CDN-enable Amazon S3 buckets and accelerate your website with Rackspace CDN

  • Last updated on: 2016-11-17
  • Authored by: Catherine Richardson

To create a static website, a site that does not change for each request, you can set up hosting on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for your origin server. Then you can accelerate delivery of that site by using Rackspace CDN. Your site will be available on edge nodes (servers) around the world.

Note: Rackspace CDN does not currently support CDN-enabling private Amazon S3 buckets. Also, you cannot CDN-enable Cloud Files containers with Rackspace CDN. For information about setting up a static website in Cloud Files, see Point and click your way to a Cloud Files static website with the Control Panel.

Set up the origin server in AWS

  1. Create an Amazon Web Servers (AWS) account if you don’t already have one.

  2. Log in to your AWS account.

  3. Create an Amazon S3 bucket.

  4. Edit permissions.

    By default, S3 locks the permissions on your bucket so that authenticated users cannot access anything in the bucket. Because you are hosting your entire static site here, must give everyone read access. To edit permissions, perform the following steps:

    a. Click Permissions.

    b. Click Add more permissions.

    c. For Grantee, select everyone.

    d. Select the View permissions checkbox.

    e. Click Save.

    Note: Do not grant any other permissions for this grantee. Doing so might create a security issue.

  5. In the settings for your bucket, enable static website hosting.

    When you enable this setting, Amazon S3 serves the file /index.html for a request for /. With static website hosting enabled, your users see the same homepage whether they request or

    a. For the index document, enter index.html.

    b. Enter the file to use for the error document. This file is your 404 page.

    If you don’t have a 404 page created, you can enter index.html.

  6. Go to Actions > Upload to upload your static HTML files.

    If you have a large number of files to upload, you can use a file transfer client to transfer many files at once. Many transfer clients support Amazon S3, such as Cyberduck.

    After all your files are uploaded to Amazon S3, you have successfully set up your origin server. You do not want your users accessing your origin server, so you need to set up another server.

    At this point, your site is generated and served by Amazon S3. But with only Amazon S3 serving your site, every user in any part of the world has to get your website data from the same Amazon S3 data center. You can accelerate your static website by using Rackspace CDN.

Accelerate your site to edge nodes by using Rackspace CDN

Rackspace CDN increases performance by distributing your website across edge servers worldwide. Users receive the data from the edge node closest to them. To set up Rackspace CDN for your static website, perform the following actions:

Note: does not support automatic redirects to index.html.

  1. After your site is serving from Amazon S3, configure a new Rackspace CDN service.

    For information about creating a new Rackspace CDN service, see Create a Rackspace CDN service.

  2. When you specify the origin, enter the URL of your Amazon S3 bucket as your origin domain. For example,

    Note: Make sure to choose http type instead of https type. S3 static sites do not support https.

  3. Set the Host Header type to Origin.

  4. Configure your DNS.

    Update your DNS settings to add a CNAME record for the URL returned by Rackspace CDN For more information about changing DNS settings, see Change DNS to enable Rackspace CDN.

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