Amazon tees up content delivery service

Company is "expanding the cloud" with a new content delivery service set for launch by year's end.

Clarification at 8 a.m. PDT: The Amazon.com Web services blog posting was not written by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. He wrote a related blog on the subject.

Amazon.com is in the midst of creating a new content delivery service aimed at developers and businesses that it expects to launch by year's end.

According to an Amazon Web services blog posted Thursday:

This new (and as yet unnamed) service will provide you with a high performance way to distribute popular, publicly readable content to your customers all over the world, with low latency and high data transfer rates.

Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels wrote in a separate blog that his company is "expanding the cloud" with this service: "Using a global network of edge locations this new service can deliver popular data stored in Amazon S3 to customers around the globe through local access."

Amazon's service will allow customers to store their content in an Amazon S3 holding tank and then mark it as publicly readable when its ready. According to Amazon, customers will then "make a single API call to register the bucket" and have a domain name assigned for their content. When clients "request the object via the returned domain name they'll be routed to a nearest edge location," which aims to deliver content at high speeds.

Amazon's content delivery service is hoping to make its money by allowing customers to pay as they go when using the service. Pricing has not been made public.

GigaOm's Om Malik said that Amazon's service will be disruptive to content delivery network (CDN) incumbents, such as Akamai and Limelight Networks:

Amazon is going to bring a level of transparency to a business that has a sales model much like an brokerage firm in the 1980s. Amazon wants to make buying CDN services as simple as buying a book. Amazon executives told me that company is going to be charging its customers on usage instead of long-term contracts current players foist on their clients.

Seeking Alpha's Dan Rayburn agrees, with one caveat:

While the initial content delivery offering won't compete with the major CDNs like Akamai...and Limelight...when it is released, it has the potential to down the road if Amazon adds some specific product functionality.
 

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