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Score 9 out of 101
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Score 9.2 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Amazon CloudFront

It's great for engineers who know what they're doing, but you don't want to bug an engineer every time you want to update an image asset. The process of uploads and invalidations can be too complex for non-technical staff, which can bottleneck content delivery and updates.
Matthew Gardner profile photo

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.
Andrew Mills profile photo

Pros

  • First-party integration with S3, EC2, ElasticBeanstalk, etc.
  • Generous free tier for organizations that are just starting to work with CDNs
  • Packaged into existing AWS ecosystem with consolidated billing, support, etc.
  • Incredibly solid and reliable service
Joshua Dickson profile photo
  • 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.
Andrew Mills profile photo

Cons

  • The UI is godawful. I would almost say you need to be technical to feel confident that you're not going to break something, which is an issue for us as not all of our graphics team can use it.
Matthew Gardner profile photo
  • 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.
Andrew Mills profile photo

Alternatives Considered

We ended up selecting CloudFront because we were already using an Amazon stack. To be honest, since we were already in the ecosystem there was little reason to deviate once we saw pricing was comparable.
Matthew Gardner profile photo
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.
Andrew Mills profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Reliability - avoiding downtime keeps us on the right side of SLAs
  • Price - We need a CDN and the price is good for Cloudfront
  • Integration - We already use AWS, etc. so this was an easy addition
Matthew Gardner profile photo
  • 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

Amazon CloudFront

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