Amazon CloudFront

Updated: Nov 12

In this article we shall look into what Amazon CloudFront is, how it works (with examples), benefits and its pricing, in a summarized format. I hope this will be very much useful for beginners and for those who prepare for AWS exams.

What is Amazon CloudFront?

  • Amazon CloudFront is a webservice that expedites the distribution of static and dynamic website content.

  • It can also be called as on-demand content management system.

  • Amazon manages several data centers called Edge locations in each region to deliver static and dynamic website content through CloudFront.

  • Amazon CloudFront stores the static and dynamic content in its cache memory.

  • CloudFront speeds up the distribution of your content by routing user requests to the edge location.

How CloudFront works? – Example 1


  • User log into the website (say xyz.com) and tries to open a file or image.

  • If CloudFront is configured, the DNS routes the request to the Edge Location (CloudFront POP) nearest to the user location.

  • The CloudFront POP checks if the requested file is present in its cache. If present, then the file or image is returned to the user. (Refer to Example 1 – In this case, the file is present in the cache and hence CloudFront returns the file).


How CloudFront works? – Example 2

  • User log into the website (say xyz.com) and tries to open a file or image

  • If CloudFront is configured, the DNS routes the request to the Edge Location (CloudFront POP) nearest to the user location.

  • The CloudFront POP checks if the requested file is present in its cache. If present, then the file or image is returned to the user.

  • If the requested file or image is not present in the cache, then request is forwarded to the original server (Amazon S3 in the example). Once S3 returns the requested file or image, CloudFront in-turn forwards the request back to the user. (Refer to Example 2 – In this case the requested file is not present in the Edge Location. So the data is fetched from original server).

What are the benefits of CloudFront?

  • Increased Application Availability

  • Globally distributed – CloudFront has over 220+ points of presence

  • Secure – Provides both Application and Network level protection.

  • Highly Customizable – You can customize as per your application requirements.

  • Integrated with AWS Services

Pricing for CloudFront

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing, No minimum fee.

  • Committed pricing option also available.

  • CloudFront On-demand pricing based on region is displayed on the right.

I believe the above information in summary format will be helpful for beginners and AWS exam preparation. The above is just key information on Amazon CloudFront. For more detailed information, I would recommend you to study the documentation provided by Amazon.

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