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Honda Migrates Content Delivery Network to Amazon CloudFront, Optimizing Costs and Performance


Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Honda) has a stated goal of serving people worldwide with the “joy of expanding their life’s potential.” In 2020, as part of its mission to provide the best possible customer experience, Honda performed an evaluation of several different content delivery network (CDN) providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), for its Japanese website. After a thorough assessment, the company determined that using AWS solutions would meet Honda’s high-quality standards for performance, availability, reliability, and scalability. As a result of migrating its Japanese domain as well as Honda global sites’ CDN to AWS, the company has maintained the high quality and performance it requires for its website while optimizing costs.

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Using AWS, we’ve been able to optimize costs for procuring both content delivery servers and servers to host the website content.” 

Shinsuke Taniguchi
Webmaster, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Maintaining Exceptionally High-Quality Standards

Honda, a Japan-based motor vehicle manufacturer, has been one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers since 1959. The company is always looking to provide a better customer experience and has extremely high-quality standards for both its products and its websites.

In 2017, Honda had migrated its infrastructure from its on-premises data centers to AWS. As a result of that migration, Honda saw a significant reduction in the time that it took engineers to manage its infrastructure. At that time, Honda was not looking to also switch CDN providers. However, because the company conducts regular reevaluations of its choice of service providers, in 2020 it performed an assessment of potential CDN providers for its websites. “Every few years, we reevaluate to see what other solutions might make better sense in terms of cost and performance,” says Shinsuke Taniguchi, webmaster at Honda. 

To do this, Honda recreated its CDN setup with different vendors, conducting full-cycle regression testing to compare ease of management and performance. The company determined the best response times resulted from using Amazon CloudFront—a CDN service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience. CloudFront uses a global edge network made up of over 410 points of presence around the world to deliver content with lower latency to users. Some of the improvements made to CloudFront in 2020 include increased points of presence, faster cache invalidation, and improved propagation time. Honda considered all this information while assessing which solution would offer the most in terms of future capability. After its evaluation was complete, Honda decided to migrate its CDN to AWS.

Optimizing Costs and Performance in the Cloud

Because Honda had been using a different CDN for several years, it had complicated settings in place based on the previous provider’s capabilities. During the migration process, the company worked with an AWS Partner, who suggested that using Lambda@Edge—a feature of CloudFront that provides users the ability to run code closer to users of their application, which improves performance and reduces latency—would help with the complicated configuration, migration, and customization. 

The migration of Honda’s top-level domain was supported by Amazon Route 53, a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service. Route 53 effectively connects user requests to infrastructure running on AWS and can also be used to route users to infrastructure outside of AWS. The service is designed to work with other AWS features and services, so implementing Route 53 alongside CloudFront was quick and simple. 

Because Honda wanted to make sure that the solution would meet its high-quality standards, the testing and migration of the CDN lasted about 6 months. This time included initial planning, proof of concept environment setup, a full-cycle operation test, performance tests, and finally, the migration itself. And because Honda had already migrated its infrastructure to AWS in 2017, the CDN migration was completed more quickly than it would have been using Honda’s previous on-premises data centers. “The agility of using AWS solutions made us feel confident that we could complete this migration quickly,” says Taniguchi. 

During both the 2017 and 2020 migrations, Honda and its AWS Partner turned to AWS for support in optimizing Honda’s use of the cloud. The support included helping Honda to develop new workflows as well as answering any questions or concerns the company had during the migration. “This helped to assure us that the solution would meet our requirements,” Taniguchi says. “That was one of the highlights of using AWS.” 

As a result of adopting AWS solutions for both its infrastructure and its CDN, Honda has seen increased performance, availability, reliability, and scalability. Some other benefits include a reduction in the time that engineers spend managing infrastructure as well as cost optimization for provisioning servers. “Using AWS, we’ve been able to optimize costs for procuring both content delivery servers and servers to host the website content,” says Taniguchi.

Looking Forward to a Future in the Cloud

Honda continues to raise the bar in providing high-quality experiences for customers, and it looks forward to continuing its journey on AWS. “Since we migrated to AWS, there’s less time and work required to maintain our infrastructure,” says Taniguchi. As a result, Honda has greater flexibility in moving human resources to where they’re needed. The company can procure or decommission material resources on demand, giving Honda increased agility and the confidence to try out new services. “We’re interested in how AWS solutions will evolve,” says Taniguchi. “We’re looking forward to gaining insight on new services as we move forward and increase our adoption of the cloud.”

About Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Honda is a mobility company that offers a wide range of products which, in total, makes Honda the world's largest power unit manufacturer. Since its founding, Honda has been contributing to the advancement of mobility and peoples' daily lives.

Benefits of AWS

  • Optimized costs for procuring both content delivery and hosting servers
  • Improved website response times
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Decreased latency

AWS Services Used

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.

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Amazon Route 53

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service. It is designed to give developers and businesses an extremely reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications.

Learn more »


Lambda@Edge is a feature of Amazon CloudFront that lets you run code closer to users of your application, which improves performance and reduces latency. With Lambda@Edge, you don't have to provision or manage infrastructure in multiple locations around the world.

Learn more »

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