Amazon S3 and CloudFront For Video

Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is an online file storage web service which is very large and fast. Clients include NASDAQ, the stock market exchange, and Netflix among others. Amazon Web Services enables Netflix to quickly deploy thousands of servers and terabytes of storage within minutes. Users can stream Netflix shows and movies from anywhere in the world, on TV sets, tablets, and smart phones. Many of the world’s videos are downloaded from the Amazon S3 servers where the media is hosted.

Amazon’s CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN). Your video is still stored on the main S3 server. But copies are created on a network of servers around the world, called a CDN (Content Delivery Network.) CloudFront is a CDN of Amazon S3. Each server in the network is called an edge server and each one will have a copy of your video. Now when a viewer goes to watch your video, their computer will retrieve a copy from the nearest edge server. This is much faster than other ways of serving a video.

Amazon S3 and CloudFront For Video are powerful tools for video producers.

If you are running a WordPress site with a lot of video, there is an impressive WordPress plugin called S3 Media Maestro ( to store and stream your videos straight from the Amazon S3 cloud. If you would prefer not to rely on a third party service like YouTube to host your videos, or you need to ensure that only certain users can view your videos, then this can be an attractive option. S3 Media Maestro is an HTML5 media player with Amazon S3 link protection. If you don’t elect to use Amazon as a host, be sure the server you choose can handle the heavy demands of serving video.

Excerpted from Marketing With Digital Video.

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