Amazon CloudFront was not the first content delivery network (CDN) to come online, but it has become one of the most popular. Like others in the Amazon Web Services family, CloudFront is designed to be as flexible and accessible as possible.
That can make Amazon’s proprietary CDN a great choice for everyone from companies taking their first steps with the technology to those currently using one of its competitors but willing to switch to a much robust environment and adopt the changes with the help of AWS Course. A quick look at the most important things for CloudFront newcomers to know follows.
Amazon Launches a More Modern Type of CDN
For quite a few years, the CDN market was more or less dominated by Akamai, a true pioneer in the field. Akamai’s heavy emphasis on serving multimedia-focused enterprises, though, made it more vulnerable to competition than many realized.
When Amazon CloudFront launched more than a decade ago, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform was already fairly well-developed. Seminal on-demand services like Elastic Cloud and the Simple Storage Service had already enjoyed plenty of adoption from technology-embracing companies and individual hackers.
CloudFront followed in their steps, emphasizing ease of use and flexibility above all else. Where Akamai forced clients to sign rigid contracts with large monthly fees, Amazon CloudFront stuck to the usage-based service model that had made earlier AWS products so successful. The best way to get well-versed in these AWS products is to take up an AWS Certification.
Several Good Reasons to Consider Amazon CloudFront
In addition to pay-as-you-go pricing, CloudFront users enjoy plenty of other benefits compared to Akamai and other prominent CDNs. Some of those that typically matter the most concern:
Speed. Although it is possible for CloudFront users to run into roadblocks and bottlenecks, most of these can be easily overcome. A guide at businessclouddeals.com, for instance, details concrete, established ways to improve CloudFront content delivery speed. That kind of tuning is simply not possible with Akamai or other CDNs that stick to a more rigid, monolithic content delivery model.
Integration. Although companies like Akamai have expanded their service menus, they all pale in comparison to the breadth and depth of AWS. As an AWS product, CloudFront can be easily integrated into dozens of other services that the company offers. That might not matter much for users who simply want to stream some media or deliver digital photographs more quickly, but it often makes a difference.
Support. Companies that pay Akamai’s asking price can expect to receive support from well-informed technicians. The AWS community is so much larger and more engaged, though, that questions about CloudFront tend to get answered more quickly and thoroughly. For businesses and individuals who are comfortable with less-formal support channels, CloudFront quite frequently wins out.
A Great Way to Get Started With CDNs or to Move on From Another Platform
Couple benefits like these with the undeniable appeal of the AWS pricing model, and many companies find that Amazon CloudFront suits their needs very well. That said, there are still some reasons to consider sticking with Akamai or even using a CDN operated by a provider like Microsoft or Rackspace.
One of the most significant advantages of CloudFront, though, is just how easy it is to try. In some cases, a business will even be able to use Amazon’s fairly generous free-usage tier to experiment with its CDN without paying.
Although CloudFront is certainly not perfect, it is flexible enough that it rarely misses the mark by much. With a bright future before it as part of the AWS family, CloudFront is also almost certain to keep getting better. Businesses in the market for a new CDN will almost always do well to give Amazon CloudFront a look.
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