Amazon's CloudFront Content Delivery Network Takes Off

In a bid to rev up its cloud computing offering, web giant Amazon.com has launched its beta version of content delivery network (CDN), dubbed as “CloudFront” that was announced back in September.

Designed to take on offerings from Akamai and Limelight, CloudFront is touted to offer “low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments”, the service integrates various cloud-based services - like S3 hosted storage application and EC2 - that the company provides through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) module.

AWS offers a wide range of services, like payment, billing, generic computing, and internet search, to assist it clients, including web masters, developers, and IT professionals.

CloudFront will allow Amazon to cache web content across 14 locations, including US, Europe, and Asia, whereas Akamai has servers in 70 locations to control and optimize traffic routes.

The service offers simple content delivery service suitable for start-ups and small companies only, while Akamai and Limelight includes several tiers and product variations to cater to the needs of large companies.

CloudFront can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from software downloads and distributing podcasts, to video downloads and serve up things like JavaScript and CSS files.

Amazon will be offering the service on pay-as-you-go basis instead of long-term agreements, which further adds its suitability for small and medium sized businesses.

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