What is the best option between FTP and NFS if I have 1 million files (~1 TB) to transfer? I want to make sure that files don't get corrupted during the transfer.

  • 3
    Neither of those really have very robust error correction. Why not rsync ? – Journeyman Geek Oct 15 '13 at 1:10
  • I was curious how FTP or NFS compare in terms of error correction as my workplace only has FTP and NFS but thanks for pointing out rsync, it's good to know one can use it for robust file transfer and not just synchronization. – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 15 '13 at 1:26

FTP tends to be problematic, especially with its text file features, it's not a remote filesystem implementation. But for simple copying of a large set of files I would also recommend rsync.

For moving the data over the network, rsync is the way to go. If you get disconnected or any other problem occurs, rsync will scan through the files and only copy the differences. You can even change the original data and run rsync to synchronize again. When you're done, you can simply remove the original if you don't need it any more.

FTP is sometimes trying to be too clever and differentiate between binary and text files and possibly recode the text files. You can turn that off in your client, though. NFS is being used by lots of businesses as a network filesystem for critical data which makes it more tested than FTP whose common purpose is download data from anonftp and push data to websites, etc. If you're careful, you can just use any of the protocols but rsync is careful for you ;).

  • Thanks, does this mean FTP < NFS < rsync for file transfer robustness? (note that I don't want to duplicate my data but just move it, however it seems possible to use rsync for file transfer as well). Also I'm curious to know the reason why FTP < NFS. I understand that rsync performs more error checks, but how about FTP and NFS? What in the NFS protocol makes it more robust than FTP? – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 15 '13 at 1:28
  • @FranckDernoncourt I hope I answered that in my edits. – Pavel Šimerda Oct 15 '13 at 1:49

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