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UNINTER dramatically improved the student experience with high performance and thousands of ultra-low latency video lessons

Challenge

UNINTER is a reference in distance learning in Brazil, due largely to their advanced Virtual Learning Environment system, AVA (Ambiente Virtual de Aprendizagem, in Portuguese). AVA is accessed by more than 300,000 students, who matriculate from more than 700 cities in Brazil.

Speed, reliability and availability are crucial factors in providing students the best possible learning experience. In practice, this means:

  • video lessons that load more rapidly, with ultra-low latency;
  • content and features that can be accessed using any device; and
  • a distance learning platform that is available 24/7 to all students.

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of distance learning students was compounded by the addition of face-to-face students, elevating significantly the amount of video streaming in virtual classrooms.

Faced with these challenges, UNINTER prepared itself for a future with more devices and a higher demand for connectivity, both of which will increase as 5G expands across the country.

Solution

UNINTER entered into a partnership with Azion in 2017 to replace its legacy CDN with modern edge-native solutions, designed for high performance and 100% availability in its VOD (video on demand) application.

With Azion Edge Caching, Edge Application enables content delivery acceleration through dozens of edge locations in Brazil, allowing UNINTER’s students to watch video lessons using any device. These lessons are delivered with ultra-low latency, even in locations where the Internet connections are slow.

In addition to the large number of videos available through the learning platform, UNINTER produces more than 20,000 videos – the equivalent of 10,000 feature films[1] – each year, Azion Edge Caching provides the scalability needed to add this content without infrastructure complications.

Using data intelligence to manage content delivered directly to the edge, UNINTER’s experts choose how long content should remain in the cache, as well as which content is allocated to the first cache layer, L1 Cache, and which videos are delivered through the additional layer, L2 Caching.

L2 Caching allows videos not stored in the first cache layer to be transferred through a second cache layer between Azion’s Edge and UNINTER’s servers, resulting in content delivery 30x faster than the cloud[2] and reducing workload in the origin infrastructure.

Results and impact

Delivering content from Azion’s Edge provided compute resource savings to UNINTER, with approximately 90% of data transferred directly from edge locations. Furthermore, 96% of all content accessed by UNINTER’s students was delivered through L2 Caching.

During 2020, online content demands increased dramatically due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this increase, UNINTER saved on bandwidth, with more than 1.2 PB of data delivered through Azion’s Edge, offloading an average of 336 Mbps from UNINTER’s origin infrastructure.

The gains from Azion’s Platform enabled UNINTER to promote relevant actions during the pandemic crisis. This included providing 19 free online courses, open to everyone in Brazil, with the same level of excellence of UNINTER’s graduate and postgraduate courses, of which there are approximately 250.

“The Azion Platform has provided us with the flexibility we needed to manage the delivery of a large volume of video content to students enrolling at UNINTER hubs across Brazil and thus provide experience at a speed essential for quality distance education.”

Reginaldo Servilha de Carvalho, Coordinator of Transmission Infrastructure and Studio at UNINTER

About UNINTER

Uninter Group is among the biggest names in the educational sector in the country, and for 25 years, it has been creating initiatives that make higher education more democratic. With different types of educational solutions, one of the group’s main institutions is the Uninter International University Center, one of the only distance education institutions in Brazil re-accredited with maximum marks by the Ministry of Education (MEC) and concept 4 in the General Index of Courses, released by MEC in 2021. At the institution, the main objective is to combine quality and technology with fair values. Headquartered in Curitiba (PR) and operating throughout Brazil and abroad, the Uninter International University Center has already surpassed the mark of 505,000 graduates and, today, has more than 300,000 active students in more than 400 courses offered among undergraduate, graduate, master’s, doctoral, technical and extension courses, in the in-person, blended, distance and live telepresence modalities - the latter being an innovative methodology in which students follow classes and activities in real time, from their own homes. With approximately 700 on-site support centers for distance learning, UNINTER maintains five on-site campuses in Curitiba (PR) and 12 abroad. To learn more, visit uninter.com.