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From FTP to SaaS: The changing economics of large file sharing (SlideShare)

Dec 05, 2014 By Meg Cater


Media & Entertainment has been a pioneering industry in the practice of sending large files over the Internet. Early file transfer software like FTP solved part of the problem, but had many limitations. More efficient ftp alternatives like hybrid SaaS and cloud-based solutions are being adopted by media and other data-intensive industries for a better experience with large file transfer.


Transcription: “From FTP to SaaS: The changing economics of large file sharing” SlideShare 


1.   Signiant

From FTP to SaaS: The changing economics of large file transfer

2.   The Original Big Data

Media & Entertainment has been a pioneering industry in the practice of sending large files over the Internet. Early solutions like FTP solved many problems, but can’t keep up with business needs and now accumulate hidden costs.

More efficient, cloud based solutions are being adopted throughout the media production process, paving the way for other data-intensive industries.

3.   The B2B world has become global

Today’s media industry landscape is increasingly global, with file based delivery becoming a standard requirement.

4.   Media files are really big

Media file sizes vary depending on where they lie along the path from production to distribution. Starting off often over 5 terabytes coming off a set, files sizes generally get smaller and greater in number closer to distribution and drop off dramatically for secondary distribution to outlets like Netflix and Hulu. But even the smallest files are not small.

5.   Transferring large files is difficult

Transferring anything over 1GB starts to get difficult, and many media organizations utilize a mix of methods to transport large files. Email file size limits are usually reached at by 25MB. And online file sharing services also have file size limits, plus lack security necessary for professional media

Courier services are typically a reliable way to send large files, but require breaking an otherwise fully computer-based workflow, costing additional time, money and headspace.

6.   FTP has become the default.

This 40+ year old protocol has become the default solution that media and many other companies can’t seem to leave behind for some good reasons.

  • FTP can handle large files
  • FTP is IT sanctioned and available
  • FTP is “free”

7.   FTP lacks basic functionality

However, FTP lacks basic functionality, requiring ad hoc scripts to be written on top of the protocol or the purchase of additional applications for:

  • Email notifications
  • Security
  • User and storage management
  • Automation and visibility


8.   And, is FTP really free?

The need to purchase additional applications or pay a developer to write scripts for basic functionality and security are the obvious costs of FTP. Less apparent is the amount of time FTP systems siphon from IT, requiring assistance for such minor tasks as adding and managing users. Additionally, legacy FTP systems are very difficult to maintain and upgrade.


9.   FTP has $%@#y UX

FTP hails from the days before UX design became an important concern for workplace computing.

And, most people agree, it’s painful.

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”  ~ Steve Jobs


10.  (Image) – It’s not your fault; it’s bad UX.

by UXer. Jess Hang


11.  FTP is slow

FTP’s underlying transport control protocol has trouble handling files sent over long network distances, stalling out under latency. It also has no ability to automatically check how much data has been sent or received and restart if the network is interrupted. For these and many other reasons, FTP is very slow. Plus, speed is not a function you can write a script or buy additional web applications to handle.

FTP is just slow by nature.


12.  Will more bandwidth make FTP faster?

This is a public service announcement.

Many organizations attempt to solve the speed problem of FTP by purchasing additional bandwidth. This will NOT help with FTP, at all. Please spread the word and don’t let your friends waist time and money purchasing additional bandwidth because their files are moving like a snail.  It happens all too often, even by professional and otherwise tech savvy people.

The problem with FTP has to do with latency not bandwidth.


13.  Today’s solutions are SaaS

A recent survey by North Bridge found that 60 – 80% of respondents indicated plans to make significant moves to the cloud within a year or two.

“Agility, reduction in capital expenditures, and reduced operating expenditures – in almost 100% of the situations – have been the primary drivers of cloud adoption,” says Jim Morrisroe, CEO of Piston Cloud Computing, in the survey report.

–        High Availability

–        Scalability

–        Easy to Deploy and Use

–        Global Performance

–        Cost Effectiveness

–        Rapid Innovation


14.  Not all “cloud” software is SaaS

X Cloud Washed

On-Prem Software + Cloud Infrastructure + Marketing =

X High Availability

X Global Performance

X Scalability

X Cost Effectiveness

X Easy to Deploy and Use

X Rapid Innovation

√   Cloud Formed SaaS

Core Technology / Domain Expertise + Cloud Infrastructure / Platform as a Service + DevOps Team =

√ High Availability

√ Global Performance

√ Scalability

√ Cost Effectiveness

√ Easy to Deploy and Use

√ Rapid Innovation


15.    A SaaS alternative to FTP

Media Shuttle

Signiant’s Media Shuttle is a hybrid SaaS solution that allows media professionals to quickly transfer any size file anywhere in the world. It can replace or augment FTP and any other means you may be employing to transfer large files with all the power of true SaaS. But the “hybrid” part takes care of security concerns often associated with cloud based software. It can also work alongside existing FTP systems, if you’d like to keep your file organization as it is.


16.    Signiant

Signiant has been developing on-premises large file transfer software since 2000. Originally created to move huge code bases around the world for global software development, it was adopted by large Media & Entertainment companies in the mid-2000s as the industry transitioned from tape to file-based workflows.

17.    What our customers asked for

During the R&D phase of Media Shuttle, we asked users of our on-premise solutions and other media professionals what they wanted. They often responded using features of products they already knew.

Media Shuttle incorporates the best of them.

Online File Sharing

  • Simple web interface
  • Branded portals
  • Subscription model


  • No file size limits
  • Storage under your control

Signiant Technology

  • Central Control
  • Acceleration
  • Enterprise-class security
  • Workflow integration

18.   Three simple ways to transfer large files

File Transfer

Person to Person

–        Send

File Sharing

Person to / from File System

–        Share

Workflow Onramp

Person to Process

–        Submit


19.   Try Media Shuttle today

√ Save Time

Move files fast

Automated services

Minimal IT overhead

No Training Required

√ Save Money

Less Expensive to Get Started

SaaS Enabled Pricing

Scalable to any Sized Company

√ Consolidate into one solution

Augment existing FTP


Try Media Shuttle


20.   About Signiant

Signiant’s intelligent file movement software helps the world’s top content creators and distributors ensure fast, secure delivery of large files over public and private networks.  Built on Signiant’s patented technology, the company’s on-premises software and SaaS solutions move petabytes of high-value data every day between users, applications and systems with proven ease. For more information, visit


21.   Signiant

Powerfully Simple File Movement