In the realm of cloud computing, edge accelerators such as the Content Delivery Network (CDN) have proven immensely useful in speeding up delivery of content to end-users. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers the CloudFront CDN, which maximizes network performance by leveraging its global network of edge locations. Your ability to correctly use edge accelerators is significant in passing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam.

Table of Contents

Basics of Content Delivery Networks

Before we get into how to use them, it’s essential to understand what a CDN is. Essentially, a CDN is a highly-distributed platform of servers that helps minimize delays in loading page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This enhances the user experience by providing high data transfer speeds.

Working with Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast, highly secure, and programmable CDN that offers the most extensive multi-CDN ecosystem. It’s integrated with AWS (both physical locations that are directly connected to the AWS global infrastructure, as well as other AWS services). This makes it easier to accelerate the delivery of content, applications, and APIs conducted over the HTTP/S protocols.

Steps to Use CloudFront

Before we tackle using CloudFront, it’s important to have an existing AWS account. If you don’t have one, you can create it from the AWS home page.

  1. Create an Amazon S3 Bucket: We’ll upload the website content onto this S3 bucket, which will act as our origin server.
  2. Upload Content: After the bucket has been created, upload the website files onto this bucket.
  3. Create an Amazon CloudFront Distribution: Navigate to the CloudFront page and choose the “Create Distribution” option.
  4. Specify Our Amazon S3 Bucket: We’ll need to point CloudFront to our S3 bucket during the creation process.
  5. Use Our Distribution’s Domain Name: Replace the domain name in your web pages with the domain name that CloudFront assigns.

Benefits of CloudFront

  • Performance: CloudFront accelerates content delivery via the edge locations. Requests for your content are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance.
  • Security: It provides multiple layers of security, including encryption at rest and encryption in transit.
  • Global Scale: With edge locations across the world, CloudFront ensures optimal performance and high availability, regardless of the user’s location.
  • Deep Integration with AWS: Being a part of the AWS ecosystem, CloudFront deeply integrates with other AWS services such as S3, EC2, and Elastic Load Balancing.


Understanding and leveraging edge accelerators such as CloudFront are pivotal skills required when sitting for your AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam. Not only do they improve your application’s performance by accelerating content delivery, but they also provide additional security layers to ensure your content remains secure. With the practical utilization of these edge accelerators, you are sure to impress in the exam and in real-world applications.

Practice Test

True or False: Edge accelerators like Content Delivery Network (CDN) can significantly reduce latency in delivering content to users.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True.

Explanation: Edge accelerators distribute content closer to the users, decreasing the distance it needs to travel and thus reducing latency.

In AWS, which service is often used as an edge accelerator?

  • A. Amazon S3
  • B. Amazon Lambda
  • C. Amazon CloudFront
  • D. Amazon EC2

Answer: C. Amazon CloudFront

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront is a CDN service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to users globally with low latency and high transfer speeds.

Which of the following is NOT a benefit of using a CDN as an edge accelerator?

  • A. Reduced latency
  • B. Improved availability
  • C. Decreased security
  • D. Scalability

Answer: C. Decreased security

Explanation: In contrast, CDNs often enhance security by offering features like SSL/TLS encryption and DDoS protection.

True or False: The primary function of a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is to store data.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: While a CDN does cache data closer to the user, its primary function is not to store data but to reduce latency and increase availability and reliability of content delivery.

Can Amazon CloudFront work with services outside AWS?

  • A. True
  • B. False

Answer: A. True

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront can distribute content from any HTTP/S web server, not just those on AWS.

Which AWS Service would you use to speed up the distribution of static and dynamic web content to users?

  • A. Amazon S3
  • B. AWS Lambda
  • C. Amazon EC2
  • D. Amazon CloudFront

Answer: D. Amazon CloudFront

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront is AWS’s content delivery network service, designed to speed up the distribution of content.

The AWS service Amazon CloudFront works optimally when:

  • A. Working with static content only
  • B. Working with dynamic content only
  • C. Working with both static and dynamic content

Answer: C. Working with both static and dynamic content

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront is designed to handle both static and dynamic content, making it effective for delivering a wide range of content types.

True or False: Using a CDN like Amazon CloudFront reduces the workload of your origin servers.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True.

Explanation: By caching content closer to your users, a CDN reduces the number of requests that go all the way to your origin servers.

Edge Locations in AWS are directly associated with:

  • A. Amazon EC2 Instances
  • B. Amazon S3 Buckets
  • C. Amazon CloudFront
  • D. AWS Lambda

Answer: C. Amazon CloudFront

Explanation: Edge locations are sites that Amazon CloudFront uses to cache copies of your content for delivery to customers.

True or False: The AWS service Amazon CloudFront cannot deliver live streaming video.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront can deliver both on-demand and live streaming video content.

The Amazon CloudFront service supports which of the following HTTP methods?

  • A. GET
  • B. POST
  • C. PUT
  • D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront supports all standard HTTP methods, including GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, OPTIONS, and PATCH.

Amazon CloudFront can deliver your content through both:

  • A. HTTP or FTP
  • B. HTTP or HTTPS
  • C. TCP or UDP
  • D. FTP or TCP

Answer: B. HTTP or HTTPS

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront can deliver your content via HTTP and HTTPS.

True or False: You have to use AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) to manage SSL/TLS certificates for use with CloudFront.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: While ACM does simplify the management of SSL/TLS certificates for use with CloudFront, you are not required to use it. You can also import certificates from elsewhere.

Which of the following is not a way to restrict access to your content in Amazon CloudFront?

  • A. Using a signed URL or signed cookie
  • B. Restricting access based on IP address
  • C. Restricting access based on age
  • D. Restricting access via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Answer: C. Restricting access based on age

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront does not have a feature to restrict access to content based on age.

True or False: In Amazon CloudFront, the cost depends on the amount of data transferred out and the number of requests made.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True.

Explanation: Amazon CloudFront pricing is primarily based on the data transfer out (the amount of data sent from CloudFront to users) and the number of HTTP and HTTPS requests made.

Interview Questions

What is the main advantage of using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Amazon CloudFront in AWS?

The main advantage of a CDN is that it accelerates content delivery by caching the content in edge locations, which are located closer to the end users. This reduces latency and ensures faster access to the data by end users.

How can you enable HTTPS for your CloudFront content?

You can use AWS Certificate Manager to provision a free SSL/TLS certificate, and then associate this certificate with your CloudFront distribution.

How can origin failover be minimized with AWS CloudFront?

AWS CloudFront allows you to define origin groups, which is a primary origin and a secondary origin. CloudFront can automatically switch to the secondary origin if the primary origin fails.

What happens when the CloudFront edge location you are using runs out of capacity?

When the edge location runs out of capacity, CloudFront automatically routes your requests to the next closest edge location with available capacity.

How can you use AWS Lambda@Edge with your CloudFront distributions?

AWS Lambda@Edge allows you to run Lambda functions at CloudFront edge locations, which enables you to customize content and manage it with low latency.

Does CloudFront support WebSocket protocol?

Yes, Amazon CloudFront supports the WebSocket protocol, which provides two-way, interactive communication between a user’s browser and a server.

What is the function of Time to Live (TTL) in CloudFront?

TTL is the amount of time that CloudFront caches your objects in edge locations. You can set the minimum, maximum, and default TTL values.

When would invalidating an object in CloudFront be useful?

Invalidating an object removes it from CloudFront’s cache, forcing CloudFront to get the latest version of that object from your origin. This is useful when you want to make changes to your object and need those changes to be reflected immediately.

What is the AWS service that can be used to optimize connections to globalization applications through a single network connection?

AWS Global Accelerator is a service that uses the AWS global network to optimize the Network layer/connection path, which improves the availability and performance of your applications.

Can you use CloudFront to deliver your entire website, including dynamic, static, streaming, and interactive content?

Yes, you can use CloudFront to deliver your entire website, as it supports all content types including dynamic, static, streaming, and interactive content.

How can you protect your content in AWS CloudFront from being delivered to specific countries?

You can use CloudFront’s geo-restriction feature to prevent users in specific geographic locations from accessing content that you’re distributing through CloudFront.

Can CloudFront deliver content over IPv6?

Yes, CloudFront is fully capable of delivering content over both IPv4 and IPv6.

How is data transfer cost minimized in AWS CloudFront?

With AWS CloudFront, data transferred between origin servers and CloudFront is not charged. Thus, using CloudFront can significantly reduce your data transfer cost.

What is the purpose of using field-level encryption in AWS CloudFront?

Field-level encryption in AWS CloudFront provides an additional layer of security along with HTTPS to protect specific sensitive data, like credit card numbers, by encrypting them at the edge locations.

Can you integrate AWS WAF (Web Application Firewall) with CloudFront?

Yes, you can integrate AWS WAF with CloudFront to protect your applications from common web exploits.

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