Sunday, May 19, 2013

AWS Performance Tip 1: Use Amazon CloudFront to reduce latency

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery web service that helps you to distribute content to end users with low latency and high data transfer speeds. Amazon CloudFront has growing network of edge locations that cache copies of popular files(images, JS, CSS, videos etc) close to your viewers and makes sure that end-user requests are served by the closest AWS edge location.Since requests now travel shorter distances to request objects (lesser hops) + the additional optimizations done in Amazon CloudFront like TCP initial congestion window, reduces the overall latency and improves the performance to your users.
Imagine your user is accessing a content hosted in AWS Europe from Singapore, it takes ~120 milliseconds as latency for this delivery, whereas if the same content is delivered from AWS Singapore using Amazon CloudFront, the latency can be reduced to ~10 milliseconds. If your site is content heavy multiply the above with number of requests, hops etc and imagine the latency savings that Amazon CloudFront can provide. 

Internally Amazon CloudFront maintains persistent connections with the content origins so that changes/addition can be picked quickly. 

Following diagram illustrates current list of edge locations offered by Amazon Web Services. Keep watching for updates, more edge locations around the world are on your way.

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