What do Bing Maps, Zune videos, and Windows Update have in common? They’re all powered by the Microsoft Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN), which enhances end user performance by putting copies of your data in different spots across the network, distributing them closer to the endpoint. It’s been available to ISVs and VARs leveraging the Azure cloud platform for free as part of a technology preview, but starting July 1, Microsoft will be charging for the privilege.

Here’s the lowdown on the pricing, straight from the Azure team’s blog entry:
  • $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
To start strategically caching your Windows Azure blobs, you can enable CDN for your storage account from the Developers Portal.

This is good news for Azure developers: Assuming CDN works as advertised, anything that enhances content delivery is something that can enhance any cloud offering. But, once again -- Amazon Web Services already does it.

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