AWS CloudFront: How it Works
CloudFront is an AWS content delivery network service that uses a global edge network. Amazon CloudFront is well connected to all major access networks and peers with thousands of Tier 1/2/3 telecom providers internationally for best performance. It also has a deployment capacity of hundreds of terabits. Through the fully redundant, multiple 100GbE parallel fibers that circle the globe and link with tens of thousands of networks for improved origin fetches and dynamic content acceleration, CloudFront edge sites are connected to the AWS Regions through the AWS network backbone.
Amazon CloudFront leverages a worldwide network of 450+ Points of Presence and 13 regional edge caches in 90+ cities across 49 countries to serve content to end users with lower latency. Locations for Amazon CloudFront Edge include:
- Protection from attacks at the application and network layers: AWS CloudFront works seamlessly with other AWS services like WAF and Shield to build a flexible, tiered security barrier against various assaults, such as DDoS attacks at the network and application layers. These services coexist at the AWS edge and offer a high-performance, scalable, dependable security perimeter for applications and information. The primary attack surface is shifted away from crucial content, data, code, and infrastructure by using CloudFront as the “front door” to an application and infrastructure.
- Caching of data: Web applications frequently have to deal with traffic peaks during high activity. The quantity of requests from the application origin automatically decreases while using Amazon CloudFront. Only when necessary is content fetched from origins; otherwise, it is cached in CloudFront’s edge and regional caches. When a centralized caching layer is enabled utilizing Origin Shield, the load on application origins can be further decreased. Origin Shield reduces requests across regions and improves cache hit rates, resulting in as few as one origin request for each object. The decreased traffic enhances the availability of your applications to your origins.
- Origin Failover: To ensure redundancy in the backend architecture, CloudFront allows numerous origins. When the primary origin is unavailable, CloudFront’s native origin failover feature automatically serves content from a backup origin. The sources configured using origin failover can be any combination of non-AWS origins like an on-premises HTTP server and AWS origins like EC2 instances, Amazon S3 buckets, or Media Services.
- Geo-restriction: You can utilize geographic limits, also called geo-blocking, to restrict access to content you deliver through a CloudFront distribution to users in particular geographic areas.
Invalidations: If a file in the CloudFront edge caches has to be deleted before it expires, you can use invalidations in CloudFront. To invalidate, you can enter either the path for specific files or a path that ends with the * wildcard to invalidate files; the latter may apply to a single file or a number of files
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Getting Started with CloudFront
Here are easy steps on how to use CloudFront.
Step 1. Log in to the AWS console to setup the distribution
Login to AWS Console with user credentials.
Step 2. Creating cloud-front distribution.
Go to the CloudFront dashboard and click on create distributions.
Choose your preferred origin.
Created distribution will appear in the list.
Step 3. All set! Deliver content more quickly.
Demo Architecture Diagram
CloudFront distribution with failover origin and WAF
A content delivery network (CDN) called Amazon CloudFront expedites the delivery of static and dynamic web content to end users.
Through what is known as an edge location network, CloudFront distributes content globally. The request is routed to the edge location with the lowest latency when an end user requests content you serve through CloudFront.
CloudFront distributes content by utilizing the AWS global network, which links AWS edge sites to AWS Regions. Moving the network traffic across the AWS global network reduces latency and strengthens the security posture of your application. By caching copies of your files at numerous edge locations worldwide, you can improve the dependability and accessibility of your web apps.
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1. What distinguishes Amazon CloudFront from Amazon S3?
ANS: – Amazon CloudFront is an excellent option for distributing frequently requested static material that benefits from edge delivery, such as popular website photos, videos, media files, or software downloads.
2. Do non-AWS origin servers support Amazon CloudFront?
ANS: – Yes. Any origin server that houses the initial, final versions of your content, both static and dynamic, is compatible with Amazon CloudFront. The use of a custom origin is free of charge.
3. Is the regional edge cache functionality always on?
ANS: – Yes. This feature is already enabled by default for all new and current CloudFront distributions, so you don’t need to change them. Using this feature won’t cost you anything more.
4. Which HTTP request types does Amazon CloudFront support?
ANS: – Requests for GET, HEAD, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, and OPTIONS are currently supported by Amazon CloudFront.
WRITTEN BY Aadish Jain