Microsoft Azure CDN Snapshot

Azure CDN is finally here. Microsoft has published a decent amount of data on their CDN offering. We can now do a quick analysis on their pricing and feature set. They currently have 29 POPs globally, spread across North America, Europe, APAC and Australia. The POP locations are grouped into Zones, where each Zone has a different price point, and represents a different geography. Zone 1 is for North America and Europe. Zone 2 is for APAC and Australia. Currently, Microsoft does not have POPs in LatAm or India. But over time, I’m sure they’ll roll out POPs in these two regions, as they are two of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Microsoft has come out with some new lingua, such as “blobs”, where the CDN caches “blobs” and static content. Based on the published data, Microsoft is definitely in the CDN business. The easy part of building a CDN is buying the servers, IP Transit, co-location, routers, switches, disk arrays and load balancers. The difficult part is creating the dashboards, logging systems, monitoring systems, and everything else related to the software component. Azure CDN reminds me of Amazon Cloudfront in their early days. When Cloudfront first started, they offered only the very basic feature set. Overtime, they added features such as FEO. I’m sure Microsoft is likely to follow the same path as Cloudfront.

Azure CDN Features
  • Global Presence: in North America, Europe, APAC and Australia
  • Offers SSL Certs
  • Static content delivery only (no dynamic content acceleration yet)
  • No purge capabilities as of version 1.4 (in development)
  • Supports query strings
  • Variable billing: bills different rates for different tiers of data transfer

Azure CDN 29 POPs
  • Zone 1 USA: LA, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, NY, Washington DC
  • Zone 1 Europe: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan, London, Madrid, Paris, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Vienna, Warsaw
  • Zone 2 APAC: Hong Kong, Jakarta, Singapore, Batam, Kasohsiung, Tokyo, Osaka, Melbourne, Sydney
 Azure CDN Pricing (Zone 1 – North America & Europe)
  • 10TB:  $.12/GB
  • 10TB to 49TB:  $.08/GB
  • 50TB to 149TB:  $.06/GB
  • 150TB to 500TB:   $.04/GB
  • Pricing is line with ther large CDNs. Nothing out of the ordinary.