Today, file transfer is becoming more and more important because of the
increasing demand of sending data from one computer to another. File
transfer is a very efficient and portable way to send data across a WAN
(Wide Area Network). Efficient because only the data that needs to be
transported is sent across the network and no extra information (as
database programs do). And portable because today most computers are
able to receive files from another computer without the need of special
hardware and software. One of the most popular software package is FTP
(File Transfer Protocol) which is supported across all platforms.
The aim of an automatic file distributor is as follows in no particular
order of importance:
- It must be able to handle any form of files. The sole duty
of the AFD is to send a file from one computer to another
(or locally from one directory to another).
The contents of the file and the file name must be left
- The management of the AFD can be done by a single person.
- Existing applications do not have to be changed. By this it
is meant that it is not necessary for them to have a special
interface to the AFD.
- It must be able to send files parallel. If currently a very large
file is being transfered, other files do not have to wait and can
be transfered too.
- Net capacity is always limited. To overcome this limit files must
be send with a priority.
- The AFD must be able to send files to other end points where no
AFD is installed.
- No time should be wasted when collecting files to be distributed.
The AFD should start transmission as early as possible and use
the whole bandwidth of the network by making full use of local
CPU power (SMP).
- When you have many active file transfers it must be easy to monitor
and to control every single transfer.