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FTP is crusty and mostly dead, right? AWS just started supporting it anyway

Somebody’s got to help you run legacy apps with dignity

AWS has just launched a cloudy FTP service.

Yes, that FTP – the File Transfer Protocol that’s being burned out of Firefox and Chrome and dumped by the likes of Debian because it is insecure, crusty, and just not very fashionable.

So why is AWS offering it as-a-service?

The company’s explanation for the new service is that “Some software archiving and scientific research applications use FTP to distribute software artifacts or public datasets [and] cannot switch from FTP or FTPS to SFTP because this requires changing existing applications and processes – especially those involving third-parties – and is often impractical or infeasible.”

The Register thinks that translates as “Good luck fixing or replacing your legacy apps dependent on FTP. So let us run it for you! And if that gives you another reason to consider our cloud, be our guest!”

AWS’ cloudy FTP servers will only operate within a user’s virtual private cloud, with FTPS an option for access from the public internet.

Speaking of FTPS, that’s also new to AWS as of last week and arrived at the same time as FTP support.

But the company has since 2018 offered data transfers in and out of S3 using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), an extension of SSH.

Amazon's FTP, FTPS and SFTP services have now all been collectively branded the “AWS Transfer Family”. Which sounds like the happiest and most interesting family ever and is available in most AWS regions and is available in most of the cloud cavalier’s regions, with a few exceptions across Asia, South Africa and Bahrain! ®

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