What Is Amazon Web Services CloudFront?
AWS CloudFront is a web service that accelerates the delivery of content to users through edge locations, which is a network of data centers. It promotes the secure transmission of software, images, videos, and web content in .html, .css, .js, etc., to the user at higher speeds reducing latency, costs, and network traffic. It solves multiple problems in conventional content delivery networks like complex infrastructure and higher costs.
How does AWS CloudFront distribute the content?
When a user or a client requests to download a file that you are currently tied up with CloudFront, say a file in the image format, the DNS forwards the request through CloudFront to the closest edge location. While doing so, it looks for the edge location that has the lowest latency at that point in time. Then at the edge location, CloudFront looks to find the cache file that was initially requested by the user.
It then sends back the found file to the user, and if it is unable to find then CloudFront contrasts the actual demanded file with the specifications. This is then shared with the origin server, which then sends back the requested file to the edge location.
The CloudFront transfers the file to the user when it receives the first byte of the file/image from the edge location that has already received the requested file. While doing so, it also adds the file to the edge location so that when a user requests the file next time, it is transferred directly from the CloudFront without complexities.
How to configure CloudFront to deliver content?
If you are setting up CloudFront, you first create a CloudFront distribution to let the delivery system know where you want the content to be delivered from and about how you are expecting the management of content delivery.
As a first step, you are required to specify origin servers- your HTTP server, or others like the Amazon S3 bucket, which the CloudFront can use to transfer the file or object requested by users from any part of the world.
The next step is to upload your actual files and objects, and it can take images, videos, webpages, or any form that is appropriate to be transferred over the internet.
Then you have to create a CloudFront distribution- where you can specify the origin servers that the CloudFront should look up to when users request to download a file. You can select the mode of delivery and specify if you are expecting CloudFront to work upon all requests.
Once the distribution parameters are set, CloudFront allocates a name that you can view in the CloudFront console. This configuration is then sent to all the edge locations of CloudFront.
It has to be noted that AWS CloudFront is highly scaled with 225+ PoP’s [Points of Presence] that enable the delivery of content at very high speeds and reduce the latency. AWS CloudFront is integrated with other services from AWS including Amazon S3, Amazon Route 53, Amazon EC2, etc. to ease the process. It is also affordable for small-scale users as it offers high discounts for low traffic or minimum requests.
From storage to content delivery and beyond, AWS is revolutionizing cloud computing, to an extent that it has become the future of cloud computing. AWS is a smart selection to grow your cloud skills and career in a promising industry.
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