Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Amazon to buy a CDN?

Amazon is beefing up its AWS offerings. In the end making the menu of services much more enticing. Amazon's has reached a point that a whole startup can be cheaply and easily hosted with robust and reliable services. But that isn't the point of the post.

With S3 video startup's can store and transmit their video. Which if you take off like YouTube quickly becomes costly (for both Amazon and the startup). So how to address this issue? One method would be to use a CDN like system to distribute content to the edge. Amazon has several options 1) build its own, 2) buy an existing CDN or 3) partner with CDNs.

The structure of Amazon's computation infrastructure (particularly with the Zoning) could already allow for CDN like behaviour. The question is whether this is enough. I expect that it would require more development to get a proper CDN like behaviour working.

The second option buy an existing CDN would allow Amazon to avoid having to complicate S3 storage to give it behaviour like a CDN. Rather Amazon would like S3 to the CDN's existing infrastructure. Here I think Akamai is probably the best target for purchase. Allthough Limelight Networks is a possibility as well.

The third option partnerting with CDNs would provide AWS customers with the most choice. They get to choose which CDN they use and AWS makes the link between the S3 and the CDN very straight forward.

Dealing with the video/rich content distribution to the masses is something that Amazon is going to have to work on. It will be interesting to see the finial solution Amazon chooses to pursue.

Tags: Amazon, Amazon Web Services, CDN, Akamai, Limelight Networks