Azure CDN, easy to setup and manage, works globally, but has some limitations
September 07, 2016

Azure CDN, easy to setup and manage, works globally, but has some limitations

Andrew Mills | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Azure CDN

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.
  • 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.
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.
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.