Amazon CloudFront

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

  • A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.
  • A CDN allows for the quick transfer/loading of Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, images, and videos.
  • The CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon
  • Benefits of using a CDN
    • Improving website load times
    • Reducing bandwidth costs
    • Increasing content availability and redundancy
    • Improving website security

Popular CDN Services

  • Cloudflare CDN
  • Akamai CDN
  • Amazon CloudFront
  • Microsoft Azure CDN
  • Google Cloud CDN
  • Alibaba Cloud CDN
  • Imperva Cloud Application Security
  • Rackspace CDN
  • Fastly CDN
  • CDN77 CDN

What is AWS CloudFront

  • Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.
  • Use cases
    • Deliver fast, secure websites
    • Accelerate dynamic content delivery and APIs
    • Stream live and on-demand video
    • Distribute patches and updates

AWS CloudFront

  • CloudFront is a global (not regional) service.
  • Amazon CloudFront is a web service that speeds up distribution of your static and dynamic web content, such as .html, .css, .js, and image and video files.
  • CloudFront delivers your content through a network of data centers called Edge Locations.
  • When a user requests content that you’re serving with CloudFront, the user is routed to the edge location that provides the lowest latency.
  • Amazon CloudFront has added several regional edge cache locations globally.
  • DDoS protection, integration with Shield, AWS Web Application Firewall

CloudFront Origins

  • An origin is the location where you store the original web content, which you want to distribute via CloudFront
  • S3 bucket
    • For distributing files and caching them at the edge
    • Enhanced security with CloudFront Origin Access Identity (OAI)
  • Custom Origin (HTTP)
    • Application Load Balancer
    • EC2 instance
    • S3 website (must first enable the bucket as a static S3 website)
    • Any HTTP backend you want

Amazon CloudFront Distributions

  • Web Distributions: serve the following content over HTTP or HTTPS:
    • Static and dynamic download content, for example, .html, .css, .js, and image files, using HTTP or HTTPS.
    • Multimedia content on demand using progressive download and Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).
    • Your origin can be either an Amazon S3 bucket or an HTTP server
  • RTMP distributions
    • Stream media files using Adobe Media Server and the Adobe Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP).
    • An RTMP distribution must use an Amazon S3 bucket as the origin.
  • CloudFront lets you create a total of up to 200 web distributions and 100 RTMP distributions for an AWS account.

CloudFront Invalidation

  • If you need to remove/update an object from CloudFront edge caches before it expires, you can do one of the following:
    • Invalidate the object from edge caches. The next time a viewer requests the object, CloudFront returns to the origin to fetch the latest version of the object.
    • Use object versioning to serve a different version of the object that has a different name.
    • You can’t cancel an invalidation after you submit it.
  • You can invalidate most types of objects that are served by a web distribution
  • You cannot invalidate media files in the Microsoft Smooth Streaming format when you have enabled Smooth Streaming for the corresponding cache behavior.

Geographic Restrictions

  • You can use geo restriction, also known as geo-blocking, to prevent users in specific geographic locations from accessing content that you’re distributing through a CloudFront web distribution.
  • Restriction type
    • No restrictions
    • Allow list
    • Block list
Amazon CloudFront

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