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Amazon CloudFront Enters Full Production

Content delivery service lowers price, adds features and new SLA

This week, on its Web Services Blog, Amazon announced the general availability of its CloudFront content delivery service.  The service enables applications and websites to deliver static and streaming content, such as Flash video "with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments."

The service has been in an extensive beta test for some time, during which numerous features were added for security, flexibility, performance and manageability.  The production release also sports a service level agreement that provides service credits of ten and twenty-five percent of monthly billing if availability drops below three and two nines, respectively,  CloudFront prices have also been reduced by 25%.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels recording a SYS-CON.TV Cloud Computing Power Panel moderated by Cloud Expo conference Chair Jeremy Geelan

The features that have been added to CloudFront include:

HTTPS Access - allows content deliver over a secure connection and eliminates the need to mix secure and non-secure content in subscription content services.

Private Content - enables distribution of digital downloads, training materials, private documents , etc., allowing access before or after a specified time, or during a specified time period.

Streamed Content - supports media file streaming using the Adobe Flash Media Server or open source JW Player from Longtail Video.

AWS Management Console Support - adds CloudFront to the Amazon general management UI, allowing easer management in conjunction with Amazon's other cloud services, like EC2, S3, VPC, etc.

Request Logging - records details of individual "GET" requests for media objects to support analytical processes for security, performance, and marketing.

Additional Edge Locations - new network distribution points in Singapore and NYC bring the total of CloudFront edge locations to 15, worldwide.

In the Amazon CloudFront service, content originates within another Amazon Web Service- like Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) - or any other storage server.  CloudFront then caches that content in distribution servers at the edges of the network, close to where it is requested and consumed, to enable fast deliver with reduced streaming latency.

Pricing for the service has two parts.  Regional Data Transfer Out pricing is tiered and varies by region, with the prices for the US and Europe ranging from fifteen cents per gigabyte for the first 10TB/month to three cents per GB for over 1GB/month, and for Asia from around twenty to seventy-five cents over the same brackets.  HTTP requests are priced separately, as low as $0.0075 and $0.0100 for HTTP and HTTPS, respectively, in the US to the high of $0.0095 and $0.0130 in Japan.

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

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