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Right now, amazon s3 holds all my images, but I must wonder, is that necessary or for the best?

It seems to me like for images, such as a favicon, I should just host it on my own server since s3 charges per http request.

What do you guys think? What is your general rule of thumb?

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Host everything you can. When you can't, delegate :) Now I am sure someone will say the exact opposite but which one you choose depends on how much control you like.

Of course, can't is sometimes subjective, it could have to do with cost, latency, bandwidth, etc. Most sites I've seen host their own data except for large high-bandwidth media such as large images and videos.

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At what point exactly would I need to delegate? As it stands, I'm using a shared hosting plan that guarantees 100% uptime and unlimited bandwidth. – user6600 Apr 5 '11 at 19:54
I would look at the bandwidth speed (as opposed to the bandwidth quantity which is unlimited). That may give you a reason to move heavier files. – Itai Apr 5 '11 at 20:24

Depending on what type of setup you have for your own server(s), it may be more cost effective from a performance standpoint to offload this to someone/something that specializes in serving this type of content (i.e. S3/Cloudfront/CDN's).

Advantages of external hosting: less server needs internally; global distribution of content

Disadvantages: affected by external company's outages (although w/ how these CDN's setup their network, this seems to be less of an issue).

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It would be handy to know what type of files we are talking about here.

I am a reseller, so have a lot of disk space and bandwidth available but one of my hobby sites which is Land Rover related (I know, really should get out more) has downloadable pdfs of the parts manuals and also .iso's of the online documentation systems and these are big and very very popular.

The site, html, graphics etc is hosted on my server but the pdf's and iso files are all stored on S3 as I think the hit would be too much for my server and impact on my customers sites.

Ok, this means I have to pay for the S3 but thankfully I get enough donations to cover the costs so I'm square which is great.

Sorry, this isn't really an answer to your question, more my personal experience.

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