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I'm deploying my website on Heroku. I need to store around 5000 profile picture and each will be accessed around 100 times per week. All my traffic is coming from Europe, so I'd prefer them to be stored/cached in Europe.

Have I understood it correctly that I need both a storage solution (e.g. Amazon S3/AWS, Google Cloud Storage, Rackspace Cloudfiles) and a CDN (e.g. Cloudfron, Akamai)?

  • I had to remove your second question as provider recommendations are not allowed here. – John Conde Oct 3 '14 at 15:34
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Content Delivery Networks

Most good content delivery networks will have a vast network of servers in various locations in US, EUROPE and ASIA. While you care little about US and ASIA its not relevant that your files will be cloned on these networks as most CDN's the price includes all these networks within the set profit margins and therefor will not cost you any extra.

Safe Storage

Nowadays most servers use fail proof raid setups and the only risk they face is freak fires that could damage all of the disks on the array at once, but with content delivery networks because they are mirroring your files all over the global it essential means data is never at risk on any of these problems.

Europe users will get served from files within Europe's data centers

So, hosting images on any good content delivery network will mirror your files in various locations across the globe, now the important bit about this is that files are downloaded from the nearest data center, so if you have 90% of your users accessing your images in Europe then your files will transferred from a server in Europe, meaning that your users will get great speeds and well if you have a few users occasionally in the US then they too will get great speeds.

Answering your question

Since content delivery networks do not process PHP and SQL Databases and only static files you will need a web server + cdn. You could have a Amazon S3 + Rackspace Cloudfiles, you can use any combination you prefer. CDN's vary in price on storage and transfer, some only charge transfer out, while some charge both in and out, you will have to pick one that you feel comfortable with and what meets your requirements.

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