Amazon Web Service's new Content Data Network, Cloudfront was launched two days ago. Previously Cachefly had been the premier choice for Small and Medium size businesses looking for a content data network to speed up downloads for the users.
I was mainly interested in download speed in the Greater China region and North America.
To test relative speeds, I downloaded the same 20 megabyte file at several different locations from each of Cachefly, Amazon S3 and Amazon Cloudfront and noted the range of speeds.
New York City - Time Warner Cable (Queens)
- Cachefly: 1100 - 1200 kilobytes/s
- S3: 1000 - 1100 kilobytes/s
- Cloudfront: 1100-1200 kilobytes/s
- Cachefly: 88 - 172 kilobytes/s
- S3: 65 - 80 kilobytes/s
- Cloudfront: 74 - 92 kilobytes/s
- Cachefly: 230-240 kilobytes/s
- S3: 140 - 150 kilobytes/s
- Cloudfront: 170 - 180 kilobytes/s
Guangzhou, China - China Netcom 4 mbit dedicated fiber
- Cachefly: 430 - 495 kilobytes/s
- S3: 220 - 240 kilobytes/s
- Cloudfront: 440 - 490 kilobytes/s
Fremont, California - Hurricane Electric
- Cachefly: 3580 - 3990 kilobytes/s
- S3: 270 - 850 kilobytes/s
- Cloudfront: 5940 - 6350 kilobytes/s
When Cloudfront is fast, it is really fast! It wins out for top speed and for flexibility given how like all Amazon Web Services offerings is controlled by an API.
Cachefly is still in our experience the fastest overall in the regions that are important to us. They also do not suffer from some of the restrictions Cloudfront places on updating files. With Cloudfront, updates can take up to 24 hours to reach edge servers. Cachefly does not have this problem. Updates made by ftp or sftp appear momentarily across their network.