What is Amazon Cloudfront? How does AWS CloudFront work?

What is Amazon Cloudfront? How does AWS CloudFront work? Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) operated by Amazon Web Services. The content delivery network was created to provide a globally-distributed network of proxy servers to cache content, such as web videos or other bulky media, more locally to consumers, to improve access speed for downloading the content.

CloudFront has servers located in the United Kingdom, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Australia, South America, Africa, and several major cities in the United States. In November 2022, the service operated from 400 edge locations on six continents.

What is Amazon Cloudfront?

Amazon Cloudfront is a content delivery network (AWS CDN) that retrieves data stored in the Amazon S3 bucket and distributes it to numerous edge locations across the world. Edge locations are the network of data centers distributed worldwide through which content is delivered.

When a user requests content that is being served with CloudFront, the request is routed to the nearest edge location that gives the lowest latency. This helps the user to access content with the best possible performance. The Amazon cloud architecture functions as follows.

  • If the content is already cached in the edge location, CloudFront delivers it immediately with the lowest latency possible.
  • If the content is not present in the edge location, CloudFront retrieves it from the origin (like Amazon S3 bucket, a MediaPackage channel, or an HTTP server) that has been identified for your content.
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Let’s now look at AWS CloudFront and understand how it delivers content from the origin to the end user.

Amazon Cloudfront

How does AWS CloudFront work?

Once an Amazon S3 Bucket or HTTP Server is set up, a CloudFront distribution is created to tell CloudFront where you want the content to be delivered and details about tracking and managing content delivery.

CloudFront then uses edge servers that are close to your viewers to deliver content quickly when someone accesses it.

Steps to configure CloudFront to deliver content :

  1. When the origin servers such as the Amazon S3 bucket or an own HTTP server are specified, CloudFront gets the required files which are then distributed from CloudFront edge locations all over the world.
  2. Files are uploaded to the origin servers. The files also known as objects, typically include web pages, images, and media files. It can include anything that can be served over HTTP.
  3. The CloudFront distribution tells CloudFront which origins to get the files from when users request the files through the website or application.CloudFront also logs all the requests and distribution can be enabled as soon as it’s created.
  4. A domain is assigned to the new distribution that can be found in the CloudFront console or an alternate domain can be used instead.
  5. The distribution is sent across to all the edge locations or points of presence collections that are collections of servers in geographically dispersed data centers where CloudFront caches a copy of the data.

Now, let’s take a look at a few important terminologies used throughout this blog. It will help you understand the topics with more clarity.

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Amazon Cloudfront

How Does Amazon CloudFront Work?

Amazon CloudFront works by delivering your content to end-users using the AWS edge servers. As a result, CloudFront and other edge-centric solutions focus on connecting servers close to significant populations, skipping multiple steps, and rerouting over the Internet to deliver content more directly.

When a user requests content from a website running with CloudFront, such as when loading or downloading an image, Amazon Cloudfront routes the request to the Edge location closest to them. So, compared to moving data from a central server somewhere in another continent, CloudFront relocates the data closer to the user, rather than the user having to go an extended distance for the data while adding further latency. If that doesn’t make much sense yet, here’s an example.

Let’s say a user browses your website and needs an image. They’ll access the URL and see the image. In most cases, they’d have to go through a complicated web of networks and servers (known as the Internet) to reach the one that hosts your image.

If the website of choice runs Amazon’s CloudFront service, it’d connect to the nearest edge server location where CloudFront would check if it already has that image stored. If not, CloudFront will fetch that image from the origin server via the Internet and store – or cache – it for later use. The next time a different user wants to see the same image, it’ll load blazingly fast without extra load on the origin server.

It’s important to know that even though CloudFront caches static content and improves loading times, it can also be used to improve dynamic content queries too. If, for example, your webpage or application is dynamic, meaning every single page is different and generated on the origin server, then CloudFront can help out with improved loading times by lowering latency simply by utilizing the existing AWS Backbone network; connecting users with virtual servers running in AWS.

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Amazon Cloudfront

Above is information about What is Amazon Cloudfront? How does AWS CloudFront work? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of Amazon Cloudfront. Thank you for reading our post.

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