Managed File Transfer (MFT) Axway Managed File Transfer

How does cloud MFT work?

how does cloud MFT work?

By 2025, it’s estimated that 85% of enterprises will have adopted a cloud-first principle to free up IT resources and enable operational and cost efficiencies.

Amid the growing adoption of cloud services, managed file transfer (MFT) products have extended their hosting capabilities beyond on-premises services. Modern MFT solutions can be deployed in a cloud-based infrastructure built for scalability and requiring minimal IT intervention.

Unlike on-premises solutions, cloud MFT servers are typically owned, operated, and maintained by a third-party provider. With compatibility, upgrades, and security measures handled by cloud service providers, there’s less work for internal IT teams to enable the secure transfer of MFT files. Without the need for physical servers on-site and no software to update, it’s faster and less costly to get up and running with your MFT solutions.

Cloud-based MFT products can be configured in various ways — and this choice of configuration impacts where responsibilities fall and the benefits businesses can expect.

MFT for the private cloud

When MFT solutions are deployed in a private cloud environment, businesses combine the controls of an on-premises setup with the advantage of improved security and performance. With an infrastructure dedicated to a single organization, also known as a single-tenant approach, administrators can maintain complete ownership of the file sharing environment and quickly intervene for compliance and other business reasons.

Based on the degree of control that falls in the laps of businesses, MFT for the private cloud requires more maintenance from IT administrators — including when scalability is required. The unique nature of the infrastructure also makes it more expensive and harder to deploy.

With the heightened control a private cloud environment offers for managed file transfer, government agencies and financial institutions often use this approach to share highly sensitive information and have strict security protocols around data protection.

MFT in a public cloud

In a public cloud environment, a third-party provider oversees the hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure for MFT solutions. This eliminates the need for in-house IT maintenance and enables on-demand scalability to meet evolving managed file transfer needs — for instance, increasing MFT server capacity to handle more MFT file shares.

Because public clouds share resources with multiple organizations, which is often referred to as a multi-tenant approach, businesses have less control over the managed file transfer infrastructure and fewer customization options.

An easy way to think of it is that multi-tenant (public) is the equivalent of Uber X ride sharing, whereas single-tenant is more like an Uber Lux: a private cloud with dedicated computing power for one single customer.

We have found that customers weren’t interested in a public cloud for managed services – most of the time, they preferred the highest-security, private option. They typically don’t feel a public managed cloud was the best choice for their mission-critical data.

MFT for the hybrid cloud

While some businesses are ready to fully commit to cloud MFT, others are looking for a middle ground between on-premises and cloud solutions — whether it’s a matter of cost, regulations, or simply preference. A hybrid cloud environment allows the two to operate in tandem.

By deploying MFT solutions in a hybrid cloud, businesses can move specific processes to the public cloud to enable scalability and flexibility while securely backing up sensitive data in a more controlled on-premises or private cloud environment. On-premises and cloud MFT files can be safely shared, with the ability to transfer files between these environments securely.

For example, let’s say your business wants to run MFT applications on-premises but have the ability to offload these processes to the cloud when computational demands rise. Or perhaps you want to synchronize files between your private cloud and a public cloud for your global counterparts’ access and use. Hybrid cloud deployment of MFT supports both of these scenarios.

MFT as a service or SaaS

While cloud service providers maintain an infrastructure, which they own, to service businesses and host their data (you’ve likely heard of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or OVH Cloud), managed cloud service providers layer comprehensive IT support on top of this service.

They don’t necessarily host the data themselves: rather, they can either purchase space from a major cloud provider in which to run their services, or layer their services on top of a cloud provider already retained by the client. This allows the client to retain full control over where their data is hosted, which can be essential if they are subject to sovereignty requirements.

See also: Why MFT matters for enterprise compliance

With a team of experts on hand to help manage the complexities of API management, B2B integration, and your entire managed file transfer ecosystem, businesses can enable faster moves to the cloud, enhance reliability, and minimize risks.

In an age where businesses focus on reducing downtime, managed cloud service for MFT products tends to be the solution that makes the most sense.

Cloud migration can happen in a fraction of the time, while fluctuating activity tied to increasing data volumes or changing regulatory requirements can be effectively handled on the fly — without any involvement from internal IT teams. This degree of efficiency lets IT departments stay focused on larger business objectives.

For aerospace and defense company Textron, the benefits of a fully managed service backed by the technical expertise of a world-class support team were clear.

Besides the added security benefits, they were able to eliminate the manual work associated with their on-premises platform.

“We no longer need to spend our days and nights remediating vulnerabilities and firefighting technical issues — with the Axway Cloud, we can focus on delivering value-added services to the business,” says Al Gutierrez, IT Senior Architect at Textron.

Learn how Textron enhances the security of mission-critical file transfers with Axway.

Cloud services by Axway: the “deploy your way” approach

While offering the inherent benefits of cloud computing, cloud MFT works differently based on the type of deployment a company chooses.



With deployment options available for on-premises, the private cloud, the public cloud, and the hybrid cloud — and the option for fully managed cloud services — Axway delivers a flexible MFT solution that meets the needs of any modern business.

See ten reasons why progressive enterprises are moving their MFT to a managed cloud service.