Content-delivery network pricing for Microsoft Azure revealed

Microsoft Azure CDN has 18 locations globally (United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America) and continues to expand. Microsoft Azure CDN caches your Microsoft Azure blobs at strategically placed locations to provide maximum bandwidth for delivering your content to users. You can enable CDN delivery for any storage account via the Windows Azure Developer Portal. The CDN provides edge delivery only to blobs that are in public blob containers, which are available for anonymous access. The benefit of using a CDN is better performance and user experience for users who are farther from the source of the content stored in the Microsoft Azure Blob service. In addition, Microsoft Azure CDN provides worldwide high-bandwidth access to serve content for popular events.

The Microsoft Azure CDN extends the storage piece of the Windows Azure cloud operating system, allowing developers to deliver high-bandwidth content more quickly and efficiently by placing delivery points closer to users. Last year, the Softies said they had 18 Microsoft Azure CDN locations. (They are up to 19 now). During the beta period for Windows Azure CDN, there was no usage charge. But starting on June 30, there will be. From a May 28 blog post on the Windows Azure team blog:

“The following three billing meters and rates will apply for the CDN:
  • $0.15 per GB for data transfers from European and North American locations
  • $0.20 per GB for data transfers from other locations
  • $0.01 per 10,000 transactions”

The new Windows Azure CDN is designed to allow developers to deliver high-bandwidth content more quickly and efficiently. Here are more details from a November 5 blog post by Brad Calder, who is a leader of the Microsoft Azure Storage team: “Windows Azure CDN has 18 locations globally (United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America) and continues to expand. Windows Azure CDN caches your Windows Azure blobs at strategically placed locations to provide maximum bandwidth for delivering your content to users. You can enable CDN delivery for any storage account via the Windows Azure Developer Portal. The CDN provides edge delivery only to blobs that are in public blob containers, which are available for anonymous access.

“The benefit of using a CDN is better performance and user experience for users who are farther from the source of the content stored in the Microsoft Azure Blob service. In addition, Microsoft Azure CDN provides worldwide high-bandwidth access to serve content for popular events.”

“CDN services are not inexpensive; Microsoft spent about $40 million on CDN services in FY06. Projections of future growth (based on expected growth in the number of properties, amount of traffic, and usage of CDN services) show this growing to more than $130 million in FY11.” Guess building out its own CDN capability ended up being cheaper than continuing to buy CDN services….

In November 2009, Microsoft announced its intentions to add a content-delivery network (CDN) capability to its Windows Azure cloud offering. At the end of May, the company announced pricing plans for this functionality.

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