Azure CDN Reviews

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Score 8.5 out of 101

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March 18, 2019

Azure CDN Review

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Azure CDN is Microsoft's cloud content distribution network custom-built for Azure. It shines for its ability to distribute static data easily to thousands -- or millions -- of clients while reducing the load to your origin servers. Azure CDN, like other CDN options, also speeds up client query times, by increasing the likelihood that file requests can be served quickly from a resource already available in the region nearest the request.
  • Cost-competitive: Azure CDN is very similar to other options from Amazon and Google, as well as smaller third-parties, and is priced to compete with those other PaaS vendors.
  • Like any solid CDN, helps alleviate load at origin nodes for static files.
  • A large number of points of presence means that many queries are already available close to end users, reducing the amount of time required to load most files as compared to loading them directly from the origin.
  • Unlike Cloudfront, Azure CDN does not yet support WebSockets.
  • Limited options for deploying endpoints that support authentication.
Azure CDN is well suited to the CDN layer of traditional applications that are deployed to Azure's computer services. As it is very similar to other options from Google, Amazon, and smaller companies like Fastly, we traditionally choose it when the decision to deploy to Azure has already been made, and a CDN is required for client architecture criteria.
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Erik Ralston profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Azure CDN backs global distribution of all client-side code (JavaScript & CSS) plus supporting assets (images) for LiveTiles. It accelerates load times for every product (originally clocked in as 3x faster than raw storage) and allows for an evergreen deployment model for our SharePoint add-in solutions that can only use client-side code.
  • Global reach - we have customers around the world and they all get excellent performance.
  • Global availability - we've never had down time on Azure CDN.
  • Easy management - you can do everything easily from the portal connecting things to a storage container and from there it's zero management except purging on new content.
  • For the longest time they didn't have a robust SDK. They have one now, but it could be better.
  • The different flavors of Azure CDN (Akamai, Verizon, etc) have different costs, but not well differentiated features. Might be confusing to new users.
  • I'm not overly familiar with it, but AWS does have a programmability in their CDN offering (Lambda @ Edge) and Azure doesn't seem to have an equivalent (Azure Functions is region-specific).
Global deployment of client-side code or assets. Does NOT have a programmability aspect, so it can't do serverless functions like AWS.
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Andrew Mills profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Our Marketing and Communications department was the primary user of the Azure CDN. In a small capacity, our HR and Training departments used it to host materials distributed throughout the company. In all cases, the material hosted within the CDN was distributed throughout the entire US for consumption. The primary reason we went with a CDN, instead of just serving content from a single Azure VM working as a file server, is because it allowed content to be delivered to remote users more quickly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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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Azure CDN Scorecard Summary

About Azure CDN

Microsoft offers a content delivery network, Azure CDN.

Azure CDN Technical Details

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