AWS Official Blog

Amazon CloudFront – Support for 20 GB Objects

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon CloudFront | | Comments

Tonight we have a post written by a guest blogger! Alex Dunlap is a Senior Manager on the AWS Team, responsible for Product Management for Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53. Take it away, Alex…

— Jeff;

Jeff reached out to me recently and asked if Id be willing to provide a guest post on the AWS blog, to give you a bit of insight into what were up to on one of the teams that build and operate AWS services. That sounded like a great idea to me, and Im happy to be the first of what Im sure will be many AWS service managers who write a post here to AWS users directly. Today, Im excited to tell you about a new feature were launching: support for larger objects up to 20 GB – in Amazon CloudFront.

One of the things I like the most about my job is talking with customers and learning how they are using AWS and Amazon CloudFront, and how we can make them even better. Over the last year or so, Ive heard from many Amazon CloudFront customers, particularly those using Amazon CloudFront for video delivery and for software downloads, that they had a need to deliver objects larger than our previous maximum file size of 5 GB.

When customers need to deliver large objects, there are two sides to the equation: the server side (in this case Amazon CloudFront) and the client side. The client side can be a video player or a file downloader app. There are lots of cool things you can do with both players and downloaders to improve reliability, performance, and user experience, but Ill leave those for another blog post. Today, Ill focus on what we did with Amazon CloudFront itself.

One of the first customers who contacted us asking if we could increase our maximum supported object size was GameFly, an online video game rental subscription service with over 1,500 Windows/Mac titles and more than 8,000 console games. GameFly recently announced a new digital PC client (currently in beta) and in anticipation of launching, they needed to ensure that they had a solution that would be able to handle the delivery of larger video game files that can be up to 16 GB each. They wanted to use Amazon CloudFront, but couldnt with our limit of 5 GB per file. They told us that while they had looked at options such as splitting their files into smaller sizes, the best option for their use case would be if we could simply support larger files.

When faced with a request like this, we ask ourselves: is there something that makes Gamefly unique? Or are they just the tip of an iceberg of what customers want? So we reached out to even more customers to ask whether this was an important feature to add as well as to understand the size of the files they needed to deliver. They told us very clearly, yes, bigger objects in Amazon CloudFront were the way to go! 20 Gigabytes emerged as the right size to support this addressed the needs both for high definition video and for large software download use cases. We then evaluated the technical work, made the decision to allow caching and delivery of files up to 20 GB, and started building the feature. Today, it launches and you can immediately start using Amazon CloudFront to deliver your larger files.

This is the easiest type of feature for customers to use, as it just works. Theres no need to configure anything special, you can just start using Amazon CloudFront for objects up to 20 GBs. This works not only with download (HTTP) distributions, but also with streaming (RTMP) of HD video files. And the feature works whether youre using Amazon S3 as the origin or your own custom origin.

Let us know what you think about this feature, or anything else about Amazon CloudFront we always love to hear your feedback on our services. Plus, if working in a space like this sounds interesting, wed like to hear from you as we have several jobs open in Product Management, Software Engineering, Business Development, Sales and Operations. Weve listed many of the open positions below.


Alex Dunlap