Amazon to Launch Content Delivery Service

Amazon is getting into the content delivery business to help organizations better deliver their content from the edge of the network. The new service will work with Amazon's S3 data storage service and will be provided on a pay-as-you-go basis.'s Amazon Web Services group has announced that the company will be delivering a content delivery service.

Adam Selipsky, vice president of product management and developer relations for Amazon Web Services, said the new service will provide organizations with a high performance method of distributing content to end users, giving customers low latency and high data transfer rates when they access an organization's objects. The initial release will help developers and businesses who need to deliver popular, publicly readable content over HTTP connections, he said.

"Our goal is to create a content delivery service that: Lets developers and businesses get started easily--there are no term contracts, and no commitments. You will only pay for what you actually use," said a letter to customers from the Amazon Web Services Team.

Moreover, the service is simple and easy to use--a single, simple API call is all that is needed to get started delivering content. And the service works seamlessly with Amazon's S3 (Simple Storage Service). This provides users with durable storage for the original, definitive versions of their files while making the content delivery service easier to use.

In addition, Selipsky said the new Amazon content delivery system will have a global presence. "We use a global network of edge locations on three continents to deliver your content from the most appropriate location," the AWS team letter said.

"It's meant to let businesses and users get started quickly," Selipsky said. "It's really pay by the drink-you get what you pay for."

Selipsky said Amazon will make the service broadly available to business users by the end of the year. The company is working with a set of private beta customers right now.

"You'll start by storing the original version of your objects in Amazon S3, making sure they are publicly readable," the AWS letter said. "Then, you'll make a simple API call to register your bucket with the new content delivery service. This API call will return a new domain name for you to include in your Web pages or application. When clients request an object using this domain name, they will be automatically routed to the nearest edge location for high performance delivery of your content. It's that simple."

One industry observer, who works for a competing organization, said the new move "makes perfect sense" for Amazon, because "people are storing their stuff on S3 and using a CDN [content delivery network] to distribute," he said. However, the observer, who asked not to be identified, questioned the decision to get into the CDN market, which he deemed as a headache.

Yet, Selipsky said Amazon believes it can enter this business, which he acknowledged presents challenges to some, with a good offering at a pay-as-you-go, no-contract pricing model. "What sets us apart is the lack of friction-there are no contracts and no commitments," he said. "You only pay for what you use. And we have a cloud and this [content delivery service] will be a big part of that story."