What users are saying about

Akamai

29 Ratings

Azure CDN

6 Ratings

Akamai

29 Ratings
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Score 7.4 out of 101

Azure CDN

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

  • Content offloading - once rules are set up within Akamai you don't need to even think about how many images or large JavaScript or CSS files (for example) are being served from your own estate, Akamai takes care of it all via rules that are quick, easy and flexible.
  • Page caching - for pages that don't change very often Akamai allows you to set up rules, quickly and easily, to serve up your page content for you, which takes even more load away from your origin servers.
  • Quick rollback - the Akamai system allows easy testing of rules and changes via a staging system, and also offers a quick rollback option, which is perfect for the rare occasions when something has been set up incorrectly.
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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

  • Comparing releases - you have a facility to compare releases, which is good but is at a very granular level and I think the UI for this could be improved as it is essentially an XML text compare.
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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

  • The front end optimisations available from Akamai are so significant and yet so hidden it makes for an extremely pleasing user experience. When a page loads just that much faster due to images being in the exact right format for the job it gives a clear advantage over competitors.
  • Analytics coming from Akamai have changed the decisions made within the business for the better and have resulted in great improvements in many areas, such as a greater retention of visitors to the site. Little tweaks to possible certain problem areas flagged by Akamai have made a huge difference.
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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.
Andrew Mills profile photo

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