At Pro2col, we often find ourselves having to tap into our decades of experience and MFT knowledge to help a client make their file transfer solution fit a very unique business need.
An interesting challenge we come across every now and then is the need to transfer exceptionally large files (think 100s of gigabytes) as efficiently as possible, over considerable distances, with tight deadlines. This is a particularly common request from clients in the marine and media industries.
Luckily for us, we don't have to invent a new solution from scratch or find a novel way to utilise existing tools, as the perfect answer already exists.
FileCatalyst is a file transfer solution owned by Fortra, a company known for it's wide range of MFT and security products. The key feature of FileCatalyst is its ability to transfer files at high speeds, up to 10 Gbps, using UDP (User Datagram Protocol).
It is compatible with a variety of systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux, making it an ideal solution for businesses and organisations that need to transfer large data, over a long distance, quickly and between different platforms.
FileCatalyst consists of a collection of applications:
- FileCatalyst Direct: The core transfer server.
- FileCatalyst Transfer: Transfer agent that allows remote transfer to and from the FileCatalyst direct server to agent applications using the faster UDP protocol.
- Hot folders: Allow configurations of event and monitor-based upload and download between file catalyst direct and transfer agents.
- FileCatalyst Central: An administrative and monitoring application that interacts with all FileCatalyst products.
A new development for FileCatalyst is that Fortra has recently integrated it's technology of FileCatalyst into GoFast, making it a much higher speed. You may have noticed the new GoFast module that can be purchased as an add-on for GoAnywhere.
What are The Key Benefits of UDP?
The protocol is significantly faster than traditional file transfer methods such as TCP. To give you an idea of the staggering difference between UDP and TCP, we tested sending a 1GB file from London to Tokyo via TCP, and the file transfer time was 1 hour and 27 seconds. Then we tested UDP! Sending the same 1GB file via UDP from London to Tokyo took 1 minute and 27 seconds. That's an eye-watering 41.4 times faster!
User Datagram Protocol, or UDP for short, is a connectionless protocol that is used to transfer data over a network. It is unlike TCP, which is a connection-oriented protocol and makes it significantly faster (as demonstrated above). This is because UDP does not require a connection to be established and does not need to wait for acknowledgement packets to be sent back from the receiver. With UDP, you can expect a much faster transfer of large files which reduces the overall time required for said transfer of data.
UDP for file transfer is not only faster, but it is also more resilient to network congestion and packet loss. In a TCP connection, if packets are lost or delayed, the sender must wait for the receiver to send back an acknowledgement before resending the lost packets. This can cause significant delays in file transfer. No one wants this! With UDP, however, the sender simply sends the packets without waiting for an acknowledgement. This means that if packets are lost, they are discarded, and the sender continues sending the next packet.
Is FileCatalyst A Good Fit For Your Organisation?
Make no mistake, FileCatalyst is an incredibly powerful file transfer solution, designed to work with a wide range of systems, over globe-spanning distances, with the ability to transfer files at high speeds and with a high level of security. The use of UDP-based data transfer enables faster transfer of large files, and the software's management and monitoring tools, as well as scalability, making it a suitable option for organisations of all sizes that need to move very large files.
If this sounds like the ideal fit for your organisation, visit our FileCatalyst page to find out more.