Progress have released MOVEit 2020. It’s a major release with a number of enhancements, including a free mobile app, enhanced cloud integration and performance capabilities. Pro2col’s MOVEit expert Richard Auger reviews the changes in this top tip, and advises on who should upgrade.
Let’s start with the mobile app. Not enough has been done with this in previous years, but the app has now had quite a facelift. I found it to be far more responsive than its predecessor and the functionality seems much improved.
Upon configuring the app and opening it, I had a much friendlier view than previously, which I’m sure will be easier for end users to navigate.
I now have access to my contacts, making it easier to send files to people I know.
If you’re used to the older app (1.4), you’ll see that some of the look and feel is the same however:
One negative, I was surprised to find that the ‘MOVEit Mobile’ app did not uninstall or replace the existing ‘MOVEit Transfer’ app on my Android phone – be sure to do this for your users as the old app won’t connect to MOVEit Transfer 2020.
This is no longer ‘Ipswitch Gateway’, and has been rewritten to use SSH encryption for the tunnel between Transfer and Gateway. Following the upgrade, there are a couple of manual actions to perform on Transfer to tidy up (removing the old tunnel and the scheduled task), apart from that the install was straightforward. From the Gateway side everything looks the much the same as before.
Notice the ports that the proxies are redirecting to? This is then referenced in a whole new tab in the MOVEit Transfer configuration screen (see below). Apart from that (and you might notice the Progress Branding on the browser tab), mostly the application appears the same.
The biggest change to Transfer is without doubt the Gateway.
The new Gateway tab allows you to manage the configuration of the gateway from within Transfer config, rather than using RAS to achieve things. Here you can generate an SSH key for tunnel authentication/encryption. You no longer need the GateWayVPNUser local account for keeping the tunnel open.
If the Gateway server is stopped, the tunnel reconnects automatically when it starts again, or you can choose to manually control it using the control on the status tab (in fact, the Gateway runs a separate service, so you could script stopping/starting if required).
Another interesting new feature that you may want to look at is data classification.
If you are concerned about the data that your users are sending, you can assign data classification values to files – users then need to classify files before sending them out. I could be wrong however, but I couldn’t see that this does actually restrict sending or downloading of files. It will at least however give people pause before they send out confidential files.
Not much has changed in Automation. This release seems more of an opportunity to implement some changes that should have come along in the last couple of years.
First, there is now an Azure blob storage connector, which means no more scripting a connector. I don’t understand why this connector wasn’t included in the 2018 SP2 release, but better late than never. As with all new connectors, you need to be using the webadmin console in order to use the Azure connector but to be honest, the old VBAdmin console is becoming increasingly less relevant as time progresses.
You can now select which SSH encryption algorithms to use in individual hosts. I have mixed opinions on this. I can understand that it means I don’t need to reduce my security standards across the board if I have one trading partner with really old ciphers, but I worry that this would make it challenging to keep track of how secure Automation is without reviewing every SFTP host (and there could be a lot of them).
This is a feature that should prove useful when you have FTP hosts that format their directory listings a little differently:
You can now manipulate the directory listing to some extent without having to write a directory parsing script, although the option is still there if you need it.
Finally, there have been some performance improvements to the dashboard. Dashboard is the default starting place when you login (and too useful to not use), so the last thing that you want is to hit some slow queries. My Automation server is quite small, but I noticed an immediate improvement in performance.
MOVEit 2020 summary
Overall, I am recommending that if you have the Gateway module licenced, you upgrade to 2020 at your earliest convenience. I have seen a few issues with tunnel certificates expiring, or the RAS configuration which will both be avoided by upgrading. You can’t however upgrade Gateway or Transfer without upgrading the other at the same time.
Automation is probably only worth upgrading if you have a specific need (the Azure connector, FTP directory parsing or dashboard performance), otherwise I’d be tempted to wait and see what 2020 SP1 brings.