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29 Ratings
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29 Ratings
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Score 7.4 out of 101
6 Ratings
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Score 9.2 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Akamai

Akamai is a well-established brand name with a great product. It meets and many time exceeds the needs for global content delivery and security management layer at the edge. Fine grain security tuning seems cumbersome as the definition of the app keeps changing. It also requires an investment of time for the setup which doesn't necessarily make sense for smaller scale scenarios. Some products offered by AWS, Azure or the Google Cloud can be more tightly integrated with cloud provider offerings thus easier to configure.
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Azure CDN

If you are looking for a secure, easy to manage, solution to store and distribute your content around the US and/or world, the Azure CDN may be the right solution. The only thing I would caution users on is that once your content is published and distributed it cannot be easily refreshed on the endpoints. Instead, you are at the mercy of the default time to live when the content was first uploaded.
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Pros

  • Very advanced compression algorithms and a global content delivery network.
  • Sophisticated security features.
  • On-demand network scalability.
  • Great dashboard and real-time reporting
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  • I found the CDN very easy to setup and configure within the Azure Portal.
  • Being Azure, there are plenty of free tools that allow you to manage the CDN from a UI that is not the portal. This was especially handy when I trained end users how to manage content within their specific realm.
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Cons

  • The user interface can be daunting and confusing to new users
  • The pricing tiers are often not competitive with standard CDN service offerings from other companies
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  • The primary complaint I had with the CDN was expiring content once it was distributed. I realize it doesn't make sense for each endpoint to refresh content frequently, however if you upload something and need to make a tweak and then upload it again, you are kinda stuck. The only option at that point is to rename the content, which doesn't help if you've already distributed a link. It would be nice if you could upload new content to the source and force a refresh.
  • I would like to see more granular folder permissions. For instance, if I only wanted a single CDN but wanted to have folders for different divisions (marketing, hr, training, etc...) it would be nice to be able to get an access key at the folder level instead of the CDN level.
  • Content cannot be stored at the root of the CDN, you must have it inside a folder. This isn't a huge deal on a brand new setup but if you are moving from a prior CDN to Azure and already have content at the root, it makes that transition more difficult.
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Alternatives Considered

I have not evaluated or used any direct competitors for Akamai, so it's hard to say how it compares. All I know is that Akamai is very powerful and has now become an integral part of our existing set-up.
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We did not evaluate any other CDN's before we selected Azure. We heavily use Azure for our development and infrastructure efforts so choosing the Azure CDN was easy. The only thing we compared it to was standing up a Windows Server VM and pointing a CDN URL to it allowing it to serve as a file server, which was much more cumbersome.
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Return on Investment

  • Positive - Akamai vastly reduced the number of content delivery servers needed here, saving money, hardware and management overheads.
  • Negative - I don't think it's a "cheap" option, but also, you get what you pay for and for such a powerful product you don't expect it to be free.
  • Positive - some of the support we have had has been really good.
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  • The speed at which we could stand up the CDN and push content made this significantly faster than putting together our own file server and pointing a CDN URL to it. The ease of management, from a plethora of free tools, allowed me to quickly get users up to speed on both Windows and Mac based PC's.
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Pricing Details

Akamai

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Azure CDN

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details