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Transferring Large Files In and Out of the University
Today, people commonly use email to transfer files to each other.  Email provides a convenient method to transfer files, but because of bandwidth and service issues, most organizations limit the size of attachment to maintain email performance. With the volume of research, academic work and collaboration occurring across the University, the need to transfer large files between organizations, institutions, or between collaborators is an inevitability.  The University provides the following methods to transfer files between locations for faculty and staff
The LIONS system has been available on the University for some time. It is used by the academic community to provide web services, academic programs and applications along with a variety of other uses.  Many do not know that it can also be used as a method for transferring files to and from the University.
There are some specific issues with using LIONS FTP that users should be aware of prior to using this system for FTP:
  1. Users are allowed to upload files into the “incoming” directories without authentication (frequently referred to as anonymous FTP). However, those directories as not browse able by anyone other than authenticated LIONS users, this is, only users at the University. 
  2. There are space quotas on all directories to insure the system is not overrun by random uploads. Use of this system should be restricted to small manageable files (<200 MB).
  3. Incoming directory files are automatically cleaned after 7 days.  Any files in the incoming directories older than 7 days will be deleted without user/owner notification.
  4. Authenticated users can post files for download via their departmental directories as needed. College/Departmental directory space is managed by faculty and users.
  5. All files posted in college/departmental directories are publically accessible by anyone on the internet.  Sensitive data, copyrighted material or other files that cannot legally be published should NOT be posted there.


 Documentation on how to use LIONS FTP.

ODU Large File Transfer System (ZendTo)

The ODU Large File Transfer system is available to all ODU faculty, staff and students. This system is based on the open source product ZendTO and provides the capability for ODU faculty, staff and students to send files to any individual connected to the internet. The user uploads the file(s) to the central server and provides the email address of the recipient(s). The system then generates an email to the recipient with a access token that will allow the recipient to use a web browser and retrieve the file.

Internet users that are not ODU faculty, staff or students can use the system to send files to ODU users. Their process includes requesting a token to upload a file by providing the email address of the ODU user that the file is destined for. The system validates the recipient and generates the email token for the file to be uploaded and then delivers it in the same fashion as for ODU users.

The system interface for the ODU Large File Transfer System (ZendTo) can be accessed at https://lfs.odu.edu

There are some specific issues with the Large File Transfer system that users should be aware of prior to using this system:

  1. This system must not be used for the transmission of Sensitive Data, copyrighted material or any other data files that cannot legally be sent.
  2. Access to the generated email token constitutes access to the data file to download.
  3. Because of web browser limitations, this system will have problems sending files 2 GB in size and larger.
  4. All files will only remain on the system for 5 calendar days. They are available for downloading during that period. Files are automatically deleted after the 5 days without recourse. Files can be resent if not retrieved within that period.

FAQ for Large File Transfer System