GridFTP: Key Concepts

Overview

GridFTP is a high-performance, secure, reliable data transfer protocol optimized for high-bandwidth wide-area networks. The GridFTP protocol is based on FTP, the highly-popular Internet file transfer protocol. We have selected a set of protocol features and extensions defined already in IETF RFCs and added a few additional features to meet requirements from current data grid projects.

Our white paper, GridFTP: Universal Data Transfer for the Grid , describes the motivations behind this work in more detail. A subsequent update titled GridFTP Update, January 2002 provides the latest news regarding GridFTP, including current status and plans for future development.

GridFTP provides the following protocol features.

  • GSI security on control and data channels
  • Multiple data channels for parallel transfers
  • Partial file transfers
  • Third-party (direct server-to-server) transfers
  • Authenticated data channels
  • Reusable data channels
  • Command pipelining

The GridFTP protocol is currently a Global Grid Forum recommendation (GFD.20).  It can be found here.