What is AWS Cloudfront and how does it work?

What is AWS Cloudfront and how does it work?

Is your business debating whether to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloudfront?

It’s one of the most popular solutions for businesses who want to deliver faster web content to end users. In this guide, you’ll learn about the features and benefits of AWS CloudFront and how to get started with it.

What is AWS Cloudfront?

​​AWS CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service powered by Amazon Web Services. It is designed to deliver content to customers with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and high availability. The service is secured by the AWS global infrastructure, distributed across multiple data centers around the world. It is also optimized for mobile users, providing fast loading for media and other files across any device.

It improves website and application performance by caching static and dynamic content in the network of geographically distributed “edge” locations all over the world. When a user requests content, AWS CloudFront fetches it from the nearest point of origin so that web pages, images, videos and other content can be delivered quickly.

How it works

Amazon shares that:

“When a user requests content that you’re serving with CloudFront, the request is routed to the edge location that provides the lowest latency (time delay), so that content is delivered with the best possible performance.

  • If the content is already in the edge location with the lowest latency, CloudFront delivers it immediately.
  • If the content is not in that edge location, CloudFront retrieves it from an origin that you’ve defined—such as an Amazon S3 bucket, a MediaPackage channel, or an HTTP server (for example, a web server) that you have identified as the source for the definitive version of your content”.

How is CloudFront helpful?

CloudFront can be especially helpful for web developers due to its low latency and high throughput features. With AWS CloudFront, web developers are able to serve up multiple versions of their websites or applications that are tailored for different locations around the world without having to set up separate servers for each version. 

This helps ensure that the content is delivered quickly regardless of where it’s being served from. Additionally, AWS CloudFront provides great features such as caching, DDoS protection, SSL support and user authentication.

Who uses Amazon Cloudfront?

Amazon Cloudfront is used by businesses of all sizes, including startups, mid-sized firms, and large-scale enterprises. It is commonly used in web and mobile applications to deliver static and streaming media content to end users quickly and reliably around the world. It can help reduce costs for content delivery networks (CDN) or digital asset management (DAM) systems.

How to set up AWS Cloudfront?

To set up AWS services, you’ll need an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. Once you have created your account, you can begin to set up your CloudFront distribution. This requires configuring the appropriate delivery settings and adding or uploading the content that you want delivered through your distribution. Lastly, you can attach a domain name or CDN URL to your distribution to ensure that it is accessible from outside of your account.

What are the 2 main components of Cloudfront?

The two main components of AWS Cloudfront are content delivery and dynamic content caching. 

Content delivery

Content delivery on AWS Cloudfront is a web service that speeds up content delivery or distribution by caching your content on a global network of servers, providing access to end-users with low latency and high throughput. 

Cloudfront makes it easy for developers to quickly deliver static and dynamic web content, without worrying about performance or scalability.

Dynamic content caching 

Dynamic content caching enables faster performance by using cached data from multiple locations around the world. It speeds up the delivery of dynamic and static content, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, to users from an origin server. 

Dynamic content caching uses methods such as AI and machine learning algorithms to adaptively store frequently requested content on the edge for faster response times. Caching frequency is also based on CloudFront’s request tracking which allows it to identify objects that are requested more frequently than others. This allows CloudFront to quickly serve customers with dynamic content without expensive back-end requests.

Why use AWS CloudFront?

Leveraging CloudFront for your web projects can offer several key benefits. 

These include:

  • Provide a powerful Content Delivery Network, which can reduce latency for users around the globe and improve user experience. 
  • Ability to scale without major architectural revisions or additional server costs. 
  • CloudFront supports multiple technologies such as CMSs, mobile apps and streaming media services, so it provides a unified platform for managing different types of content. 

Ready to explore your options with AWS?

InfoCentric supports a range of AWS services for data and analytics, as well as a variety of other Cloud Data Platforms.

Want to explore your capabilities with AWS? Contact us now to speak to an expert.