With the release of CloudFront, Amazon continues to build out a full selection of cloud computing offerings. With CloudFront even small developers can gain the power of a global content distribution network (much like Akamai). Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, explains the service in this post:
Expanding the Cloud: Amazon CloudFront – All Things Distributed
Today marks the launch of Amazon CloudFront, the new Amazon Web Service for content delivery. It integrates seamlessly with Amazon S3 to provide low-latency distribution of content with high data transfer speeds through a world-wide network of edge locations. It requires no upfront commitments and is a pay-as-you-go service in the same style as the other Amazon Web Services.
Amazon CloudFront has been designed to be fast; the service will cache copies of the content in edge locations close to the end-user’s location, significantly lowering the access latency to the content. High sustainable data transfer rates can be achieved with the service especially when distributing larger objects.
A very robust discussion about could computing is going on over at the O’Reilly Radar, associated with this post:
Open Source and Cloud Computing – O’Reilly Radar
I’ve been worried for some years that the open source movement might fall prey to the problem that Kim Stanley Robinson so incisively captured in Green Mars: “History is a wave that moves through time slightly faster than we do.” Innovators are left behind, as the world they’ve changed picks up on their ideas, runs with them, and takes them in unexpected directions.
In recent months I’ve written more and more about Cloud Computing, and have been a fan of it’s most prominent tool Amazon’s S3. Well, it looks like S3 had another major failure yesterday. I didn’t notice because I spent the day away from the internet, but according to many blog posts, the service was down for several hours. That’s not good, Amazon. Here’s a link to Om Malik’s post regarding the failure:
S3 Outage Highlights Fragility of Web Services – GigaOM
That said, the outage shows that cloud computing still has a long road ahead when it comes to reliability. NASDAQ, Activision, Business Objects and Hasbro are some of the large companies using Amazon’s S3 Web Services. But even as cloud computing starts to gain traction with companies like these and most of our business and communication activities are shifting online, web services are still fragile, in part because we are still using technologies built for a much less strenuous web.
Amit Agrawal, over at Digital Inspiration, has an excellent set of posts about what Amazon’s S3 web service is all about. Check it out:
Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service – Everything You Wanted to Know
Now some people assume that Amazon S3 is a storage service meant primarily for web start-ups who store data in-the-cloud but that’s not correct because just about anyone (home users included) can benefit from S3.
For instance, you may backup your large music collection or even your entire computer hard-drive on S3. Similarly, bloggers can use Amazon S3 to store web images without worrying too much about their bandwidth bills.
If you never had a chance to explore Amazon S3 before, read the following guide that makes S3 simple even for non-geeks. It has all the information and tools you would need to quickly get started with Amazon S3.
The followup post is here.
As I’m writing this, amazon.com is down. It’s not just me, others are twittering about it. I can’t remember the last time a major site like Amazon going down. It’s been down for a while. Amazon’s cloud services seem to be working just fine, however, as my Amazon S3 account is still accessible. It can’t be good for Bezos’ push into cloud computing if his anchor site is down.
Update: @ 3.35pm EDT it looks like amazon.com is back up. I wonder if we’ll get an explanation on the downtime.
Om Malik managed to catch Jeff Bezos offstage at Walt Mossberg’s D6 conference last week, and the resulting video provides great insight into Amazon’s cloud computing efforts. If you haven’t been following the build out of cloud computing as closely as I have, let me provide some context. Amazon introduced several computing solutions that act like infrastructure utilities. They are priced by a usage model and are highly scalable. The resulting effect has been to provide a very powerful infrastructure to both individuals and startups to build robust computing solutions on. These solutions range from simple file storage, at a very affordable 15 cents per gigabyte per month, to complex computing and database applications. What makes Amazon’s efforts so significant is that the services allow everyone to harness storage and scalability in a leasing model whereby you only pay for the ‘amount’ – of storage, database and computing power – that you use, nothing more and nothing less.