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Amazon CloudFront – Flying in the Clouds

Life in the Amazon CloudFront is starting to really look like the way things will be. No, not the fluffy white vapors up in the sky. We are talking about cloud computing and it is quickly becoming the best way to do business for web and app devel

opers.

Initially when cloud computing launched the concept was very interesting but not well received by the masses. Mainly resistance stemmed from people feeling like they would have less control over their data and applications.

A natural response; we generally like to control our environment.

But as life in the clouds now appears much more stable there is less and less resistance to the idea and more companies embracing it. The main fear by most people was the reliance on another company to have dedicated servers storing the data. Could some ABC company have everything that my specific business needs? Are they going to be able to handle what I am trying to do or should I just host my own data to have more control over my needs?

Sometimes working with people and companies you have never met face-to-face can be a bit daunting for a business; especially when you are relying on them so heavily. If your business involves accessing any sort of data regularly, having an unreliable host is the fastest way to drive away customers. Having a slow host is a close second.

But it appears things are pretty safe in the clouds.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently had a cloud conversion as announced earlier this month. The reasons for the switch are the same as have been touted since cloud computing started; speed and manageability.

In Amazon’s case, they have the Amazon CloudFront network that currently has 30 edge locations with more to be added in the future. With a larger number of locations available, both static and streaming content are going to be more readily available to users in many locations at much higher speeds than if they have to trace the data back to your own server or a single host server you might use to store information.

On the internet the concept has usually been that content is King. Even if that is true then speed is like the Crown Prince because users on all platforms want to be able to access that content as fast as possible. Smart phone users, tablets, and laptops want to access things quickly and working from multiple locations allows faster speeds on average to all users no matter what the location.

About CloudFront

This little darling has been around since 2008 so they aren’t a new player to the game. Initially they were set to be a competitor to Akamai and similar content delivery services. With this recent push they are touting a more cost-effective way for all customers to improve performance and availability of all their content delivery needs to go with the reliability that CloudFront has shown over the years.

Really it is the reliability factor that will sell most web and app developers on using a company like CloudFront. They are definitely working hard to make sure that customers have good connections to the web servers as well as maintaining fast-paced network paths.

So what are You Using?

Is your head in the clouds yet? If not, then why? It is becoming more difficult to find a reason not to be using cloud computing these days. We are far past the initial launch idea, which honestly was given a more simplistic view to catch a broader base of customers. The idea of being able to easily share documents quickly anywhere was the main push.

But now with so many new apps being developed for phones and tablets combined with a preference for wireless networks every little bit of speed is needed. That simple .5s difference is huge for uploading or downloading requests and data. If you haven’t already, you should really start looking into a provider like AWS or someone similar that is providing cutting edge possibilities for you and your business. You can click here to read AWS’s CloudFront announcement on their blog.

Not that we are trying to sell Amazon’s services here, but we do have a healthy respect for the way they are going about their business. Of course not every company is going to have the exact same offerings. CloudFront doesn’t seem to have IPv6 support like Akamai and there are questions about how/if there will be support for SSL and secure applications. Depending on your level of need you might have a lot of questions about support, latency, and bandwidth charges.

But regardless of whose services you are using, it seems very apparent that you should look into using someone. Life in the clouds is starting to look like a great way to do business.

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