What Is Cloud-Native File Transfer?


Understanding Cloud-Native vs. Cloud-Enabled vs. Cloud-Based MFT

Do you know what’s in your digital transformation portfolio? Cloud-native…cloud-enabled…cloud-based…do you and your procurement team understand the differences in the software described by those terms?

According to a Google Cloud survey, 72% of cloud decision-makers view digital transformation as more than a just a “lift-and-shift” approach where systems are moved from data centers to the cloud. When deciding between different vendors of managed file transfer (MFT), you need to be aware of the origins of the software and how it now computes in the cloud.
illustration showing characteristics of cloud application such as scalable and elastic, shared and usage and service based

This blog is to help you understand the differences in terms used to describe secure file transfer software in the cloud and how they affect performance and your bottom line.

What Is Cloud-Native?

Gartner defines cloud-native as “something created to optimally leverage or implement cloud characteristics. Those cloud characteristics are part of the original definition of cloud computing, and include capabilities delivered as a service. Cloud computing characteristics also include scalable and elastic, shared, metered by use, service-based, and ubiquitous by means of internet technologies.”

Cloud-native MFT refers to file transfer software that is developed specifically for hosting in the cloud and implements cloud computing characteristics as described above by Gartner.

What Is Cloud-Enabled?

Cloud-enabled is software that has simply been “lifted and shifted”. This refers to a monolithic application that originally ran on-premises in a server configuration and is now hosted in the cloud. In this approach, the application has not been refactored to run as a set of microservices using a cloud-native architecture. Therefore, it is unlikely to fully leverage cloud characteristics and deliver the maximum benefits.

Cloud-enabled MFT is secure file transfer software that originally ran on an on-premises server and has now been moved to a host in the cloud with very little done to the source application to garner the attributes and benefits of computing in the cloud.

What Is Cloud-Based?

Cloud-based, or just cloud, is an umbrella term that encompasses both cloud-native and cloud-enabled software. As long as the application performs its computing in the cloud and is available to users via the internet, its computing architecture within the cloud is irrelevant.

Cloud-based MFT or cloud MFT can be used to describe any managed file transfer application that runs in the cloud with delivery via the internet regardless of its architecture.

Benefits of True Cloud Economics

With the race to get functionality that is currently running as on-premises solutions available in the cloud, many file transfer providers have adopted the lift-and-shift approach to get their product quickly to market. However, you don’t have to settle for a cloud-enabled solution and its inherent deficiencies.

To receive all benefits of cloud economics, the solution must be cloud-native. Thru’s cloud-native MFT solution replaces legacy file transfer technologies and offers the benefits of true cloud economics:

  • MFT service as a subscription: Pricing is based on data egress usage.
  • Production-ready: Get service started instantly with zero or minimal deployment footprint and cost.
  • Elimination of infrastructure and operation costs: Shift from a capital expenditure (CapEx) to an operating expenditure (OpEx) funding model.
  • Reduction of maintenance and support costs and risks: Reap the rewards of automated feature delivery, 24/7 support service and 99.99% uptime.

Think strategically and modernize your organization by adopting a true cloud service as part of your data integration strategy.

Read more information about Thru’s MFT in the cloud »



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