With all the tech advancement around us—like the ability to use our voice to control many aspects of our home, the ability to watch anything on demand and to live stream from just about anywhere—it is odd to say that many consumers and businesses still struggle with something as seemingly simple as large file transfer. Many consumers still use email, a USB drive, box.net or iCloud. But what do businesses use?
Depending on the size of the business, some use Box or Dropbox. But, for more enterprise use cases over large geographic distances, many use cloud services like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure. Either way, you are using services where you send files to another site, which may or may not be secure. Do you really know what happens to your files? When you delete them, are they really deleted? This may work for some files, but there are still many instances when secure point-to-point transfer is needed…so what do businesses use in that case?
Many still use File Transfer Protocol (FTP), a protocol first published in 1971, 56 years ago. There has to be other more efficient solutions, right? Spoiler alert—there is, more on that to come. First let’s take a look at why businesses still use FTP. Martin Horan from FTP Today summarizes the benefits well in his blog titled Why do people still use FTP sites. He lists at-rest and in-transit encryption, granular account permissions, a solid history of vetted processes for properly maintaining compliance and a simple method for providing backup and disaster recovery (DR) as reasons. That stated, one of the primary issues with FTP has to do with performance. What if you don’t have hours or days to wait for large files to transfer? What then?
File Transfer & WAN Acceleration + On-premise Storage
This leads to the other way businesses transfer large files over large distances, File Transfer/WAN acceleration to on-premise storage. The reason you use an on-prem point-to-point solution is for security and efficiency. You can control transfer minimizing risks and increasing visibility into the entire process. We (obviously) recommend Swarm as the on-prem storage solution. One of the most robust solutions by FileCatalyst we have seen in the file transfer acceleration space, which leverages User-Defined Protocol (UDP) to circumvent network and packet latency inherent in TCP, HTTP and FTP. In non-geek speak, think of what they do as putting your file data on a bullet train. In contrast, going over FTP is similar to driving on the 405 Freeway in LA at 4 pm. Here is how FileCatalyst transfer speeds compare to FTP.
Now FTP is still a perfectly good way to transfer files, and in many cases we still recommend it. However, when performance and reliability are required, we recommend FileCatalyst. This is one of the reasons we have partnered with them to certify Swarm as a target destination for their file transfer solution. If you want to learn more about FileCatalyst and how easy it is to use Swarm as a destination, join Elton Carneiro, FileCatalyst Director—Strategic Partnerships & Cloud Services and me for our upcoming Using FileCatalyst with Caringo Swarm webcast Thursday, May 11, 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET.
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