Amazon Content Delivery Network is Coming

Latest offering from Amazon Web Services? A Content Delivery Network! Got this from email a few minutes ago:

Many of you have asked us to let you know ahead of time about features and services that are currently under development so that you can better plan for how that functionality might integrate with your applications. To that end, we are excited to share some early details with you about a new offering we have under development here at AWS — a content delivery service.

Nice.

So what do we know about Amazon’s CDN?

  • Pay as you go — no contract, no minimum payment. Very similar to S3 and other Amazon Web Services which scale down really well.

  • Global network on 3 continents. That probably means North America, Europe and Asia. Again us Aussies have to suffer long latency no matter what…

  • Web-based API — again just like S3. In fact it uses S3 as the storage. From the Amazon CDN page:

    You’ll start by storing the original version of your objects in Amazon S3, making sure they are publicly readable. Then, you’ll make a simple API call to register your bucket with the new content delivery service. This API call will return a new domain name for you to include in your web pages or application. When clients request an object using this domain name, they will be automatically routed to the nearest edge location for high performance delivery of your content. It’s that simple.

    Simple? Maybe. However it requires your application to tightly integrate with AWS so it can retrieve the latest domain and use it everywhere a static media object is required. Every time any file in the bucket is changed (fixing a bug in Javascript, for example), a new domain name will need to be generated.

Anyway. I signed up the queue to test out beta. It requires a bit of re-tooling but it won’t be too hard. CDN has been quite a competitive space lately. Let’s see whether Amazon will revolutionise the market.