Amazon Floats The Cloud Closer To End Users - InformationWeek

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9/19/2008
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Jim Manico
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Amazon Floats The Cloud Closer To End Users

Amazon continues to spread its cloud-computing wings with a new content-delivery service it says will help businesses get their files onto their customers' computing systems via the Internet quicker than ever.

Amazon continues to spread its cloud-computing wings with a new content-delivery service it says will help businesses get their files onto their customers' computing systems via the Internet quicker than ever.The content-deliver service, for now, is still in private beta, but is scheduled for public release by year's end. According to an article in The New York Times: "The content delivery service joins Amazon's existing storage, software and database services where customers can store their data and code at Amazon's data centers. The idea behind this push is that Amazon has developed vast expertise at running a complex Web operation, so it can lend a helping hand to those customers who would prefer not to manage their own computing systems."

Amazon's existing service is, of course, Simple Storage Service (S3), which has been a big hit among small and midsize businesses thanks to its rent-disk-space-by-the-gigabyte pricing structure. Its new service continues to speak to same language, as well. Among the highlights: no commitment or minimum usage requirements, just one API is needed to get you up and running, and seamless integration with S3.

"We are expanding the cloud by adding a new service that will give developers and businesses the ability to serve data to their customers worldwide, using low latency and high data transfer rates," explains Amazon CTO Werner Vogels in his blog. "Using a global network of edge locations, this new service can deliver popular data stored in Amazon S3 to customers around the globe through local access."

"Local" is really what's key here. "Local servers offer lower latencies that are especially important for streaming applications, and reduce loading on networks and systems alike," says Ars Technica's Peter Bright. "Instead of having to serve all data from one location, content delivery networks (CDNs) serve data from a location near the end-user, spreading the network and system load across many different machines and locales."

How much Amazon is going to charge has yet to be disclosed, but not having to sign on a dotted line is sure to be appreciated by small businesses. GigaOm even goes so far as to call the new service "disruptive," and one that could "become a thorn in the side of existing giants such as Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks."

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