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Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery web service. It integrates with other Amazon Web Services products to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no minimum usage commitments.

Amazon CloudFront can be used to deliver your entire website, including dynamic, static, streaming, and interactive content using a global network of edge locations. Requests for your content are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance. Amazon CloudFront is optimized to work with other Amazon Web Services, like Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and Amazon Route 53. Amazon CloudFront also works seamlessly with any non-AWS origin server, which stores the original, definitive versions of your files. Like other Amazon Web Services products, there are no long-term contracts or minimum monthly usage commitments for using Amazon CloudFront – you pay only for as much or as little content as you actually deliver through the content delivery service.

Key Features

  • Management Console
    Amazon CloudFront works with the AWS Management Console. This web-based, point-and-click, graphical user interface lets you manage Amazon CloudFront without writing any code at all.
  • Dynamic Content
    Use Amazon CloudFront to deliver all of your content, including the dynamic portions of your site that change for each end-user.
  • Support for POST/PUT
    Use CloudFront to accelerate data uploaded from end users.
  • Custom SSL
    Use your own domain name and your own SSL certificate to deliver content over HTTPS.
  • Invalidation
    Remove copies of a file from all Amazon CloudFront edge locations.
  • Wildcard CNAME Support
    Map a wildcard domain name to your Amazon CloudFront distribution network.
  • Zone Apex Support
    Visitors to your website can now access your site at the zone apex (or "root domain"). For example, your site can be accessed as example.com instead of www.example.com.
  • Custom Error Responses
    Configure how CloudFront handles error responses for your website.

Dynamic & Customized Content

  • Supports Dynamic Content
    Use Amazon CloudFront to deliver all of your content, including the dynamic portions of your site that change for each end-user.
  • Low TTLs
    Configure a minimum expiration period (also known as "time-to-live" or TTL) to as short as 0 seconds.
  • Support for Cookies
    Specify whether you want Amazon CloudFront to forward cookies to your custom (non-S3) origin server and, if so, which ones.
  • Support for Query Strings
    You can specify whether you want Amazon CloudFront to forward query strings to your custom (non-S3) origin server.
  • Device Detection
    Amazon CloudFront edge locations can look at the value of the User Agent header to detect the device type of all the incoming requests.
  • Geo Targeting
    Amazon CloudFront can also detect the country where the end users are accessing your content from.
  • Cross Origin Resource Sharing
    Amazon CloudFront may be configured to forward the Origin header value so your origin server (Amazon S3 or a custom origin) can support cross-origin access via CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing).
  • Forward Headers to Origin
    You can use your Amazon CloudFront CDN to forward all (or a whitelist of) any of the standard HTTP request headers to your origin server.

Reporting

  • Cache Statistics Reports
    View more detailed metrics on your distributions including error rate, cache hit rate, and more.
  • Popular Objects Report
    Understand which content is most popular among your viewers, or identify any issues (such as high error rates) with your most requested objects.
  • Monitoring & Alarming
    Monitor, alarm and receive notifications on the operational performance of your Amazon CloudFront distributions using Amazon CloudWatch.
  • Amazon CloudFront Usage Charts
    Track trends in data transfer and requests (both HTTP and HTTPS) for each of your CloudFront Web distributions.
  • Access Logs
    Learn how, when, where and to whom your Amazon CloudFront content is being delivered with access logs.
  • Viewer Reports
    Learn more about the users who access your content delivered by Amazon CloudFront.
  • Top Referrer Reports
    Find out from which domains your viewers are accessing content from.

Security

  • Private Content
    Control who can download your files from Amazon CloudFront.
  • Geo Restriction
    Restrict content delivery end users in countries that you choose.
  • HTTP to HTTPS
    Use Amazon CloudFront to require viewers to always interact with your content over an HTTPS connection.
  • Advanced SSL Features
    Amazon CloudFront now supports advanced SSL features: Session Tickets, OCSP Stapling and Perfect Forward Secrecy.
  • Log API calls on CloudTrail
    Log configuration changes to your Amazon CloudFront distributions through AWS CloudTrail, the AWS service that records API calls for your account and delivers log files to you.

Streaming

  • Support for On-demand
    Use CloudFront to deliver video using the Smooth Streaming format without the need to setup and operate any media servers.
  • Live Streaming using Adobe Media Server 5.0
    Support for both Flash-based and Apple iOS devices using Amazon CloudFront with Adobe Media Server 5.0
  • Live Streaming Using Windows Media Services
    Deliver live media over HTTP to both Microsoft Silverlight clients and Apple iOS devices.
  • Live Streaming with Wowza
    Live Streaming using Amazon CloudFront and Wowza Media Server.

Pricing

  • Free Tier
    As part of the AWS Free Usage Tier, you can get started with Amazon CloudFront for free. Upon sign-up, new AWS customers receive 50 GB Data Transfer Out and 2,000,000 HTTP and HTTPS Requests each month for one year.
  • On-Demand Pricing
    Pay only for what you use. You pay only for the content that you deliver through the network, without minimum commitments or up-front fees.
  • Price Classes
    Gain more control over the prices you pay to deliver content by excluding Amazon CloudFront's more expensive edge locations from your Amazon CloudFront distributions.
  • Reserved Capacity Pricing
    Reserved Capacity gives you the option to commit to a minimum monthly usage level for 12 months or longer and in turn receive a significant discount.

Service Highlights

  • Fast
    Using a network of edge locations around the world, Amazon CloudFront caches copies of your static content close to viewers, lowering latency when they download your objects and giving you the high, sustained data transfer rates needed to deliver large popular objects to end users at scale. Requests for your dynamic content are carried back to your origin servers running in Amazon Web Services (e.g., Amazon EC2, Elastic Load Balancing) over optimized network paths for a more reliable and consistent experience. These network paths are constantly monitored by Amazon and connections from CloudFront edge locations to the origin are reused to serve your dynamic content from our content delivery network (CDN) with the best possible performance.
  • Simple
    A single API call lets you get started distributing content from your Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon EC2 instance or other origin server through the Amazon CloudFront network. Or, interact with Amazon CloudFront through the AWS Management Console's simple graphical user interface. There is no need to create separate domains for your static and dynamic content. With CloudFront, you can just use the same domain name to point to all of your website content. Any changes you make to your existing configuration take effect across the entire global network within minutes. Plus, since there's no need to negotiate with a sales person, you can get started quickly and begin delivering your entire website using Amazon CloudFront.
  • Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services
    Amazon CloudFront is designed for use with other Amazon Web Services, including Amazon S3, where you can durably store the definitive versions of your static files, and Amazon EC2, where you can run your application server for dynamically generated content. If you are using Amazon S3 or Amazon EC2 as an origin server, data transferred from the origin server to edge locations (Amazon CloudFront "origin fetches") will be billed at a lower price than Internet data transfer out of Amazon S3 or Amazon EC2. Amazon CloudFront also integrates with Elastic Load Balancing. For instance, you can deploy your web application on Amazon EC2 servers behind Elastic Load Balancing and use Amazon CloudFront to deliver your entire website. Learn more about pricing for all AWS services.
  • Cost-Effective
    Amazon CloudFront passes on the benefits of Amazon's scale to you. You pay only for the content that you deliver through the network, without minimum commitments or up-front fees. This applies for any type of content that you deliver – static, dynamic, streaming media, or a web application with any combination of these.
  • Elastic
    With Amazon CloudFront, you don't need to worry about maintaining expensive web-server capacity to meet the demand from potential traffic spikes for your content. The service automatically responds as demand increases or decreases without any intervention from you. Amazon CloudFront also uses multiple layers of caching at each edge location and collapses simultaneous requests for the same object before contacting your origin server. These optimizations further help reduce the need to scale your origin infrastructure as your website becomes more popular.
  • Reliable
    Amazon CloudFront is built using Amazon's highly reliable infrastructure. The distributed nature of edge locations used by Amazon CloudFront automatically routes end users to the closest available location as required by network conditions. Origin requests from the edge locations to AWS origin servers (e.g., Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, etc.) are carried over network paths that Amazon constantly monitors and optimizes for both availability and performance.
  • Global
    Amazon CloudFront uses a global network of edge locations, located near your end users in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America and Australia.

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