Using the FTP/FTPS monitor in Anturis Console, you can set up monitoring of general availability and response time for any remote file server connected to the internet. It also enables you to set up a notification when a certificate for a secure TLS/SSL connection is about to expire. You can send requests either from one of the components in your infrastructure, or use one of the available Public Agents that are maintained by Anturis in different geographical locations.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to send files between computers connected to a network. It is an application-level protocol that uses the Internet protocol suite, also known as TCP/IP. When you view a web page on the internet, it is transferred from the server to your web browser via HTTP, but uploading the page on the web server is done via FTP. You also use FTP to download files from the internet to your computer.
The default command port number that an FTP server listens on is 21. Port number 20 is used for data transfer over FTP. An FTP server would generally require you to authenticate with a username and password. The server may also be configured to make certain or all files available via anonymous connections.
FTP does not encrypt messages, so your credentials may be read by a third party involved in the connection. To provide an encrypted connection, FTP can be used over the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, which was previously known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When FTP is used over a TLS/SSL layer, this is called an FTPS connection that enables you to securely encrypt an FTP session. In an FTPS connection, commands are directed through port number 990 by default, and data is transferred through port number 989.
TLS/SSL are cryptographic protocols for secure communication over computer networks. They are based on the exchange of X.509 certificates and public keys for encrypting and decrypting messages. Digital certificates are issued by a certificate authority (CA) trusted by both parties involved in the communication. A certificate binds the public key to a person or organization for a predetermined period of time (until the certificate expires).
By regularly sending FTP requests and tracking the time it takes for a response to return (also known as round-trip delay time, latency, or timeout), you can ensure the availability and performance of your critical file servers. This directly affects the quality of your service, because your clients or employees may rely on the availability of those files. The sooner you are able to detect a possible issue, the faster you will be able to react to it. If the file server uses TLS/SSL security, it is also important to monitor the certificate expiration date.