What is Amazon CloudFront and How Does It Work?
What is 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. It’s a tool made available by Amazon to help make traffic more resilient to problems and better handle variable loads without slowing down users’ experiences.
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. CloudFront delivers your content through a worldwide network of data centers called edge locations. When a user requests content that you’re serving with CloudFront, the request is routed to the edge location that provides the lowest latency (time delay), so that content is delivered with the best possible performance. If the content is already in the edge location with the lowest latency, CloudFront delivers it immediately. If the content is not in that edge location, then CloudFront retrieves it from an origin — such as an Amazon S3 bucket or a MediaPackage channel — where you’ve defined that your definitive version of this content resides.
CloudFront is a web service for delivering content through the AWS Cloud. The service allows you to deliver your web application to end users without having to host it on your own servers. Instead, CloudFront handles the distribution of resources to end users.
For example, suppose that you’re serving an image from a traditional web server, not from CloudFront. For example, you might serve an image, sunsetphoto.png, using the URL http://example.com/sunsetphoto.png.
Your users can easily navigate to this URL and see the image. But they probably don’t know that their request is routed from one network to another — through the complex collection of interconnected networks that comprise the internet — until the image is found.
CloudFront speeds up the distribution of your content by routing each user request through the AWS backbone network to the edge location that can best serve your content. Typically, this is a CloudFront edge server that provides the fastest delivery to the viewer.
Because copies of your files, also known as objects, are now stored (or cached) in numerous edge locations throughout the world, you also benefit from increased reliability and availability.
How Does Amazon CloudFront Work?
Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery service that distributes web assets from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to end users. It allows you to choose the origin in which you want assets delivered and then deliver them from multiple distribution locations. You can also set up custom HTTP headers for each request for your end users so they know where the content has been delivered from.
The following are some of the key benefits of using Amazon CloudFront:
Global Scaled Network for Fast Content Delivery
Amazon CloudFront is massively scaled and globally distributed. The CloudFront network has 225+ points of presence (PoPs) that are interconnected via the AWS backbone delivering ultra-low latency performance and high availability to your end users.
The AWS backbone is a private network built on a global, fully redundant, parallel 100 GbE metro fiber network linked via trans-oceanic cables across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as, the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and South China Seas.
Amazon CloudFront is a fully managed, HTTP-based content delivery network that offers you the flexibility to deliver your content to any device, anywhere.
Amazon CloudFront automatically maps network conditions and intelligently routes your user’s traffic to the most performant AWS edge location to serve up cached or dynamic content. CloudFront comes default with a multi-tiered caching architecture that offers you improved cache width and origin protection.
Deep Integration with AWS
Amazon CloudFront is integrated with AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Route 53, and AWS Elemental Media Services for easy set-up.
As a developer, you can use the AWS management console or familiar developer tools such as CloudFormation templates, the AWS Cloud Development Kit, and APIs. CloudFront’s integration with Amazon Cloudwatch and Kinesis offers real-time observability through metrics and logs.
Security at the Edge
CloudFront is a highly secure CDN that provides both network and application level protection. All your CloudFront distributions are defended by default against the most frequently occurring network and transport layer DDoS attacks that target your websites or applications with AWS Shield Standard.
To defend against more complex attacks, you can add a flexible, layered security perimeter by integrating CloudFront with AWS Shield Advanced and AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF). Firewall rules, curated and managed by Amazon security experts, to protect against common CVEs and OWASP Top 10 security risks are provided to you with AWS Managed Rules for AWS WAF.
The combination of CloudFront and WAF provides advanced threat detection and mitigation capabilities that block attacks at the IP level before they reach your website or application servers. These features include:
Vulnerability Scanning: Detects known vulnerabilities on your servers before they are exploited by hackers.
DNS-Based Attack Protection: Filters traffic based on DNS records provided by you to stop attackers from reaching your website through alternate IP addresses or subnets.
URL Base64 Encoding Protection: Prevents attackers from modifying URLs in order to exploit SQL Injection vulnerabilities or other web application weaknesses in the source code of your website or application server.
Highly Programmable and Secure Edge Computing
With CloudFront, you can deliver your content from any AWS data center to any edge location globally. This allows you to personalize content and respond to your end users with improved latency.
For example, you can use CloudFront Functions to deliver unique content based on visitor attributes, generate custom responses, or conduct A/B testing running your own custom code on AWS infrastructure. With Lambda@Edge, you can complement or entirely replace your origin servers. Lambda@Edge can be used for server-side rendering of web pages, manipulating streaming manifest files on-the-fly for ad insertion, or adding security tokens. Both CloudFront Functions and Lambda@Edge protect your data from attack with built-in security isolation.
Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) that enables you to optimize the performance of your applications by delivering static objects, like images or videos, over the public Internet.
Amazon CloudFront is integrated with AWS. With Amazon CloudFront, you can deliver static objects from any origin to any destination globally at no additional cost. This includes origin fetches from Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, and any other origin in the same region.
If you’re curious to learn more, get in contact with us for a critical evaluation of the top resources for both novices and experts. To expand your business in the online world, contact Nettyfy Technologies, a Leading Software Development firm, for AWS Cloud Services.