Monday, March 8, 2010

Clarify the differences between Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront

While cloud computing is the buzzword around world, Amazon is no doubt one of the most important competitors in this field. The products S3 and CloudFront both play their vital role for cloud storages and services.

However, there is always some misunderstandings between these two services. Here is a simple clarification which may be a little bit helpful.

Amazon S3 is a storage service, which means it is solely used to store the data in some cloud out there, and you have no choice to replicate this data in any other places. The Amazon S3 will provide you a URL which points to this specific piece of data, and each time you will be routed to the same IP to acquire this data.

Amazon CloudFront is a CDN service, which replicates all your data into different locations around the world. When you are in NY, the nearest node to download your data will be in US not in Europe; when you are in London, CloudFront will route you to Dublin which is far less distance than in US. This effectively shortened the length for data transmission.

As above we can see that most of the time, you will be under the assumption that you have to use both of these two services at the same time to improve your data's efficiency.

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