Table of Contents

AWS CloudFront, Cost Optimization, Strategies, Best Practices, FinOps, Amazon Web Services,

In today’s fast-paced world, no one likes to wait for more than a few seconds to access content on the internet. Whether it’s streaming videos or browsing websites, users demand fast and reliable access to information. For businesses, this means finding a solution that can serve their content quickly and efficiently to their users. This is where AWS CloudFront comes in.

AWS CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) that speeds up the delivery of static and dynamic content, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and video, to users around the world. By using CloudFront, businesses can distribute their content globally and reduce latency, ensuring a faster and more reliable user experience.

In this article, we’ll explore AWS CloudFront pricing and cost optimization strategies to help businesses make the most of this powerful CDN while keeping costs under control. With the right strategies in place, businesses can deliver their content quickly and efficiently without breaking the bank.

What is AWS CloudFront used for?

CloudFront is commonly used for serving web content, streaming media, and distributing software updates. It can also be used for other purposes, such as securing content with SSL/TLS and protecting against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Here are some common use cases for AWS CloudFront:

  1. Content delivery for websites: AWS CloudFront can be used to deliver static and dynamic content for websites, such as HTML, images, videos, and APIs. This can improve website performance and reduce latency for users around the world.
  2. Video streaming: CloudFront can also be used to deliver on-demand and live video streams. CloudFront supports a range of video formats and can deliver high-quality video at scale.
  3. Software downloads: CloudFront can be used to deliver software downloads, such as updates or installers, to users around the world. This can reduce the load on the origin server and improve download speeds for users.
  4. API acceleration: CloudFront can be used to accelerate APIs by caching API responses and reducing the number of requests to the origin server. This can improve API performance and reduce latency for users.
  5. E-commerce: CloudFront can be used to deliver e-commerce content, such as product images and descriptions, to users around the world.

Getting started with AWS CloudFront

Now we know what is AWS CloudFront and why to use it, this part will take you through how to use AWS CloudFront. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Create an AWS account: If you don’t already have an AWS account, the first step is to create one. You can sign up for a free tier account that gives you access to some AWS services, including CloudFront.
  2. Create an S3 bucket or use an existing one: S3 is an AWS storage service that can be used as the origin for your CloudFront distribution. You’ll need to create an S3 bucket and upload your content to it. Image: https://s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets?region=eu-north-1
  3. Create a CloudFront distribution: Once you have your S3 bucket set up, you can create a CloudFront distribution. Distribution is the publicly accessible version of your content, and it includes settings such as the origin, caching behavior, and security settings. Image: https://us-east-1.console.aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/v3/home?region=eu-north-1#/distributions
  4. Configure your distribution settings: After creating a distribution, you’ll need to configure its settings. These include the origin, cache behaviors, and viewer protocols. You can also configure additional settings, such as SSL/TLS and custom headers. Image: https://us-east-1.console.aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/v3/home?region=eu-north-1#/distributions/create
  5. Test your distribution: Once your distribution is set up, you can test it by accessing your content through the CloudFront domain name. You can also use CloudFront’s logging and monitoring features to track usage and performance. Alternatively, if you have enabled a real user monitoring tool on your website. In that case, you can check the session replays to ensure everything is correct, as oftentimes, we have seen Images break during the migration process.

By following these steps, you can get started with AWS CloudFront and start delivering your content faster and more efficiently to your users.

AWS CloudFront Costs and Pricing

AWS CloudFront pricing is based on two main factors: data transfer and requests. Let’s look at each of these factors in more detail:

Data Transfer Pricing:

AWS CloudFront charges for the amount of data transferred between CloudFront and end-users. CloudFront pricing varies by region and the amount of data transferred per month. Data transfer pricing is based on the following:

  • Data Transfer Out to Internet: This refers to the data transfer from CloudFront to the Internet, and pricing varies by region.
  Per MonthUnited States, Mexico, and Canada Europe and Israel  South Africa, Kenya, and Middle East South AmericaJapan Australia and New Zealand Hong Kong, Indonesia,  Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and VietnamIndia 
 First 10TB $0.085$0.085$0.110$0.110$0.114$0.114$0.120$0.109
 Next 40TB $0.080$0.080$0.105$0.105$0.089$0.098$0.100$0.085
 Next 100TB $0.060$0.060$0.090$0.090$0.086$0.094$0.095$0.082
 Next 350TB $0.040$0.040$0.080$0.080$0.084$0.092$0.090$0.080
 Next 524TB $0.030$0.030$0.060$0.060$0.080$0.090$0.080$0.078
 Next 4PB $0.025$0.025$0.050$0.050$0.070$0.085$0.070$0.075
 Over 5PB $0.020$0.020$0.040$0.040$0.060$0.080$0.060$0.072
Regional Data Transfer Out to the Internet (per GB)
  • Data Transfer Out to Origin: This refers to the data transfer from the origin to CloudFront, and pricing varies based on the region where the origin is located.
   United States, Mexico, and Canada Europe and Israel  South Africa, Kenya, and Middle East South America Japan Australia and New Zealand Hong Kong, Indonesia,  Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam  India 
All Data Transfer $0.020$0.020$0.060$0.125$0.060$0.080$0.060$0.160
Regional Data Transfer Out to Origin (per GB)
  • Data Transfer In: This refers to the data transfer from end-users to CloudFront and is FREE.

It’s important to note that CloudFront pricing is based on the data transfer volume in each pricing tier. AWS CloudFront pricing tiers range from 0 to 10 PB, with decreasing pricing per GB as data usage increases.

Requests Pricing:

AWS CloudFront charges for the number of requests made to CloudFront, including GET, HEAD, and OPTIONS requests. Requests pricing varies based on the region where the requests are made.

To simplify pricing, AWS offers a tiered pricing model based on the number of requests per month. The pricing tiers range from 0 to 1 billion requests, with decreasing pricing per 10,000 requests as the number of requests increases.

United States, Mexico, and Canada Europe and Israel  South Africa, Kenya, and Middle East South AmericaJapan Australia and New ZealandHong Kong, Indonesia,  Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and VietnamIndia 
HTTP requests$0.0075$0.0090$0.0090$0.0160$0.0090$0.0090$0.0090$0.0090
HTTPS requests$0.0100$0.0120$0.0120$0.0220$0.0120$0.0125$0.0120$0.0120
Request Pricing for All HTTP Methods (per 10,000)

How to Reduce AWS CloudFront Costs

Now that we have a better understanding of AWS CloudFront pricing let’s look at how to optimize CloudFront costs.

  1. Monitor your usage:

The first step in optimizing CloudFront costs is to monitor your usage. By monitoring your usage, you can identify areas where you can reduce costs, such as underutilized CloudFront distributions or frequently accessed files. AWS CloudFront provides detailed usage reports that can be used to identify areas for cost optimization. By regularly reviewing your usage reports, you can identify trends and adjust your usage accordingly.

  1. Use appropriate caching settings:

AWS CloudFront caching settings can have a significant impact on costs. By using appropriate caching settings, you can reduce the number of requests to CloudFront and, as a result, reduce costs.

For example, you can use the Cache-Control header to specify how long files should be cached. By setting appropriate cache times, you can reduce the number of requests to CloudFront and reduce data transfer costs.

  1. Choose the appropriate origin:

The origin is the location where CloudFront retrieves content. Choosing the appropriate origin can have a significant impact on costs.

For example, if your origin is located in a different region than your users, you may incur additional data transfer costs. By choosing an origin located in the same region as your users, you can reduce data transfer costs.

  1. Use compression:

AWS CloudFront supports the compression of content, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. By compressing content, you can reduce data transfer costs. Compression is enabled by default in CloudFront, but it’s essential to verify that compression works correctly for your content.

  1. Use CloudFront features efficiently:

AWS CloudFront offers a range of features, including SSL/TLS, custom headers, and signed URLs. It’s essential to use these features efficiently to optimize costs.

For example, if you’re using SSL/TLS, it’s recommended to use a shared SSL/TLS certificate instead of a dedicated one, as it’s less expensive. Similarly, if you’re using custom headers, ensure that you only use the required headers, as each additional header can increase costs.

Conclusion:

Considering the above for optimizing AWS CloudFront will help you save money on your cloud workloads while still delivering high-quality content to your users. The best long-term strategy for cost optimization is to establish a FinOps practice within your company.

A FinOps strategy helps businesses align their technology spending with their business objectives, enabling them to optimize costs in the long run while maximizing value form their resources.

Learn more about how we can help you optimize your AWS workloads and reduce your cloud costs.