Amazon Web Services personalizes CloudFront Web hosting service

Amazon Web Services has extended its CloudFront Web hosting service to include dynamic content that can be personalized for each visitor.

Web sites already using CloudFront to host or cache static page elements can now also use it to serve up dynamic elements that are personalized for each user from servers within AWS’s EC2 compute cloud, the company said Monday. Pricing is the same as for static data, starting at US$0.12/GB (or $0.02/GB after the first 5PB) and $0.0075 per 10,000 HTTP requests.

CloudFront serves content from 30 locations worldwide, compared to the more than 1700 locations in Akamai’s CDN (content delivery network).

But AWS said CloudFront’s dynamic content hosting is easier to use than traditional CDNs, which it said often require custom code on websites and can take days or weeks to configure. In contrast, AWS claimed, accelerating a website with CloudFront can be done in minutes using the AWS Management Console.

One of the first companies to make use of the new feature is CloudBerry Lab, which develops tools to manage files stored in CloudFront and in AWS’s S3 storage service. On Monday, it posted a tutorial on using its CloudBerry S3 Explorer to configure CloudFront dynamic content on its blog.

AWS is beefing up the CloudFront service: Last month it added the ability to stream live content to Apple iOS devices and to PCs running Microsoft’s SilverLight.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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