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Really useful article, though I don't agree with not using a CDN instead of S3. There are multiple articles which proves the performance of S3 being quite bad, and not useful for serving assets, comparing to CloudFront.

The issue with CloudFront is the tremendous cost of $600/mo for custom domain SSL certificate. You also need to apply and get approved. There many not-so-obvious limits and blocks and unless you pay for support (which is pretty cheap, by the way), it may take you a week to lift those - you need to request them one by one and various teams approve/disapprove the requests. It's totally ridiculous.

I'll admit I hadn't really look at this in depth, using S3 without a CDN solved a particular use case I had a while ago, and it just seemed unnecessary to add a CDN in front of it. I've been doing some reading today, and it seems I was wrong. Adding a CDN in front adds lots of benefits I didn't know about!

I'll update the article soon to add in the new information.

also the outbound bandwidth cost of S3 is very high. it would cost us several times what we're paying for s3+cloudfront to serve our content straight from s3.

Even cloudfront is ridiculously overpriced for a CDN. If you're pushing anything close to real bandwidth you could do a lot better elsewhere.

If you're pushing anything close to real bandwidth you're probably getting an individually negotiated price that is not public.

Not with Amazon you aren't, they are amazingly stringent in their pricing on this matter.

http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/pricing/ the reserved capacity pricing is much better than the on demand pricing. Basically like EC2 on demand vs reservations. We set our reserved capacity at about 70-80% of what we expect to use most of the time. We could probably shave a few tenths of a cent per gig off but we get a good price on everything above what we've reserved so it's worked out.

If you use a lot of cloudfront bandwidth without setting up a reservation, yeah... you're gonna pay through the nose.

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