CloudFront costs compared to S3

A little over a month ago, I did a quick writeup comparing Amazon's CloudFront CDN performance with that of Amazon S3 on its own. The results weren't all that surprising. CloudFront kicked the stuffing out of its older sibling in terms of latency. Just like it was designed to do.

That silly article kicked off quite a bit of discussion, most of which was speculation about how much more expensive CloudFront was when compared with S3 on its own, and how its costs stacked up to other Content Delivery Networks.

Well, keeping in the style of that last article, here is one statistically insignificant datapoint from which I'll draw a conclusion. Namely, my Amazon Web Services bill for two months. The following tables represent the costs of hosting imagery for Blogabond, a medium sized blog hosting platform that sees traffic of around 100,000 unique visitors per month and a little over a million pageviews:

October - Amazon S3 alone

$8.12 Total

December - Amazon S3 + CloudFront:

$6.09 + $6.28 = $12.37 Total

So there you have it: It's a little less than twice as expensive to host the same content on CloudFront as compared to S3 alone. And it's still dirt cheap at twice the price! I don't know about you, but I'm going to stick with it.

DISCLAIMER: This is not intended to be a thorough, or even fair, comparison of every available CDN on the planet. So if you happen to be a sales rep for, say, Akamai, and you've got your feelings all hurt because of this post, please remember that it was not directed at you. I'm sure your thing is really really great, but we're not talking about it here.

Jason Kester

I run a little company called Expat Software. Right now, the most interesting things we're doing are related to Cloud Storage Analytics, Online Classrooms, and Customer Lifecycle Metrics for SaaS Businesses. I'll leave it to you to figure out how those things tie together.

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