6 Benefits of an Outsourced FTP Server
Once you've made a decision to go with an FTP server for all of your file sharing needs, the next most important question you have to answer is "do I set something up in-house, or do I go with an outsourced FTP server provider?" While both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of business you're trying to run, outsourcing your FTP servers is an ideal fit for most businesses in various industries for six core reasons in particular.
The Benefits of an Outsourced FTP Server:
Setting up your own in-house FTP solution requires a massive upfront investment that many people don't think about. Not only do you have to pay for the equipment itself, but you have to pay to run it - either by way of a dedicated employee or hiring a service to get everything up and off the ground on your behalf. With an outsourced provider, however, this cost is completely eliminated - you're given access to equipment and software that "just works" and you get it for one fixed, efficient monthly cost.
Another significant advantage of outsourcing your FTP server needs is one of maintenance. If something breaks down with your in-house solution, it's your responsibility to get it back up and running again. Even going beyond that, the equipment itself will need constant ongoing maintenance to keep everything running efficiently, which is something you may not be able to actually guarantee depending on how many employees you have. With an outsourced provider, none of this is your concern because the provider takes care of it all.
If a security vulnerability is discovered in your FTP hardware or software, it's your responsibility to patch it if you're running your own in-house solution. If you make one wrong move, you could be exposing your clients and your entire organization to digital harm. With an outsourced provider, the company you've partnered with is responsible for all security and related provisions and you can instead choose to focus on the task at hand: running a business.
If you set up your own in-house FTP server solution, there are certain decisions that you "lock yourself in to" early in the process. The operating system you choose is the one you're stuck with, for example, and if a better option comes along it's a significant shift in order to take advantage of it. With an outsourced provider, you have the flexibility to make many adjustments on the fly.
Licensing software to build your own FTP or SFTP server typically costs between $3000 and $6000 - and this is on top of all of the other hardware costs you're dealing with. Then you have annual "maintenance fees" to keep the software up to date; these are generally 25% of the initial license fee. With an outsourced provider, software licensing, maintenance AND upgrades are all included.
Finally, upgrades. Once you build your FTP server in-house, what do you do when a piece of hardware becomes obsolete in six months? You either pay to upgrade it or try to work around those limitations, neither of which is a desirable scenario. With an outsourced provider, you're always leveraging the power of the latest that modern technology has to offer - no exceptions.
As you can see, outsourcing your FTP server gives you access to certain freedoms that you wouldn't have in any other environment. The best part of all is that it does it with lower costs than ever before.
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About Martin Horan
Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.