What Is File Transfer?

The file transfer process involves copying a logical data object from one device to another, either locally or remotely. Files are usually transmitted using a file transfer protocol (FTP, SFTP or MoveIT) or a cloud-based storage system that provides secure and encrypted access. The CMS ePortal and other external portals allow external users to upload or download files using file transfer services. These systems utilize a server-side software program to manage the transfers and protect the security of transferred data.

FTP is the traditional method of file transfer on the Internet. An added degree of security can be obtained by using SFTP or Secure FTP. These protocols use 2 TCP connections in parallel: a control connection and a data connection. The control connection has the additional capability of transferring control commands. Both of these methods are commonly used for transferring large files between computers, such as moving a music collection from one device to another.

During a file transfer, the speed at which the data is transferred influences the amount of time it takes for the files to complete their journey. There are a number of factors that contribute to the transfer speed including the file size, the distance between the sender and the recipient and the type of device that is being used. There are also a number of online tools available to test the connection speed.

When transferring data from an older computer to a newer machine, the most common method is to simply copy the files on the local computer or on a portable USB device that can then be moved to the other device. This method can be slow and may take several hours if the amount of data is significant.

Some of the fastest ways to transfer files are by using cloud-based storage systems or by using a flash drive that has an extremely high read/write speed. These types of systems can provide much faster file transfer speeds and typically require a subscription fee to store data long term.

In some cases, a managed file transfer service is required due to the amount of data being transferred or to address a security issue. In these situations, NDIT’s Self Service Portal can be utilized to submit a “Managed File Transfer” service request to securely move data between servers (FTP, SFTP or MoveIT). Additional information about these services is available in the CMS SFTP Guide. Alternatively, an enterprise file transfer system (EFT) can be utilized to streamline complex or challenging applications, provide advanced scheduling and workflow, offload other data processing components and improve the scalability, reliability, auditing and security of the transfer process. An EFT can also offer more advanced functionality that is not available with the native operating systems of a CMS data center, such as automated scheduling and tracking.Upload files