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I manage an AD domain (functional level Win 2003) and am currently using a stand-alone server (Win 2003 also) with BulletProof FTP server installed. I have used BPFTP for close to 10 years now (back when it was G6) and for the most part have been quite happy. I have had some issues with it in the past 2 years where the server encounters an unhanded exception and terminates but because it was never a mission critical component of our business it was not a problem. Well, we are about to start supplying 2 clients with data from this FTP server and I need to put in place a solution that will just plain work. I can't afford to have downtime. My first thought was to use Ubuntu server but I've had problems integrating it with AD in the past. What would you suggest I go with to limit downtime as much as humanly possible? Bear in mind that this server will see very little use. Both clients will only be downloading approx. 100MB per week. I'm all for hardened appliances as well as virtual or desktop solutions... as long as they're solid. Cost is a factor, it always is, but I feel as though I could probably wrangle up some cash if need be.

Thanks in advance.

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Is the standalone server on the domain? If not, why not use built in FTP? –  DanBig Feb 4 '10 at 13:04

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is going to be a contentious issue anyway since it is a subjective question, but here are options I see...

I think Windows IIS services has FTP built in? If so that would be integrated with your domain services.

If it's a little-used server anyway, why not just use the Ubuntu server and document the password/usernames appropriately? That also means that it would be one step removed from being cracked and spreading to other servers, as breaking into your FTP server that authenticates to Windows AD will potentially give access to other resources while the non-AD service can't (unless you dupe passwords) and FTP is a cleartext protocol and could be sniffed. Ubuntu is easy to manage remotely and script, pretty reliable and bulletproof, and UNIX-like operating systems have been handling FTP services for decades.

Personally I'd go Ubuntu. If you want a Windows solution, I'd look at the built-in services, unless you have a specific need that isn't being fulfilled with the default stuff.

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Have had great success with CrushFTP. Cost effective, great support, steady upgrades and it works.

CrushFTP

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I feel as though I need a more enterprise-level solution but I will keep this in mind. Thank you. –  JohnyD Feb 4 '10 at 13:31
    
That is what we thought. Too inexpensive to be true compared to the other solutions we looked at. Tried it and users loved it. Support better than several others we evaluated that cost thousands of dollars. Runs great in a VM as well. –  Dave M Feb 4 '10 at 14:02

I have had perfect and flawless operation with Filezilla server.

http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=server

and it is a great Open Source project under the GNU License. I use it on two AD servers I administer and a personal file server in a co-located host that has yet to fail out on me even under heavy load.

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If you are only going to be providing access for 2 clients, then management is pretty simple. You could do it through IIS easily. Create the 2 accounts in AD with strong passwords. In addition to that, get the IP address that each client will be connecting from and put that in the access list. Deny everything else.

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The trouble is that right now it's 2 clients. It seems that inevitably the spec changes and a solution tailored for the initial problem suddenly is shoehorned for a "slightly different" change in circumstances until you're saddled with a solution that worked in A but is inappropriate for B. Although it may not necessarily be a problem in this case, I'm just saying in general...well,...y'know. –  Bart Silverstrim Feb 4 '10 at 15:15
    
@Bart, true, but its very easy to add an IP in the allow list, and create another AD user. –  DanBig Feb 4 '10 at 15:44

have a look at zFTPServer too, i picked it for SFTP & AD support without needing to support/open-up a full SSH environment - you can always use the integrated IIS FTP to meet your needs but I'd go for the later versions if you can

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Personally I would use the FTP service in IIS6, configure it for AD user isolation, and run the Security Configuration Wizard on it as soon as I was done setting it up and testing it.

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