Great CDN with lots of extras
March 24, 2018

Great CDN with lots of extras

Andrew Raines | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Amazon CloudFront

I've used CloudFront in a number of different scenarios. Firstly as a standard Content Delivery Network, used as a edge-cache in front of the likes of S3. I've also used it in front of more dynamic services, allowing to amalgamate multiple services or behaviours under a single domain/cache. Finally I've also used it in conjunction with Lambda@Edge allowing for quite complex behaviours to take place, such as dynamically resizing images on the fly.
  • Solid CDN services, does what it says on the tin
  • Lots of configuration options, which allow for different setups and pricing strategies
  • Lambda@Edge integration allows for really quite complex behaviours to be executed in the cloud at the edge node itself. This means there are a huge amount of possibilities for shaping and altering traffic close to the viewer.
  • Simple integration to other AWS services (e.g. S3)
  • It isn't the cheapest option out there, nor is it the most simple to set up. The likes of CloudFlare may be a better choice for small / simple sites, especially if there isn't any need for other AWS services.
  • Running a CDN in front of static (or semi-static) web resources dramatically reduced server-load at a much lower cost. This meant much better scalability when it was introduced.
CloudFlare is another great CDN service. It comes with a lot of things set up of the box for you, and gives you a basic and reasonable set up straight away. It also has a free-tier for smaller sites. CloudFlare doesn't quite have the same level of configurability, however. The biggest reason for using CloudFront for us, though, was down to the use of other AWS services and the great integrations.
If you've already got plenty of AWS services, CloudFront is an obvious choice. It integrates seamlessly with other AWS infrastructure, and can be managed via CloudFormation as part of your wider Infrastructure as Code. Whilst it is slightly more complex than some of the competition to set up, it does have a large number of options and is very configurable.

If you want to do just the very basic CDN at the minimum of cost on a small website (e.g. personal blog), its perhaps not the best choice. However, I personally made the decision to use CloudFront anyway, even though it was a little more than the competition, purely for the convenience factor as I was using Route 53 anyway and it gives me plenty of future options should I wish to make it more complex later on.