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Amazon Web Services – CloudFront Overview

April 22nd, 2009

CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is Amazon’s Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN puts very large servers with high throughput at the edge of the network. That means that a CDN provider put cached data in multiple locations through out the network (internet). Requests for data are routed to a local server cache instead of the main server at a host. This improves performance, customer experience and possibly even costs (via lower bandwidth requirements).

An example would be a company that serves many pages to many users. Rather than have all of the pages stored in a central location and be accessed by many people all at once, the pages are distributed throughout the network and sit on many different servers. Akamai does this for Yahoo and many other companies. Limelight is another very large competitor in this space.

CloudFront does the same thing and uses S3 storage as the central repository. Upload the files that you want served to S3 and sign up for CloudFront. Call and API and then use the domain name assigned by the API in your web pages. Amazon will automatically replicate your data (identified by you) to multiple edge locations world wide and re-route requests to the users nearest edge location.

Cost

Storage is cheaper in the US and Europe than in Asian locations. You pay normal S3 prices for the storage of your source files. You don’t pay for storage in the edge servers. Instead you pay for the data transfers out of the Amazon network.

Data Transfer

US per GB

Europe per GB

Hong Kong

Japan

First 10TB

$0.170

$0.170

$0.210

$0.221

Next 40TB

$0.120

$0.120

$0.160

$0.168

Next 100TB

$0.100

$0.100

$0.140

$0.147

Next 100TB

$0.090

$0.090

$0.130

$0.137

Next 250TB

$0.080

$0.080

$0.120

$0.126

Next 250TB

$0.070

$0.070

$0.110

$0.116

Next 250TB

$0.060

$0.060

$0.100

$0.105

Out over 1000TB

$0.050

$0.050

$0.090

$0.095

Table 6: CloudFront Data Transfer Costs

You also pay for data requests (each access). Edge servers only support GET requests.

Requests

US per 10000 Requests

Europe per 10000 Requests

Hong Kong per 10000 Requests

Japan per 10000 Requests

GET

$0.010

$0.012

$0.012

$0.013

Table 7: CloudFront Request Costs

These prices are accurate as of the time of writing them. As always, verify before making a decision.

SLA

Amazon does not currently have an SLA for CloudFront. I would expect that to change at some point but you should keep it in mind when choosing you content delivery network.

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  1. May 20th, 2009 at 08:28 | #1

    Want to start managing CloudFront? Try CloudBerry Explore freeware – makes managing Amazon S3 and CloudFront services easier. http://cloudberrylab.com/

  2. Lew
    May 21st, 2009 at 12:47 | #2

    I’ve been trying to review CloudBerry but haven’t yet had the time. I will, hopefully, have some time in the next couple of weeks.

    LewisC

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