Amazon S3 and Cloudfront Review

by Ruchira on August 16, 2011

I have tried amazon s3 and cloudfront services on this blog few months ago and had some “Not worth staying with” experience with amazon web services. However I’m still using s3 and cloudfront to serve images for few posts on this blog and you can find the post I done about amazon aws here –

It was on last year. However things changed a lot during these days and at the workplace I built a social network. Now its growing at a nice phase and a big problem I encountered was storing images,music,videos on the server.  I’m currently running it on a separate Linode 512MB XEN VPS . However social network is a heavy resource intensive thing and good social network cant limit its users from uploading their photos and videos. However you might say that we can force users to add videos to youtube and then embed it on our network. But real social network should have its own resources to do those things. And the biggest problem is storing images. Those images and videos for 1000 users can eat up 10Gigs of space easily.

So its not the best option to store images and videos locally because it can be a huge impact when scaling the site. I’m not talking about the CPU load when serving those images and videos. But storing images,videos on the server is real pain in the ass when moving things around.

So I thought I should give a try with amazon S3 and cloudfront to deliver our images and videos. And I just simply created a S3 bucket on my Amazon AWS account and setup cloudfront domain to serve my files. It is a real easy job, So Im not going to talk about how to do that here.

Guess what it seems to have improved a lot when delivering data. And I must say that I’m in love with Amazon AWS now :) Our end result is absolutely fascinating, now I can move servers around without a hassle of losing any images or important stuff. We now have about 300 of users and we are storing about 250MB of data at amazon and mysql database is only about 2MB and site alone is about 20MB.

Here is my amazon aws bill for last 16 days.



yes its cheap. But the problem is if you are a medium sized users like if you are using about 5TB of transfer and 500GB of space if can be costlier to you. But if you are a really heavy user your bill will be average and reasonable. This is all because of amazon’s pricing structure.

But really guys amazon does a really good job and I can vouch for them at anytime. Finally I’m really happy with the decision that I took to move my images,mp3 music,videos to amazon aws

Amazon S3 can also do more than storing social network user files, it can generate and save server logs for accessing these files. The great thing is that S3 easily integrates with Hadoop-as-a-Service platforms where I can process the log data. This can give me analytics and precious insights about the photos and videos on the social network.

I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
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Last 5 posts by Ruchira

  • Kirti

    Hello Ruchira Sahan,
    Amazon is really nice service provider world wide, To easily handle services of Amazon S3 we have design a flexible GUI tool Bucket Explorer.
    Bucket Explorer is providing some new features in its list as well. bucket explorer supporting multipart upload- now you can upload your big data in parts parallel, can generate some more url with new URL Panel, S3 Website and much more

  • S3 Browser

    I always enjoy learning how other people employ Amazon S3 online storage. I am wondering if you can check out my very own tool S3 Browser that helps to manage S3 on Windows.

    • Hasitha Prabhath

      Yep. I’m big fan of S3Browser. It’s lightweight, easy to use and free.
      Thanks for devs behind S3 Browser.

  • Girlincloud

    I always enjoy learning how other people employ Amazon S3 and Cloudfront. I am wondering if you would be interested in reviewing a freeware Amazon S3 client for Windows CloudBerry Explorer. You can download it at

  • Elaine

    Thanks so much for sharing your monthly charges! I’ve been researching platforms to host my content in a situation similar to yours and came across Amazon S3, but had a hard time believing the pricing could be so low :) Thanks again!

    • Ruchira

      yeah almost 2 years later, Im still using S3 and Cloudfront to serve images and other files on our social network. Works like a charm and costs so less comparing with the headache of hosting those locally.

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