Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Experience With Amazon S3

Well, after waiting a significant amount of time since the release of Amazon S3, I decided to dip my toe in the waters and see what it feels like. I'm happy to say that my expectations have been met. By using Amaozn S3, I was able to improve the performance of my existing infrastructure, and the visitor experience.

As a web developer and general internet guru, I spend time reading things about website performance, and other crazy notions of a better user experience. By using Amazon's S3 for all of my static content, I reduce the amount of requests Apache needs to serve on our own servers. Instead of wasting the more valuable system resources of my web server to serve images, javascript files, flash and other static content, this can now be offered to my website visitors on a world-class content delivery network, Amazon S3.

The speed improvement on the website I tested (WeKnowPhoto) was immediately noticable. Offsetting the regular Apache web requests by serving images and other static content on S3 means more capacity on my existing data center servers. Essentially more bang and less bucks to provide a much faster loading website. Speed is such a critical component to the enjoyment of a web visit. Everyone hates a slow loading website. If you're anything like me, then you can remember the days of dial up modems, and the excruitiating pain that was requesting a web page.

I'm considering moving the entire E4E platform to S3. This way, clients can enjoy the benefits of having their content on a cdn. Might be an additional option for some clients, or just a value added service, haven't come to a conclusion on that yet.

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