There’s a great quote from Geoffrey Smalling, CTO at Wine.com, in this Strangeloop case study:
Anyone who tells you there is [a single magic bullet] does not have a deep understanding of the myriad issues that affect performance. Performance tuning requires a multi-tiered approach.
To get the best acceleration results, most of our customers use a combination of front-end optimization (FEO), content delivery network (CDN), application delivery controller (ADC), and in-house engineering. But this many acronyms can come with a steep price tag. While this is a great approach if your company has deep pockets or the in-house know-how to structure these solutions, let me paraphrase an old ad: “For everyone else, there’s Amazon CloudFront and Strangeloop.”
This is my roundabout way of announcing our latest partnership, this time with Amazon Web Services. Effective immediately, we’re teaming up to offer Strangeloop’s Site Optimizer service to CloudFront customers.
CDN + FEO: Two great tastes (etc.)
The benefits of combining content delivery with FEO aren’t news if you’ve been reading my blog for a while. To sum it up, CloudFront addresses the performance middle mile by bringing resources closer to users — shortening server round trips and, as a result, making pages load faster. Strangeloop’s technology tackles performance at the front end, analyzing and optimizing every page of a site, without touching code, so that it renders more efficiently in the browser.
As the table below (which uses data from this case study) shows, this combined solution has a huge impact on page metrics, from number of requests to payload to start render and load times. The bottom line: a combined CDN/FEO solution can make pages up to four times faster.
Q: Who wins? A: Small- to mid-sized companies
As a pay-as-you-go service, CloudFront brings an affordable content delivery service to smaller companies. In the same way, we can now bring advanced FEO — which has formerly only been available to companies with those aforementioned deep pockets — to smaller companies, as well as to companies for whom FEO is murky new territory.
Amazon Web Services senior manager Alex Dunlap has written a really great post on the AWS blog that talks about our partnership and explains how to configure Amazon CloudFront to work with Site Optimizer. I urge you to check it out if you want more insight into how our services complement each other.
If you have any questions about how these two solutions work together or their net benefit, let me know. In the meantime, expect an Amazon sales rep and a Strangeloop rep to show up at your door and make a compelling case for why you can get better performance for a fraction of the cost you are currently paying your existing provider. Let the games begin.