FTP setup on our Server 2008 R2 O/S

mgedlaman
mgedlaman used Ask the Experts™
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Currently the FTP from our server can only be accessed inside/outside the company by using Windows Explorer.  I would like to set this up for Internet Explorer to minimize confusion for external clients.  

1. Why would this be setup this way to begin with? Security reasons?

2. How do I enable the browser access?  Through IIS?
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Yes , you enable web browsing through IIS . I wouldn't put any corporate files on FTP server like this , it's very insecure.
My suggestion is to make your FTP server just a private server , your external users should connect through VPN , then access FTP either via web or a FTP client.

Author

Commented:
Sorry for the confusion gents.  When I said "external users" I meant external companies or clients that the staff deal with.  Say they want to share a file or folder of files with a client and the email will not work as the file size is too large for most servers (could be as small as 50MB, or as large as a few GBs).

Is FTP the best way to go for this kind of sharing?  perhaps password restricted access and permissions need to be setup for each client folder?
Commented:
A normal FTP server is more secure than your average HTTP server.   That said, If you need security you can use FTPS or HTTPS to secure the connection with SSL or you can use an SFTP server which is secured with SSH.

FTP and FTPS are good choices for sharing big files like this if your server software supports resuming an interrupted file trasnfer.

Author

Commented:
I like that idea Alex.  I'm not familiar with FTPS and it's features/benefits, or how to turn on the server resume interrupted file transfers (neato feature I think would make my client look good).

Can you fire me some info on how to turn those features on?  or where to look?

Commented:
The restart verb is REST.  You probably won't have to turn it on, if the server supports it it will just work as long as you send it at the correct time.  You send it after the command specifying the data channel (PASV or PORT) but before the command to upload or download (STOR or RETR)

You could send the FEAT raw ftp verb to check if the server supports REST.. or maybe you could just try it.  The raw ftp commands your client software sends to restart the upload of a file named icon.gif at byte 100 will look something like:

TYPE I
PASV
REST 100
STOR icon.gif

You could send the SIZE command first if you don't actually know how much of the file was recieved on the server before the transfer was interrupted.

Are you sure that writing your own FTP client is a good idea?  There are so many available to choose from already so it might be re-inventing the wheel.

Author

Commented:
I was just hoping that the ftp server software was built into Server 2008 R2 so that I could just "flip a switch" so to speak, and then my clients' clients could log into the ftp or ftps server through their browser and be good to go

Author

Commented:
I think we have the first part of my question answered, does anyone have anything for the second part of my question?

Author

Commented:
Is this the best way for an enterprise to share files with their clients?

Author

Commented:
I am closing this question and posting a new one to get the best practices answer I'm looking for with file sharing from a small/medium enterprise to their clients

Commented:
File size matters

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