FTP Monitoring

An FTP monitoring service tests and verifies that end-users can interact with an FTP server at all times. It is used by small and large businesses and organizations to ensure that their FTP servers are live and responding.

Monitoring is essential to ensure that an FTP server is available to users 24x7 and downtime is minimized. Users that rely on an FTP service for work or pleasure will get frustrated or even stop using it if it is not reliably available. Commonly measured metrics are uptime and response time.

Monitoring Settings

An FTP monitor should support following settings -

  • Check Interval - This field lets you select the check interval or monitoring interval. For example, if you select "10 Minute", then the URL is checked once every 10 minutes.

    Following check intervals are commonly used and supported -
    • 1 Minute
    • 2 Minutes
    • 3 Minutes
    • 4 Minutes
    • 5 Minutes
    • 10 Minutes
    • 15 Minutes
    • 20 Minutes
    • 30 Minutes
    • 1 Hour
  • IP Address or Host Name - This is the most important field and specifies the ip address or the host name of the FTP server to be monitored. For example - ftp.montools.com
  • Port - FTP clients or browsers talk to FTP server on port 21. However, in some cases, it can be some number other than 21 and is somewhat important field too.

    A port is an application-specific or process-specific software construct serving as a communications endpoint. It is used by Transport Layer protocols of the Internet Protocol Suite, such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). A specific port is identified by its number, commonly known as the port number.
  • Username & Password - These fields are optional fields and are required to monitor an FTP server that is protected by a username and a password.

Return Parameters

Once a monitor checks the FTP server, it should be capable of measuring and returning following parameters for use in failure criteria, logging, graphing and/or statistics -

  • Uptime - This is the most important parameter. It is a measure of the time the FTP server has been up without any downtime. The higher the uptime, the higher the reliability. The following table shows percent uptime versus downtime per year -

    Percent UptimeDowntime/year
    90%36 days, 12 hours
    95%18 days, 6 hours
    99%3 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes
    99.9%8 hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds
    99.99%52 minutes, 33.6 seconds
    99.999%5 minutes, 15.36 seconds
    99.9999%31.536 seconds
  • Response Time - Response time is the total time taken by the monitor to contact the FTP server and receive the data from it. This is the second most important parameter.


Once the monitor detects that the FTP server is down or having any other major issues, it should alert the responsible personnel by one of the following methods-

  • Email Alerts
  • SMS Alerts

About FTP

File Transfer Protocol is a standard network protocol used to copy a file from one host to another over a TCP/IP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and utilizes separate control and data connections between the client and server. FTP is used with user-based password authentication or with anonymous user access.