Monday, December 8, 2008

How To: Integrating Amazon CDN in 4 Simple Steps

4 Steps to Integrate Amazon CloudFront

We aren't going to focus on the exact coding required to integrate with CloudFront -- Amazon does a fine job of this themselves. What we want is to explain the steps you would take and point out things that you need to be aware of before taking the next step of actually getting started.

Here are the steps at a glance:
Get and set up Amazon S3 and CloudFront accounts
Create your Amazon S3 bucket
Create your distribution and get domain name
Decide what you want to use CloudFront for and create the appropriate links

Step 1: Setting Up your Amazon S3 and CloudFront Accounts

To access any web service AWS offers, you must first create an AWS account. This account is required to use any of the AWS products. Signing up provides you with a couple of access key identifiers (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) which are required to sign up for S3 and CloudFront.

The Access Key ID is used to identify yourself as the true sender of requests and the Secret Access Key is a secure key that only you see. Because the Access Key is not a secure key, you create a digital signature using your secret key that helps confirm you are the true requester.

You will need to place these keys somewhere in code files to be used when coding to talk to the web services for either S3 or CloudFront.

Once you have the AWS account, you can then sign up for both Amazon S3 and CloudFront.

You need to sign up for Amazon S3 because this is where you will store your objects for CloudFront to access (your Origin Server).

Step 2: Creating your Amazon S3 Bucket

Now you are getting into the coding aspect of setting up this service. You can develop your applications in any number of programming languages and access the Amazon Web Services. Amazon provides a number of language specific toolkits to help you work with their web services -- so you aren't starting from scratch. Toolkits for PHP, Java, C# and Perl are available for helping you integrate S3 web service requests.

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