Monday, November 17, 2008

Amazon launches CloudFront Content Delivery Service

Quick note before I go to bed. Amazon just announced their previously discussed content delivery network service, CloudFront, tonight. Jeff Barr lays it out for you on the AWS blog, and Werner Vogels adds his vision for the service. To their credit, they are pushing the concept that the way the service is designed, it can do much more than traditional content delivery services; potentially acting as a cacheing and routing mechanism for applications distributed across EC2 "availability zones".

I think Thorsten von Eiken of RightScale gives the most honest assessment of the service tonight. He praises the simplicity of use, noting that his product supports all CloudFront functionality today. Noting that CloudFront is a "'minimum viable product' offering" at this time, he also notes that there are several restrictions, and that there are some features that leave a lot to be desired. That being said, both Amazon and RightScale are clear that this is a necessary service for Amazon to offer, and that it is indeed useful today.

More when I've had a chance to evaluate it, but congrats again to the Amazon team for staying a few steps ahead.

Update: Stacy Higginbotham adds some excellent insight from the GigaOm crew on CloudFront's effect on the overall CDN market. The short short is that Amazon's "pay-as-you-go" pricing severely undercuts the major CDN vendors for small and medium businesses.