Amazon Web Services (AWS), a provider of Internet data storage and delivery services, is planning to release an unnamed content delivery service that will likely undercut the existing Content Delivery Network (CDN) competition to provide customers with faster and cheaper digital content delivery options.AWS prompted users to plan for this new release in an e-mail sent to its current customer base and shared the excitement about the latest developments of a new content delivery network, which is sure to shake things up a bit.
The New CDN on the Block
This new -- and yet unnamed -- service by Amazon will provide users with new ways to deliver content that are similar to the likes of Akamai, Softlayer and Limelight CDNs. CDN is a way to serve content to various regions in a faster and more efficient way by using a network of local servers. With an increased demand for multimedia content and high-quality video, these elements typically take the brunt of the loading and delivery time. With CDN, content can be delivered faster thanks to multiple servers placed in various locations around the globe. AWS plans to offer HTTP-only delivery for video and non-video content types.
Now, considering that Amazon already got its hands dirty with Amazon S3, a data storage service, it was only a question of when this would happen. The new CDN will expand upon the infrastructure already built by Amazon and is likely to expand Amazon's web presence in data management and delivery.
Amazon Can Do It Better
Werner Vogels, CTO for Amazon.com, believes that Amazon can provide a content delivery solution that will meet customer's needs. The benefits include:
* Cost-Effectiveness: Users pay only for what they use with no minimum usage requirements and no commitments.
* Ease of Use: A single API call is all users need to start delivering content.
* Interoperability: Integration with Amazon S3 and accessibility via HTTP ensures that content is readily available.
* Efficiency: By using multiple servers on three continents, data is served faster.
Based on the principles of Cloud Computing, which is all about location independence, the new CDN is quite important, as stated by Vogels on his blog: "This is an important first step in expanding the cloud to give developers even more control over how their applications and their data are served by the cloud."
When Will It Be Available?
The service is currently in private beta, but "Before the end of the year we are planning to release a new service for content delivery," says the official AWS blog.
While being vague on the details, the AWS team hopes to provide users with a faster, reliable and accessible way for distributing data on low latency networks with high data transfer rates by the end of this year, which is not that far away.
It will be interesting to see the pricing of Amazon's new CDN services. Amazon S3 is extremely cheap for storing gigabytes of data. Content producers are probably hoping that the cheap pricing from other AWS products will translate over to the CDN.
All we can say is that Limelight and Akamai Technologies better watch out as Amazon is going to bring the competition. The company has already revolutionized web-based data storage, and they might be coming out with something that can revolutionize content delivery.
On the other hand, there’s no evidence of AWS being able to support functionality like Flash, Silverlight, live streaming, transcoding and web analytics – something that is already supported by major CDN players. So, at this point, it is hard to predict if Amazon is equipped to compete with the biggies in the CDN space. But if you a small company that just wants to deliver video and be done with it, then Amazon might be the right choice for you.
If you're interested in being the first to know about future developments, Amazon has provided a form on their website that will allow users to be notified of further developments.