Is FTP Storage What Your Business Needs?

by Allia Vidmer on March 29, 2010

FTP, or file transfer protocol, is a technology that allows files of all sizes and types to be moved from one place to another via the Internet. If your business needs to transfer very large files either to or from your clients, FTP storage may be just the solution you need.

In the past, and to a large extent even today people still attempt to send you multi mega byte sized files via your company email address. It only takes a couple of experiences trying to retrieve a 25MB file from your email provider to know this is not a scalable solution to moving files back and forth online.

Using an FTP storage company allows you to set up a common repository that, depending upon your business needs, provides for upload and/or download of files. Depending upon the provider you choose, you’re able to offer your clients the ability to use a standard FTP program, a simple web page interface, or with some of the premium storage companies, maybe even an FTP widget that you can embed right into your company website.

The question may be asked why you cannot just offer to accept and disperse files on your own. And you can most certainly do that, however there are some challenges you may wish to be aware of in advance.
For instance, how much transfer does your current web host provide for your business’s online presence? Is it unlimited? If not, you’ll be hard pressed to justify the increase in bandwidth and transfer fees most standard hosting providers include in their packages.

The reason you’re considering any sort of file transfer capabilities is likely due to the sheer file size (and perhaps overall volume) your company and its clients require. Depending on your existing web host to fulfill those needs could be costly and if unexpected might result in down time for your website and related web applications.

With this in mind, more small to medium sized companies are turning to dedicated professional hosting services that have decided to target the market of file transferring. As such, these companies are developing hearty systems with easy to use, intuitive applets for businesses and end users.
Only you know how important it is to your business to be able to serve and receive large files. One universal need is that your customer must get the data from or to you. The last thing your business model can likely withstand is the inability of customers getting what they need in order to do business with your company.

Another often overlooked but extremely important aspect of any file delivery system is its architecture. Unfortunately most web hosting applications do not include back up plans as part of their standard offerings. Yes, most hosts will provide that service as an add-on that will cost you more money every month.

But when it comes to your FTP storage needs, not having regular automated backup could spell disaster should something untimely happen. Data corruption, hardware failure, malicious server attacks all pose serious concerns to your business model. The only real way around these issues is having your data backed up. Regularly. Securely.

Another concern with using a centralized FTP system has to do with its uptime and availability. Unless you know for a fact that your web host has failed over systems set up and in place, you cannot be assured that file upload and download capabilities will always be available.

If, however, there is automatic mirroring of all data transactions on secondary and possibly tertiary systems, then the down time of your primary storage facilities has limited adverse effects. Your company needs to ensure its clients and prospective customers their data will always be accessible. Considering a professional, dedicated FTP Storage company may be just what you need to succeed.

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