Company Wide FTP Solution

I have a Windows 2008 A.D domain with 500+ client workstatin which are a mix of XP and Windows 7. I'm in the process of migration from Exchange 2003 to 2010 and would like to find a better way for users to send files more efficently.

I plan on capping my file attachment size in exchange to 8 or 10 MB but if a user has a file large then this I want them to be able to use a FTP server. I was thingk about setting up a Winodws or Linux server and have this run FTP services on the inside. But my questions are as follows..

1) Cost is a huge factor so I was trying not to spent any money.
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I was in a similar situation. I had to deal with file transfer from a branch office to the main office.

I went with this - Filezilla FTP server.

Other paid solutions:
a) Dropbox
b) YousendIT

Key reason:
a) Configuring FTP using IIS is such a pain and the amount of checks you need to make to lock it down.
b) I dont want to mess a production IIS, because of its dependence on so many other Windows /Exchange components. It's hard enough to lock it down, and make sure everything is working - one time.

End of the day, if you want an open source solution, easiest option is FTP.
I configure FTP with SSL. Didnt configure AD integration etc - why bother.
Create user groups, create user, Assign home directory - fire it up.
Port Forward on Firewall for SSL port (use a non-standard port).
You have a FTP server going in under 15 minutes.

Download File-zilla client at other end and configure it.

Create a drop-box at client location and a pick-up box at server location.
Ask a dude to click the button @ xx:00 HRS

( I configured the firewall rule to be allow port forwardng between 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM - end of the day file transfer).
It wont open FTP during rest of the day.

Let me know if this helps.
The least expensive FTP server would be the built in FTP server with IIS. I have never been impressed with the management and flexibilty of this product.
I have tried many other server products and have settled on South River Technologies - Titan FTP Server.
Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
Setting up a Windows FTP server is very easy, since the basic FTP protocol is built into IIS. However, it's VERY unsecure. Even though you can set permissions and require a logon to use the server, the actual data transmission is unsecured and unencrypted.  If that's not a concern for you, then you could use the basic FTP capabilities built into IIS. You have to install IIS on a Windows server and install the FTP protocol, create an FTP site and then set the file level permissions to restrict access using a user name and password.

Other than that, if you can afford a small investment, I would look at some kind of secured FTP.  WSFTP-Pro from Ipswitch is very highly regarded and capable of being set up as a secured FTP server:

Filezilla is a free one, but I don't have any experience with it:
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Ok with 500 workstations I would go with ftp... The security will be a nightmare. If it's just a few locations with a good connection just use a share or dfs .. Else check out SharePoint express.

Its more secure and much better manageable.
compdigit44Author Commented:
Also I want these users to be able to send large files to other people outside of our company
compdigit44Author Commented:
any linux solutions??
Any Linux solutions ????

for sending larger mail to other people or a ftp solution/file transfer solution ? Please clarify.
compdigit44Author Commented:
I need to find a way for users internal to external users to send large files effectily..

Either by FTP or any other means

but cost efficiectlve
Check out tons of opensource scripts for webbased tools.

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evanmcnallyIT ConsultantCommented:
The FTP server in Windows 2008 is actually quite a bit better than previous versions people may have used.  It is very secure if configured correctly and does support FTPS (encrypted sessions).  You should plan to spend an hour or two reading docs prior to setup--it's not exactly rocket science, but it has a lot fo features and does not precisely work out of the box.  The big win in using IIS is complete Active Directory integration, which is something you may want with 500+ users.

For a simple solution I also like Filezilla.

I have to point out that FTP is something many users are not technical enough to handle--especially the the uploading part of it.  Old versions of Internet Explorer being used as FTP clients may become your bane.

Also, you'll find that outside people cannot figure out how to enable passive mode FTP on their FTP client, so you'll have to dedicate a public IP address just to the FTP server and you'll have to open all high ports to that server or else they won't get the FTP data channel (which is random high port to random high port).

IF (big if) you can get buy-in that outside people will use your recommended client software, then SFTP with Filezilla is great (not the same as FTPS).  It's a single port to forward at your router and everything is encrypted.  IIS does not support SFTP, only FTPS, by the way.

We use an outside FTP service to allow for sharing of large files so that it doesn't kill our bandwidth etc.  

One option is to use a virtual server from  which cost about 10 bucks a month unlimited bandwidth etc

We ended up using Brick FTP  and we selected their lowest plan which gives us about 5GB in storage ( much more then we need) and no bandwidth limitations (major key for us) sand since they use the amazon fabric downloads for internal and external customers are fast.   This plan cost us 20 bucks a month which is 2x more then dream host, but they have a ton of redundancy built into their network which is really important for us since we use this to serve up product releases and updates to about 40K customers so it had to be solid all the way around.  That also let us try it out for 30 days so that we could review security, intuitiveness etc and its what worked best for us.

My guess would be that since you have 500+ users your best deal is to outsource this service and use something like dream host to make it happen since they don't have a cap on storage and then you just setup a few structures, i.e. some to allow different external user access and some only for internal.
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Windows Server 2008

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