I am wondering about how companies provide access to the same files over FTP and HTTP/HTTPS. What are the different servers involved in setting up such an infrastructure?

I am interested, particularly, about if the metadata of the files on an FTP server changes when the files are mirrored to the HTTP server. For example, let's say that I have two files, both with the same content. Given the potentially various ways one can set up and FTP-to-HTTP infrastructure, what are the differences (if any) in the metadata of the same two files between the FTP server and HTTP server?

  • most of them use cpanel, same files same server – Jacob Evans Jan 11 '17 at 5:06
  • So no chance of a metadata difference between an FTP and HTTP access of the same file? – jshapy8 Jan 11 '17 at 5:10
  • I'd get a copy of cpanel and play with it, but no not usually (in my experience anyway) – Jacob Evans Jan 11 '17 at 5:12
  • I have software that gets a file's Last-Modified attribute from the HTTP header of a URL pointing to a file. I'm just wondering how the Last-Modified attribute of a file on an FTP server mirror into the HTTP header. – jshapy8 Jan 11 '17 at 5:19

Typically the FTP server and Webserver are not running on different computer systems but both services are running on 1 single host.

Both the FTP service and web service point at the same directory and expose the same files, there is no mirroring of files involved. Filesystem locking prevents the FTP server from changing a file that is being modified by the web server (and vice versa). And any changes made in a file/directory over FTP will immediately show in the webserver.

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  • Thanks. Is file-system locking a requirement to implement this infrastructure? – jshapy8 Jan 11 '17 at 5:25
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    Locking is part of the filesystem and operating system and not something you need to manually set up. (except in distributed and cluster filesystems) It is one of the requirements for a multi user OS. – HBruijn Jan 11 '17 at 5:28
  • While this is true in general, there are some webservice providers (e.g. some German providers) that indeed use two different servers for ftp and http that sync in fixed intervals. – Broco Jan 11 '17 at 9:06

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