Pricing for Microsoft's Content Delivery Network (CDN) has been announced. The announcement was made on the Windows Azure team blog posting, Introducing the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network.

The Windows Azure CDN enhances end user performance and reliability by placing copies of data at various points in a network so that they are distributed closer to the user. The Windows Azure CDN today delivers many Microsoft products – such as Windows Update, Zune videos, and Bing Maps - which customers know and use every day.

CDN billing periods begin June 30. 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

Getting Started Using CDN

When a request is made using the Windows Azure Blob service URL, the blob is read directly from the Windows Azure Blob service. When a request is made using the Windows Azure CDN URL, the request is redirected to the CDN endpoint closest to the location from which the request was made to provide access to the blob. If the blob is not found at that endpoint, then it is retrieved from the Blob service and cached at the endpoint, where a time-to-live (TTL) setting is maintained for the cached blob. The TTL specifies that the blob should be cached for that amount of time in the CDN until it is refreshed by the Blob service. The CDN attempts to refresh the blob from Windows Azure Blob service only once the TTL has elapsed. The default TTL is 72 hours.

See Introducing the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network.

About Content Delivery Network

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.

Windows Azure CDN has 18 locations globally: United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

The benefit of using a CDN is better performance and user experience for users who are farther from the source of the content stored in the Windows Azure Blob service. In addition, Windows Azure CDN provides worldwide high-bandwidth access to serve content for popular events.