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Microsoft today is announcing that its Azure CDN (content delivery network) service provided by CDN vendor Akamai is now generally available, following a preview that began in the fall of 2015. The technology is meant to provide content to end users faster than it ordinarily would be, by using points of presence sprinkled throughout the world.

The Akamai option is not the first CDN that’s become available to Azure customers. The first one was Verizon, in a deal announced in January 2015. Now customers have another choice — and the prices for both CDNs are essentially the same. The two options are more modern and feature-rich than the CDN Microsoft itself developed several years ago, primarily to support Windows updates.

“Since our preview in the fall, we’ve been working with a number of leading companies including LG, TVN, MEKmedia, TVB and several others in the broadcasting, production and media space,” Microsoft Azure Media Services and Azure CDN general manager Sudheer Sirivara wrote in a blog post on the news. And Microsoft itself has long used Akamai, for Windows and Xbox among other things, Sirivara wrote.

Public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services has its own CloudFront CDN, and Google quietly launched its own CDN late last year.


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Also today, Microsoft is saying that the elastic pools capability for Azure SQL Database, first announced last year, is now generally available.

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