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Amazon Has Started Delivering Its Clouds with CloudFront

by Abel Avram on Nov 18, 2008 |

Amazon has announced today CloudFront Beta, a cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN), that can offer low-latency and high speed content transfer all over the globe through a series of edge points located on three continents. CloudFront is integrated with Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services.

Like any other CDN, CloudFront makes use of its 14 edge locations, 8 in United States, 4 in Europe, and 2 in Asia, to deliver any type of web content to end users. While it can deliver any type of web content, CloudFront will most likely going to be used for rich media files and downloadable software packages. The condition is that originally the content to be distributed must reside on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, S3.

Starting using CloudFront: after setting up an online account (no intermediary sales person), and marking the desired S3 bucket as publicly readable, and creating a new CloudFront Distribution by doing an API call, the user receives a URL and a domain name to be used on web pages for specific content items. The user may also specify a CNAME, and the delivered content will appear as coming from the CNAME domain instead of the CloudFront one. S3Fox, a free interface for Amazon S3, has been updated to support CloudFront, so it can be used to create the CloudFront Distribution if one wants to avoid making the API call.

When a content item is requested by a web page, the request is directed to the most appropriate edge location on the globe. If this is the first request, the content is downloaded from S3 and cached on CloudFront then delivered to the user. Subsequent requests are served from CloudFront’s cache. This scheme is supposed to ensure high availability of low-latency, high speed data transfers considering that CloudFront is separate from S3 and is globally present.

The CloudFront service respects the Amazon tradition of paying-as-you-go. There are no monthly fees, no minimum quotas, just pay when you use it and how much you use it. One has to pay for the original S3 bucket and the first transfer from S3 to CloudFront, then only the following CloudFront fees apply:

United States Edge Locations

Data Transfer

$0.170 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
$0.120 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
$0.100 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.090 per GB – data transfer out / month over 150 TB

Requests

$0.010 per 10,000 GET requests

European Edge Locations

Data Transfer

$0.170 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
$0.120 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
$0.100 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.090 per GB – data transfer out / month over 150 TB

Requests

$0.012 per 10,000 GET requests

Hong Kong Edge Locations

Data Transfer

$0.210 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
$0.160 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
$0.140 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.130 per GB – data transfer out / month over 150 TB

Requests

$0.012 per 10,000 GET requests

Japan Edge Locations

Data Transfer

$0.220 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
$0.168 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
$0.147 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.137 per GB – data transfer out / month over 150 TB

Requests

$0.013 per 10,000 GET requests

CloudFront is integrated with other AWS services. Integration with S3 is obvious, but it is also integrated with EC2. The user can run a web server on EC2 delivering dynamic web pages while the static content, like images, video, and large downloads, can be handled via CloudFront.

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This must be written by an American by Robert MacLean

"offer low-latency and high speed content transfer all over the globe through a series of edge points located on three continents." ... "8 in United States, 4 in Europe, and 2 in Asia"

This does not provide low-latency/high speed all over the globe. Africa is missing and this is where latency is especially high already to the Americas and Europe. Let alone the real far flung locations like the poles. I also note Australia is missing but since I live in South Africa, I am unsure if Asia will benefit them, all I know is none of those locations benefit Africa any more than before.

"All over the globe" being 3 continents must be written by an American and their wonderful sense of world geography.

Re: This must be written by an American by Ronald van Kuijk

Hear, hear. Plus that you cannot even coose where you data applications run. We'd like to experiment with this, but our data is not allowed to be outside europe in *any* way

Re: This must be written by an American by Tim Vernum

I agree.
When AWS announced they were going to provide CDN services I was excited, but I can now see that it's pretty much useful for any sites I'd want to apply it to (I need to provide good support for Australian users).

I haven't had a chance to test out CloudFront yet, but HostingFu did a test on CacheFly (which routes east coast Australians to their Japan nodes) and found that the results weren't great. Some traffic from Australia to Asia is routed via the US.

hostingfu.com/article/checking-out-cachefly

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