Amazon CloudFront Dynamic Content Delivery

Deliver personalized, dynamic web content at no additional cost without writing new code

If you are serving dynamic content such as web applications or APIs directly from an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) or Amazon EC2 instances to end users on the internet, you can improve the performance, availability, and security of your content by using Amazon CloudFront as your content delivery network. With Amazon CloudFront, your end users connections are terminated at CloudFront locations closer to them, which helps in reducing the overall round trip time required to establish a connection. These CloudFront locations are connected to the highly resilient Amazon Backbone Network that provides superior performance and availability for connection to AWS origins. In addition, various other optimization such as persistent TCP connections to the origin, SSL enhancements such as Session tickets and OCSP stapling helps in improving the performance even for non-cacheable, dynamic content.

Use cases for dynamic content delivery with the CDN

Application development, APIs, IoT, telemetry

For inbound data and API calls from devices, responsiveness and reliability of short, bursty requests can make or break real-world interactions and device behavior. In addition, the emerging world of voice assistants, smart homes, and other applications that require a low latency connection to cloud resources to process responses or actions can benefit from transaction acceleration through the CDN, especially when devices may be deployed on transient, congested, or lossy connections.

Case study: Slack uses Amazon CloudFront for secure API acceleration

 Slack improved their API security and realized an approximately 300ms faster response time with Amazon CloudFront. The average latency around the world to dropped from 90ms to 15ms. The team uses Amazon CloudFront to accelerate their API globally. It gives them flexibility to apply various security measures at the edge.

Slack Talks About Secure API Acceleration with Amazon CloudFront (14:56)

These applications are highly personalized (e.g. recommendations) and dynamically changing (e.g. inventory, pricing). Fast discovery of products via search and browse is critical. Performance improvements for applications here translate directly into revenue and end user loyalty. Amazon Cloudfront's support for dynamic content profiles and transaction acceleration optimizations make applications like these perform well under high demand. Extensive options for cookie and querystring handling, cache key modification , CDN and client-side cache-control allow for maximizing what content is cached, what comes directly from the origin.


Targeted ads are computed on-the-fly based on cookie or query string data, and advertisers generally need low latency in serving ads. Amazon CloudFront can help meet the performance and personalization needs for such applications either by accelerating ad targeting calls from client to ad server, caching and delivering the ad creatives, or optimizing the reporting beacon calls.

News, sports, local, weather

Web applications of this type often have a geographic focus with customized content for end users. Content can be cached at edge locations for varying lengths of time depending on type of content. For example, hourly updates can be cached for up to an hour, while urgent alerts may only be cached for a few seconds so end users always have the most up to date information available to them. A content delivery network is a great platform for serving common types of experiences for news and weather such as articles, dynamic map tiles, overlays, forecasts, breaking news or alert tickers, and video.

Case study: Earth Networks uses Amazon CloudFront to customize their users' experience

Earth Networks provides consumers and businesses weather and atmospheric data. Millions of users turn to the company’s WeatherBug products, which include mobile and desktop apps and the website

Earth Networks uses a CDN so that they can provide dynamic and personalized web based content quickly to their users with very low latency and high performing response times. Specifically, they need to be able to provide local information to the end user, in near real time, and need a CDN that allows them to adjust things like time to live, query strings, and cookie information so that they can pass all that information back to the origin to pull just what the user needs.

Earth Networks on AWS - CloudFront Success Story (4:18)
Mobile applications

Amazon Cloudfront can provide numerous benefits to mobile applications and web sites. From performing device detection, to caching variants by device characteristics, to working with Lambda@Edge to perform image optimization, Cloudfront can improve responsiveness and save money by reducing bytes delivered while retaining visual experience.

Learn more about Amazon CloudFront pricing

As part of the AWS Free Usage Tier, you can get started with Amazon CloudFront for free. Upon sign-up, new AWS customers receive 50 GB Data Transfer Out and 2,000,000 HTTP and HTTPS Requests each month for one year.

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