What is Amazon CloudFront?
Who uses Amazon CloudFront?
Amazon CloudFront Integrations
Why developers like Amazon CloudFront?
Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Amazon CloudFront in their tech stack.
Back in 2014, I was given an opportunity to re-architect SmartZip Analytics platform, and flagship product: SmartTargeting. This is a SaaS software helping real estate professionals keeping up with their prospects and leads in a given neighborhood/territory, finding out (thanks to predictive analytics) who's the most likely to list/sell their home, and running cross-channel marketing automation against them: direct mail, online ads, email... The company also does provide Data APIs to Enterprise customers.
I had inherited years and years of technical debt and I knew things had to change radically. The first enabler to this was to make use of the cloud and go with AWS, so we would stop re-inventing the wheel, and build around managed/scalable services.
For the SaaS product, we kept on working with Rails as this was what my team had the most knowledge in. We've however broken up the monolith and decoupled the front-end application from the backend thanks to the use of Rails API so we'd get independently scalable micro-services from now on.
Our various applications could now be deployed using AWS Elastic Beanstalk so we wouldn't waste any more efforts writing time-consuming Capistrano deployment scripts for instance. Combined with Docker so our application would run within its own container, independently from the underlying host configuration.
Storage-wise, we went with Amazon S3 and ditched any pre-existing local or network storage people used to deal with in our legacy systems. On the database side: Amazon RDS / MySQL initially. Ultimately migrated to Amazon RDS for Aurora / MySQL when it got released. Once again, here you need a managed service your cloud provider handles for you.
Future improvements / technology decisions included:
Caching: Amazon ElastiCache / Memcached CDN: Amazon CloudFront Systems Integration: Segment / Zapier Data-warehousing: Amazon Redshift BI: Amazon Quicksight / Superset Search: Elasticsearch / Amazon Elasticsearch Service / Algolia Monitoring: New Relic
As our usage grows, patterns changed, and/or our business needs evolved, my role as Engineering Manager then Director of Engineering was also to ensure my team kept on learning and innovating, while delivering on business value.
One of these innovations was to get ourselves into Serverless : Adopting AWS Lambda was a big step forward. At the time, only available for Node.js (Not Ruby ) but a great way to handle cost efficiency, unpredictable traffic, sudden bursts of traffic... Ultimately you want the whole chain of services involved in a call to be serverless, and that's when we've started leveraging Amazon DynamoDB on these projects so they'd be fully scalable.
StackShare Feed is built entirely with React, Glamorous, and Apollo. One of our objectives with the public launch of the Feed was to enable a Server-side rendered (SSR) experience for our organic search traffic. When you visit the StackShare Feed, and you aren't logged in, you are delivered the Trending feed experience. We use an in-house Node.js rendering microservice to generate this HTML. This microservice needs to run and serve requests independent of our Rails web app. Up until recently, we had a mono-repo with our Rails and React code living happily together and all served from the same web process. In order to deploy our SSR app into a Heroku environment, we needed to split out our front-end application into a separate repo in GitHub. The driving factor in this decision was mostly due to limitations imposed by Heroku specifically with how processes can't communicate with each other. A new SSR app was created in Heroku and linked directly to the frontend repo so it stays in-sync with changes.
Related to this, we need a way to "deploy" our frontend changes to various server environments without building & releasing the entire Ruby application. We built a hybrid Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFront solution to host our Webpack bundles. A new CircleCI script builds the bundles and uploads them to S3. The final step in our rollout is to update some keys in Redis so our Rails app knows which bundles to serve. The result of these efforts were significant. Our frontend team now moves independently of our backend team, our build & release process takes only a few minutes, we are now using an edge CDN to serve JS assets, and we have pre-rendered React pages!
#StackDecisionsLaunch #SSR #Microservices #FrontEndRepoSplit
In the early days features like My Dubs, which enable users to upload their Dubs onto our platform, uploads were going directly against our API, which then stored the files in Amazon S3.
We quickly saw that this approach was crumbling our API performance big time. Since users usually have slower internet connections on their phones, the process of uploading the file took up a huge percentage of the processing time on our end, forcing us to spin up way more machines than we actually needed. We since have moved to a multi-way handshake-like upload process that uses signed URLs vendored to the clients upon request so they can upload the files directly to S3. These files are then distributed, cached, and served back to other clients through Amazon CloudFront.
#AssetsAndMedia #ContentDeliveryNetwork #CloudStorage
I'm the CTO of a marketing automation SaaS. Because of the continuously increasing load we moved to the AWSCloud. We are using more and more features of AWS: Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon SNS, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53 and so on.
Our main Database is MySQL but for the hundreds of GB document data we use MongoDB more and more. We started to use Redis for cache and other time sensitive operations.
On the front-end we use jQuery UI + Smarty but now we refactor our app to use Vue.js with Vuetify. Because our app is relatively complex we need to use vuex as well.
On the development side we use GitHub as our main repo, Docker for local and server environment and Jenkins and AWS CodePipeline for Continuous Integration.
When I first built my portfolio I used GitHub for the source control and deployed directly to Netlify on a push to master. This was a perfect setup, I didn't need any knowledge about #DevOps or anything, it was all just done for me.
Over the weekend I decided I wanted to know more about how #DevOps worked so I decided to switch from Netlify to Amazon S3. Instead of creating any #Git Webhooks I decided to use Buddy for my pipeline and to run commands. Buddy is a fantastic tool, very easy to setup builds, copying the files to my Amazon S3 bucket, then running some #AWS console commands to set the
When I made these changes I also wanted to monitor my code, and make sure I was keeping up with the best practices so I implemented Code Climate to look over my code and tell me where there
other issues I've been super happy with it so far, on the free tier so its also free.
I did plan on using Amazon CloudFront for my SSL and cacheing, however it was overly complex to setup and it costs money. So I decided to go with the free tier of CloudFlare and it is amazing, best choice I've made for caching / SSL in a long time.
I recently moved my portfolio to Amazon S3 and I needed a new way to cache and SSL my site as Amazon S3 does not come with this right out of the box. I tried Amazon CloudFront as I was already on Amazon S3 I thought this would be super easy and straight forward to setup... It was not, I was unable to get this working even though I followed all the online steps and even reached out for help to Amazon.
I'd used CloudFlare in the past, and thought let me see if I can set up CloudFlare on an Amazon S3 bucket. The setup for this was so basic and easy... I had it setup with caching and SSL within 5 minutes, and it was 100% free.
Amazon CloudFront's Features
- Fast- Using a network of edge locations around the world, Amazon CloudFront caches copies of your static content close to viewers, lowering latency when they download your objects and giving you the high, sustained data transfer rates needed to deliver large popular objects to end users at scale.
- Simple- A single API call lets you get started distributing content from your Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon EC2 instance or other origin server through the Amazon CloudFront network.
- Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services Amazon CloudFront is designed for use with other Amazon Web Services, including Amazon S3, where you can durably store the definitive versions of your static files, and Amazon EC2, where you can run your application server for dynamically generated content.
- Cost-Effective- Amazon CloudFront passes on the benefits of Amazon’s scale to you. You pay only for the content that you deliver through the network, without minimum commitments or up-front fees.
- Elastic- With Amazon CloudFront, you don’t need to worry about maintaining expensive web-server capacity to meet the demand from potential traffic spikes for your content. The service automatically responds as demand increases or decreases without any intervention from you.
- Reliable- Amazon CloudFront is built using Amazon’s highly reliable infrastructure. The distributed nature of edge locations used by Amazon CloudFront automatically routes end users to the closest available location as required by network conditions.
- Global- Amazon CloudFront uses a global network of edge locations, located near your end users in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America.