Amazon CloudFront is a global Content Delivery Network (CDN) service. CDN is a system of distributed servers that delivers website content to end users based on location of the user, origin of the webpage, and location of the content delivery server.

Its main purpose is to make loading websites for end users faster using Edge Locations to cache files. Requests for content is automatically routed to the local Edge Locations so the content is delivered with best possible performance.

Features of Amazon CloudFront: Flexible Scaling

  • Start small and scale as traffic increases
  • Automatically manage traffic load without any intervention
  • No minimum monthly commitment or fixed term contract
  • Pay only for content delivered using the service with full user control
  • Optimized for delivery use cases with intelligent caching
  • Application acceleration and optimization

Key Terminology

  • Edge Location: data center where content is cached
  • Origin: Location of files distributed by CDN (can be S3 bucket, EC2 instance, Elastic Load Balancer…)
  • Distribution: CDN; consists of collection of Edge Locations
    • Web Distribution: typically used for websites
    • RTMP: used for media streaming


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