Amazon CloudFront in AWS

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Dear Readers,

In this article,we will see brief introduction on Amazon CloudFront 

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a web service that speeds up distribution of your static and dynamic web content, such as .html, .css, .js, and image files, to your users.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that delivers web pages and other web content to a user based on the different geographic locations.

Edge Location

This is the location where content will be cached.

This is separate to an AWS Region/AZ.


This is the origin of all files that the CDN will distribute.

This can either S3 bucket, an EC2 Instance, an Elastic Load Balancer or Route 53.


This is the name given to CDN which consists of a collection of Edge Locations.

Setup CloudFront to deliver content

You create a CloudFront distribution with the origin where you want to store the static and dynamic content like .js, .html, .css, and images. The origin of content could be an Amazon S3 bucket or an Http Web server.

Amazon CloudFront sends the content to its edge locations ie. edge servers. Let’s see how to configure your CloudFront:

Origin Server: Specify the origin server of location of the content.

Upload Content to Origin: Now, upload files to your origin server. Files also known as objects, typically includes web pages, images, and media files, can be anything that can be served over HTTP (No other than HTTP complaint content).

Create CloudFront Distribution: Create CloudFront distribution to specify the content origin location. The origin will be used to get your files from when users request the files through your web site or application

Domain Creation: CloudFront will assign a domain for your new distribution that you will be using in place of origin url.

Distribution Configurations: Once the CloudFront distribution has been created, CloudFront will send the distribution configurations to all of its edge locations. CloudFront caches will cache the objects.

How AWS CloudFront Delivers Content?

CloudFront delivers your content through a worldwide network of data centres called edge locations.

When a user requests a content that is being served with CloudFront, the user is routed to the nearest edge location which has very low latency (Latency is the time delay in request completion).

If the requested content is available at edge location with low latency, CloudFront delivers it quickly.

If not then the content would be retrieved from the origin location (Amazon S3, Http Web Server etc.)

A user access the content or requests to a website page

Domain name server (DNS) routes your request to the CloudFront edge location that is nearest in terms of latency

In the edge location, the CloudFront checks the cache for the requested content. If the content available then returns else it follows:

CloudFront sends the request to the origin server

The origin server retrieves the image and sends it back to the CloudFront edge location.

The origin server retrieves the image and sends it back to the CloudFront edge location. CloudFront also adds the files to the cache in the edge location for the next time someone requests those files.


Edge locations are not just read only, you can write to them too.

Objects are cached for the life of the TTL (Time To Live)

Request goes to nearby edge locations.

First user user may get some latency.

Second user won’t get any latency, he will get content immediately.

You can keep object inside the edge location max for 1 year.

Default TTL 24 hrs.(we can give our wish).

Maximum TTL is 2 years.

After completion of 24 hrs. the content will be deleted automatically.

Amazon CloudFront Global Edge Locations

Amazon CloudWatch General Limits



Amazon CloudFront is a highly secured content delivery network (CDN) provides both application and network level security.


Amazon CloudFront passes on the benefits of Amazon’s scale to you. You pay only for the content that you deliver through the network, without minimum commitments or up-front fees.

Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services Amazon CloudFront is designed for use with other Amazon Web Services, including Amazon S3, where you can durably store the definitive versions of your static files, and Amazon EC2, where you can run your application server for dynamically generated content.

Global Availability

CloudFront has 166 points of presence (PoPs) across the world which is massively scaled and globally distributed.

Amazon CloudFront uses a global network of edge locations, located near your end users in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America.


The service automatically responds as demand increases or decreases without any intervention from you.


Amazon CloudFront is built using Amazon’s highly reliable infrastructure. The distributed nature of edge locations used by Amazon CloudFront automatically routes end users to the closest available location as required by network conditions.


A single API call lets you get started distributing content from your Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon EC2 instance or other origin server through the Amazon CloudFront network.

Fast Performance

Using a network of edge locations around the world, Amazon CloudFront caches copies of your static content close to viewers, lowering latency when they download your objects and giving you the high, sustained data transfer rates needed to deliver large popular objects to end users at scale.




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