (MSR) technology from Peribit Networks, a global leader in wide area networking (WAN) application performance optimisation, to relieve congestion and effectively triple the capacity of its existing telecommunications links.
It will be supplied by Peribit's partner in South Africa, Source Consulting.
Says Naspers Group CIO and NMScom chairman, Errol du Preez: "When you operate a network based on VSAT Satellite transport there are often some low bandwidth links - 64-128 Kbps - and significant network latency. This directly impacts on NMScom's ability to deliver customer services efficiently."
"Tests have shown a dramatic improvement in application transaction times," says Butch Lombardi, MultiChoice's network planner. "In addition to increases in available bandwidth, the ease of installation and configuration make the Peribit solution an obvious choice.
"Peribit far exceeded our evaluation criteria and we expect a return on investment well within 12 months."
MCA's future plans, according to Lombardi, include the replacement of its current 'fat client' system employing session communications using Telnet and IBM 3270 emulation, with a mixture of a rich text HTML browser client and thin client terminal server software.
"This system is designed to communicate directly with the MultiChoice central server in Randburg, reducing costs and removing complexity at remote locations. It will also contribute to the overall security of the network and benefit from the underlying performance optimisation infrastructure provided by Peribit," adds Lombardi.
Alan Rehbock, general manager of the Peribit Business Unit at Source Consulting says Peribit is the only WAN application performance vendor that addresses all three of the fundamental causes of network and application slowdowns.
"These are capacity - with MSR; contention - with essential QoS features; and latency, with Packet Flow Acceleration technology."
He says MultiChoice Africa selected Peribit because of the breadth and depth of Peribit's offering and "the clear tangible results we can deliver to speed application response times and help the organisation provide a better experience to its customers."