in Reviews, Technology

Amazon CloudFront, an Awesome CDN

The Cloud

Photo by Zeitspuren

The CloudBe prepared to move with the clouds.

Amazon announced CloudFront just about a day back and we were extremely excited that we would be able to serve files faster to our users.

I won’t detail about Amazon CloudFront as their blog have done a good job on that — Distribute Your Content With Amazon CloudFront.

What our team did was some simple test to see the speed and response time for our new Amazon CloudFront CDN-ed content.

The Test and the Result (INDIA)

First, we created a distribution for our AWS S3 bucket and put a file in the bucket. We then download the file from the CloudFront

$ wget http://mydist.cloudfront.net/wallpaper.jpg

We got an average speed of 60 KBps! :-)

Next, we tried downloading the same file directly from our S3 bucket

$ wget http://mybucket.s3.amazonaws.com/wallpaper.jpg

Then, we saw that we got an average speed of 10 KBps :-(

So, we decided to figure out which CloudFront server were we redirected to from India. We did a simple dig on our CloudFront URL

$ dig mydist.cloudfront.net

And look for yourself —

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;mydist.cloudfront.net.	IN	A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.211
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.216
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.213
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.108
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.100
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.233
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.201
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.55.35

Hmm. Let’s find out where the servers are really located ;)

$ traceroute 216.137.55.211

Be ready to be surprised.

1  192.168.0.254 (192.168.0.254)  1.538 ms  1.911 ms  2.421 ms
2  * * *
3  dsl-mum-erx-238.127.144.59.airtelbroadband.in (59.144.127.238)  39.002 ms  40.846 ms  41.552 ms
4  125.18.13.137 (125.18.13.137)  44.072 ms  44.514 ms  44.787 ms
5  125.21.167.25 (125.21.167.25)  77.995 ms  80.059 ms  80.509 ms
6  p4-2-0-0.r01.sngpsi02.sg.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.12.225)  110.669 ms 94.407 ms  94.981 ms
7  ge-0-0-0.r00.sngpsi02.sg.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.33)  103.501 ms 103.697 ms  104.116 ms
8  * p1-1-1-3.r02.newthk01.hk.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.4.129)  136.561 ms 138.106 ms
9  ae-4.r20.newthk01.hk.bb.gin.ntt.net (129.250.2.246)  138.550 ms 139.714 ms  140.381 ms
10  po-2.a05.newthk01.hk.ra.gin.ntt.net (203.131.240.174)  144.352 ms 145.710 ms  146.653 ms
11  203.131.243.162 (203.131.243.162)  150.713 ms  151.553 ms  153.725 ms
12  216.137.55.211 (216.137.55.211)  156.607 ms  128.642 ms  129.524 ms

Neat, from India to Hong Kong in 12 hops :-)

The Test and the Result (US)

Cool. We then decided to see how better is it for people in the United States by using a server located physically in the US.

$ dig mydist.cloudfront.net
;; ANSWER SECTION:
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.110
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.157
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.171
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.46
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.224
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.65
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.77
mydist.cloudfront.net. 60 IN	A	216.137.39.225
$ traceroute 216.137.39.110
1  209-20-80-2.slicehost.net (209.20.80.2)  0.000 ms  0.000 ms  0.000 ms
2  209.20.79.225 (209.20.79.225)  0.000 ms  0.000 ms  0.000 ms
3  ge-6-13-115.car1.StLouis1.Level3.net (4.79.132.225)  0.000 ms 0.000 ms 0.000 ms
4  ae-11-11.car2.StLouis1.Level3.net (4.69.132.186)  0.000 ms  4.001 ms 0.000 ms
5  AMAZONCOM.car2.StLouis1.Level3.net (4.53.162.66)  0.000 ms  0.000 ms 0.000 ms
6  216.137.39.110 (216.137.39.110)  0.000 ms  0.000 ms  0.000 ms

Wow! Only 6 hops :-)

So, as you can see CloudFront really works as a good Content Delivery Network and is extremely affordable, no entry cost at all. Check out their blog.

  1. Amazing stuff! Amazon is building an amazing technology stack for large applications development. I'm sure they are going to make A LOT of money in the future.

  2. Amazing stuff! Amazon is building an amazing technology stack for large applications development. I'm sure they are going to make A LOT of money in the future.

  3. If I start using Cloudfront, how will they charge?

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