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Buyer's Guide
Managed File Transfer (MFT)
June 2022
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Earl Diem - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Manager - Performance and Automation Engineering at PSCU Financial Services
Real User
Top 20
Key to our workflow and our workload automation strategy, helping us trade and consume files
Pros and Cons
  • "File monitors are one of the most valuable features. We have about 400 file monitors running in GoAnywhere. They monitor the NAS locations where files arrive, and they kick off workflows. When a file arrives, GoAnywhere will identify that the file is there, move it to a consumption zone, then reach out to our enterprise scheduler through a REST API call."
  • "There's one persnickety issue about NAS permissions. That is a problem we have run into with GoAnywhere. I would like to see more focus on compatibility with/enforcement of user roles and access permissions across NAS, among other things. We have filed a couple of tickets on that in the past."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for trading files with partners over the internet, partners with whom we don't have a VPN connection. And we use it for internal file movement and workflows.

We are using GoAnywhere for enterprise. We have two gateway nodes in both data centers.

How has it helped my organization?

From an automation standpoint, it helps us trade files over the internet with partners with whom we don't have a VPN connection. For the most part, GoAnywhere is used between us and partners that we trade files with. We consume those files with internal, backend processes and we use it for moving files within those backend processes, in the workflow. It has become very important to us over these four years. It's key in our workflow and our workload automation strategy.

The workflow features eliminate the need for custom programs and scripts for file transfers. We write a few Python scripts here and there when we need to get fancy, but we can generally wire things up in GoAnywhere pretty quickly. It saves a lot of time and resources, making that ability pretty critical. We did a migration from SSIS to Informatica over the last two years, and my team wired up about 275 jobs during that time. Without GoAnywhere, that would have been a much more painful file management process.

With just shy of 500 jobs running in GoAnywhere, a conservative number would be half of our scripts, about 250, have been eliminated by centralizing things in this solution. And the automation of file transfers has helped to reduce workload in our organization by 20 percent.

Another thing that has been really important, with the ability to set SLAs on file arrivals, is that we have fundamentally set implied SLAs with our partners. That means that where we didn't really have a written agreement for an SLA on a given file, if over the last year a partner has sent us that file within X amount of time, we set the SLA alert to an hour later. That has meant we've pushed implied SLAs onto our providers.

What is most valuable?

File monitors are one of the most valuable features. We have about 400 file monitors running in GoAnywhere. They monitor the NAS locations where files arrive, and they kick off workflows. When a file arrives, GoAnywhere will identify that the file is there, move it to a consumption zone, then reach out to our enterprise scheduler through a REST API call.

The solution helps centralize the exchange of data between systems, employees, customers, and trading partners. It's very central and that's pretty important. We generally move about 3,000 files a day, between our partners and internal workflows.

My team really likes the intuitiveness of GoAnywhere's user interface. For example, my automation team has a file coming in from a bank, a file that needs to be unzipped, reformatted, re-zipped up, and then put into another folder where another team is going to consume it. Because of all the progressive elaboration—the project started a year ago—the format of the file is not the same. We addressed it with GoAnywhere instead of having the producer of the file change the format. That's how flexible it is for us.

And looking at the comprehensiveness of GoAnywhere's workflow features, we use it pretty extensively for working with files. Stonebranch is our enterprise automation platform, but we don't really do any file work with Stonebranch. We chose to use GoAnywhere, our MFT tool, to move and manipulate files.

The solution also connects to popular ICAP servers and that's pretty important to our security guys when it comes to preventing malware and other malicious content from entering our organization. The connection to popular ICAP servers, so that content is inspected for sensitive information like credit cards, is pretty important. We're a financial institution and a lot of the data we work with has PAN data and card numbers in it, coming in from partners.

What needs improvement?

There's one persnickety issue about NAS permissions. That is a problem we have run into with GoAnywhere. I would like to see more focus on compatibility with/enforcement of user roles and access permissions across NAS, among other things. We have filed a couple of tickets on that in the past.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been on HelpSystems GoAnywhere MFT for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's rock-solid. I can't remember the last time we had a GoAnywhere outage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's well-architected. With the frontend gateway servers and the backend servers, you can scale to meet your needs. We're not anywhere near having to address that point, but if we got to a point where we needed to scale, we could just put another gateway server and another application server in play, and that would be able to take on more traffic. It's easily scalable.

How are customer service and support?

The help has always been great. Anytime we have had an issue, the response has been good and they've been on top of it. We're pretty happy with the support.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were a Cisco Tidal house before we went to Stonebranch and GoAnywhere. We made the decision to put GoAnywhere in when we bought the new automation platform, instead of going with Stonebranch's file movement platform. We went with GoAnywhere because it met more of our needs, especially when it comes to trading files with partners over the internet. That really wasn't the focus of Stonebranch, which was really just for the workflows.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a piece of cake. And upgrading the platform and dropping the .jar files has been really painless as well. By comparison, my IBM upgrades take four hours.

What was our ROI?

The return on investment was in the initial purchase, as it was 30 percent less than the other product we looked at.

The ease of use and learnability of the interface also help. It took my guys no time to learn the interface and the product, and to start turning out value, working with it in workflows. The learning curve was short. It didn't take a lot of training. The time to value was great, and that is great ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

GoAnywhere was the most attractively priced product that met our needs. In our PoC it really came down to MOVEit and GoAnywhere, and GoAnywhere's pricing was about 30 percent less.

GoFast is an additional license. We're not using it but we might. We're all going to be hybrid at some point in time and I'm getting my arms wrapped around it. Do I put a file replication solution in place that's bi-directional, like Peer? Or do I put GoAnywhere out in AWS with a high-speed adapter so that I can send files from on-prem to AWS where compute is happening for ETLs?

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have three MFT platforms in-house. One is IBM Sterling File Gateway and we use that to move about 15,000 files a day. But that's really B2C, with our 2,400 or credit unions. We move files from Fiserv and other vendors, and from PSU, to the institutions through IBM File Gateway.

Before going with GoAnywhere, we looked at Axway, Ipswitch, and MOVEit. We did a PoC with Ipswitch, MOVEit, and GoAnywhere, and went with GoAnywhere. The products did the same thing but GoAnywhere had a better interface than MOVEit, and the price was more attractive. I hear that Ipswitch was bought out and is called something else now.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you size it properly.

Also, in the grand scheme of things, what I've learned is that you don't have to be on an IBM platform or Ipswitch, or Axway—the big names, the competitors. One of the players in the industry that is a little smaller, like HelpSystems, has a product that gets the job done for less money. We're really not that big as far as revenue goes. We're less than a billion-dollar-a-year corporation, with 2,500 people. But we are a not-for-profit and we work with Fiserv so we have a lot of IBM footprint on the ground. That is not typical of a company that is doing less than a billion dollars a year. Traditionally, the mentality is to just use the big-name products, Big Blue and HPE, but that is just not necessary. That's one of the valuable things that I've learned. GoAnywhere gets the job done for a lot less money than the big traditionals.

Our users include three guys who are automation engineers and two guys who are MFT engineers. We also have a handful of folks, four or five, in the network operations center, who do ad hoc file-sends to credit unions.

Overall, it's a great product.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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JamesStarkweather - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Cloud Engineer at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Rock solid, secure, and excellent price and quality of service
Pros and Cons
  • "The High Security Module is valuable. It allows for increased security. It allows me to integrate Globalscape with our Active Directory. So, we manage all our customer accounts outside of Globalscape, and it allows us to import them with LDAP queries. It's very convenient. It also gives our customers the confidence that it's a very secure product."
  • "Instead of using a fat client to access the administrator panel, where you have to install client software on any server that you need to use to access, I would like them to switch to a web-based model where you could connect from anywhere without having to maintain and install the software."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for file transfers. 100% of our customers connect through Globalscape to bring their files to our data center. So, it is a hosted service, but I'll interchange it and call it our private cloud, but it's not really a cloud.

We have several versions. The newest is 8.0.4, and the oldest is 7.4.10. We have six data centers in which Globalscape is deployed. 

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest benefit for me is stability. We have a 100% uptime SLA on our SFTP server because it's probably the most important infrastructure piece in our data center. Without the movement of files, we have no business. It has not crashed in two years.

It provides advanced controls, alerting, and reporting for security and compliance, which is very good. We use the ARM Database module daily. It is a fantastic troubleshooting tool. It is a single point to gather information. The advanced controls, alerting, and reporting features are very important because of the volume of traffic and the number of customers. We have Globalscape deployed in a high availability active cluster. We can't monitor all three nodes at the same time, but the ARM Database can. So, it's very important because of the number of people that access the product at the same time.

Its centralized platform is excellent for the management of file transfer operations. It is important because of the volume of customers going to several thousand different servers across different networks. We're talking about 300,000 to 400,000 files daily going to multiple places, so it's better than having hundreds of servers deployed. It makes it streamlined and manageable.

What is most valuable?

The High Security Module is valuable. It allows for increased security. It allows me to integrate Globalscape with our Active Directory. So, we manage all our customer accounts outside of Globalscape, and it allows us to import them with LDAP queries. It's very convenient. It also gives our customers the confidence that it's a very secure product.

Another outstanding feature of Globalscape is their excellent account management team. They keep lines of communication open. She calls me and tells me about new features in advance. She lets me know about webinars. Without me having to prompt, I will hear from her at least once a month. The quality of service is a 10 out of 10.

What needs improvement?

Instead of using a fat client to access the administrator panel, where you have to install client software on any server that you need to use to access, I would like them to switch to a web-based model where you could connect from anywhere without having to maintain and install the software.

It is not really a complaint, but the weakness of Globalscape is its 32-bit engine. I heard that they're working on a 64-bit engine in the near future, so that's all going to go away. It'll make the product awesome. Right now, it's fantastic.

Globalscape is designed specifically for Windows. That is a handicap, but it is not important. If it ran Linux, we could use it in the public cloud offering. We do have a public cloud offering, but it needs to run on Linux. So, we can't bring Globalscape to our public cloud offering. GoAnywhere is the product that was chosen for the public cloud offering because it runs on Linux.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 17 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the way we use it, the stability is topnotch. It is one of my favorite features being responsible for this. We have a 100% uptime SLA on our SFTP server. It has not crashed in two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its horizontal scalability is awesome. We are transferring between 300,000 to 400,000 files daily and about two terabytes on average. It meets our needs, and there is room for growth because we could always expand to a fourth HA node as business increases. 

How are customer service and support?

Their support is excellent. I would give them a 10 out of 10, but we pay for the max support level. They have absolutely met our expectations because they're available 24/7.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using Axway. Pricing and licensing were the primary reasons why we switched to Globalscape. Axway is very expensive. It is probably three or four times more expensive than Globalscape. Globalscape's virtual file system functioning met our needs perfectly. This feature was technically available in Axway, but it was so much easier to deploy in Globalscape. Axway is well-established, solid, and very good at what it does, but you need a Ph.D. to understand it. It is very complex. They have a separate guide for engineering and users. 

We use GoAnywhere for the public cloud offering because it runs on Linux. It is solid, but it uses a Java-based engine, and I'm not a big fan of Java. Java inherently brings risk to me in my experience, but it is still a good, solid product. I've not been involved with the pricing of GoAnywhere, but I have to believe it's reasonable because it's deployed in a lot of places in our public cloud.

How was the initial setup?

It was reasonable. It wasn't straightforward, but it wasn't complex either. It's about asking professional services the right questions because I would never install it out of the box. We used the silent install because it's more customizable.

Getting the software installed and everything connected was fast. A three-node HA cluster probably took less than an hour. The migration was not so fast, but that wasn't Globalscape's fault. That was the customers'.

Our implementation strategy was to have an MFT server that was secured and could do file encryption-decryption and move lots of files every day and have lots of connections. It can support a whole lot of connections because we move 300,000 to 400,000 files but probably 600,000 to 700,000 connections daily.

What was our ROI?

We have absolutely realized a return on our investment in Globalscape. I never personally calculated the ROI, but I would say if I compared it to the cost of Axway, the ROI was less than two years. If I compare it with customers, the ROI is probably three or four years. This is just my best guess. I don't sit down and crunch financial numbers. That's not part of my role, but I would say that we absolutely have an excellent ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is much more competitively priced. Axway is probably three or four times more expensive than Globalscape.

I like the server-based license. It's easier to manage than a seat license, which our previous product Axway had. Axway's license model is to charge by the account while Globalscape's model is by the server. It is much simpler and much easier when audit time comes.

What other advice do I have?

It is a solid product. The price point is excellent. I don't know if it's a negative now, but you have to be sure that you know that it only runs on Windows. For some people, it's a negative, and for some people, it's not. To me, it's not.

It can secure sensitive data inside your internal network so that only verified users have access, but we don't use that feature. We have other internal tools that secure the data. We also don't use Globalscape to automate the submission of regulatory documentation.

It allows us to automate scripts, but I don't use it. That's still a work in progress, but for the few that I do have, we use the AWE module. I'm working to integrate PowerShell now. They have simplified executing PowerShell in version 8. So, I should have everything up to version 8 by the middle of next year.

It connects to popular ICAP services to perform antivirus and data loss prevention functions, but we don't use that feature.

It enabled us to reassign resources who were writing custom file transfer scripts or compiling file transfer audit reports to other tasks many years ago, but in my current organization, it has not done that because it was designed as part of the critical core feature of our data center. Similarly, it has not enabled us to decommission other solutions. The data center was built with Globalscape chosen. Before that, it was just changing from one vendor to Globalscape for economic reasons. 

I'm going to give it an eight out of 10 because of the 32-bit engine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Performance and Reliability Consultant at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Too many features offered; usability, performance, and reliability, are not good
Pros and Cons
  • "Very high functionality with the ability to plug in your own code."
  • "Too many features; UI is not good."

What is our primary use case?

I work as a consultant to one of our clients who use SFG.

What is most valuable?

The functionality of this solution is very high and it has many features. The one feature, which is good is that you are able to plug in your own code. For example, if you want to process files, you can write your own code to parse the file the way you like. You can interpret it, so feature wise, it is rich.

What needs improvement?

One of the issues with this solution is that it has so many features which is in itself the problem. It should be just a simple file transfer solution. It's very frustrating  because it's a very rich tool but it has so many problems. The UI is essentially not good, the interaction with the control center and report runs are not good. The usability, performance, and reliability, are absolutely no good. There is a newer version, perhaps it's better. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for six months. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is not at all scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I know there are some pretty good people who know how to deal with the tool and fix problems. We had to engage with the support a lot of times which indirectly means that the product is not good. Again, I hear the latest version is an improved product. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly easy, it's not that tough.

What other advice do I have?

There are solutions like GoAnywhere or Axway where the usability and flexibility is so easy. SFG has a legacy we have to deal with. I know they have pretty big clients and are one of the prime vendors. I'm not talking about the latest version of SFG, I haven't had a chance to look at it. If what they promise is correct, it might be a big improvement. 

I would rate this product a two out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Managed File Transfer (MFT)
June 2022
Get our free report covering IBM, IBM, Progress Software, and other competitors of Axway AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer. Updated: June 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.