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I have a REST web service that contains a /image/view/ resource that displays an image. The image is currently stored as an object in Amazon S3. When /image/view/ is accessed, the web service downloads the image from S3, resizes it and serves to the user.

This approach is currently two requests:

Web service gets object from S3 Client gets image from web service

If I were to host my web service on an EC3 instance, would the time it takes to retrieve the object from S3 be reduced significantly?

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Why not resize the images prior to the client request? It could then be stored and served directly out of S3 or even a CDN like Cloudfront for greatly reduced latency. Real-time image resizing is a very expensive operation. – jamieb Mar 21 '13 at 2:33

Yes, if you host on EC2, the traffic to and from S3 is usually going to be faster than on an external hosting service, as it's internal Amazon network traffic, often in the same datacenter.

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