Since November 2009, when the community technology preview of the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network went live, customers have been able to leverage the CDN CTP free of charge. But the free ride is about to come to an end. According to Microsoft, customers currently taking advantage of its Cloud platform will only be able to use Windows Azure CDN for free for just another month. Come July 1st, 2010, the Redmond company will start charging all customers.
“We’re announcing pricing for the Windows Azure CDN for all billing periods that begin after June 30, 2010. The following three billing meters and rates will apply for the CDN: $0.15 per GB for data transfers from European and North American locations. $0.20 per GB for data transfers from other locations. $0.01 per 10,000 transactions,” a member of the Windows Azure team revealed.
The promise from the Redmond company is that, at least for the coming month, customers will continue to be able to leverage the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network for free, as there are no plans to charge usage for billing periods prior to July 1.
Via Windows Azure CDN, Microsoft is offering Windows Azure customers a solution to deliver high-bandwidth content at a global scale. At this point in time, Windows Azure CDN is available from no less than 19 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. “The Windows Azure CDN caches your Windows Azure blobs at strategically placed locations to provide maximum bandwidth for delivering your content to users. You can enable CDN delivery for any storage account via the Windows Azure Developer Portal,” the Windows Azure team representative added.
Specifically, the Windows Azure CDN works by making copies of content that needs to be distributed through Windows Azure and storing them in easily accessible locations across the network. In this regard, Windows Azure CDN is capable of making sure that data is delivered with increased performance and reliability. Microsoft itself is leveraging the solution, in order to serve Windows Update, Zune videos, and Bing Maps to users.
“Windows Azure CDN charges will not include fees associated with transferring this data from Windows Azure Storage to CDN. Any data transfers and storage transactions incurred to get data from Windows Azure Storage to the CDN will be charged separately at our normal Windows Azure Storage rates. CDN charges are incurred for data requests it receives and for the data it transfers out to satisfy these requests,” the Windows Azure team member added.