Amazon CloudFront: Comprehensive and Secure CDN Services

Adam Selipsky, COO, Amazon Web Services
With the birth of Web 2.0, the information highway has seen an upsurge in personalized and dynamic content. Users demand videos, images, and other bandwidth-heavy content to be organized and delivered instantly. To meet this need, CIOs adopt CDNs to serve as content channels for unhindered delivery as these dedicated channels are not subject to bottlenecks like insufficient bandwidth or low latency. However, adopting a CDN is coupled with expensive configuration and management challenges for CIOs. These issues are being addressed by CDN service providers like Amazon CloudFront. “By giving our clients a host of innovative services to streamline their cloud experience, our CloudFront division has helped spread CDNs,” beams Adam Selipsky, COO, Amazon Web Services.

The Amazon CloudFront is a comprehensive suite that offers an adept content delivery web service. Compatible with other Amazon Web Services products, this offering, gives client’s a cost-effective channel to distribute content with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no minimum usage commitments. “We designed the system to have an intuitive user interface to facilitate the user to quickly grasp the nuances of the system,” says Selipsky. CloudFront supports both HTTP and HTTPS protocols but it can also be configured to only accept requests that come over HTTPS when delivering private content. It can be noted the Amazon CloudFront also supports RTMP which is used in Flash Media Servers.

With CloudFront’s Private Content feature, users can also control the access to content. This feature allows secure delivery of content without the risk unwarranted public exposure. By granting access through a signed URL or HTTP cookie helps bolster the overall security of the CDN.

In addition, CloudFront helps determine the type of device used to make a request. Upon identification of platform used to access the content, the CDN can deliver content generated specifically to suit the device. Another innovative attribute incorporated in this solution is its capacity to generate unique versions of the content for users in different countries. “Dynamic Web Applications running on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud can integrate seamlessly with CloudFront removing the need for additional coding or proprietary configurations,” says Selipsky.
The platform bestows clients the freedom to use a single Amazon CloudFront distribution, to deliver their entire website, including both static and dynamic content without the need to manage multiple domain names.

Enterprises today, to gain true insights into their content network, require CDNs with inbuilt analytics and reporting tools. With the CloudFront Reports and Analytics tool, CIOs can receive detailed cache statistics reports that monitor CloudFront usage and popular objects in the network. This unique trait of deploying the solution tool sets near real-time alarms on operational metrics to help augment reporting needs. The reporting options can be accessed from the Amazon CloudFront Reporting and Analytics dashboard in the AWS Management Console.

CloudFront can report on six operational metrics—Requests, Bytes Downloaded, Bytes Uploaded, 4xx Error Rate, 5xx Error Rate and Total Error Rate. Using Amazon CloudWatch, a cloud monitoring tool, clients can set alarms on abnormal patterns observed in the CDN traffic. This monitoring feature is available to CloudFront users at no additional cost while the Alarm feature is billed at standard CloudWatch rates. In enabling the CloudFront’s access logs, clients can also automatically acquire information, regarding traffic delivered through the CDN, every hour.


Dynamic Web Applications running on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud can run seamlessly alongside the CloudFront without the need for additional coding or proprietary configurations


The dynamic-content delivery solution, Amazon CloudFront, is backed by experts in the CDN landscape. “By offering solutions at cost-effective rates for data transfer, and free implementation services, Amazon CloudFront aims to expand their client base to help more companies and also streamline the existing CDN landscape,” concludes Selipsky.

Company
Amazon CloudFront

Headquarters
Seattle, WA

Management
Adam Selipsky, COO, Amazon Web Services

Description
A provider of content delivery solutions that integrate with Amazon Web Services to distribute content in an effective manner.