Microsoft and Akamai have announced general availability of Azure CDN from Akamai, which provides Azure cloud customers integrated access and support for Akamai’s global content delivery network. The partnership was initially announced last September and the companies have been working closely on integration and on-boarding charter customers since.
Sudheer Sirivara, who runs Microsoft’s Azure Media Service team, told me that offering the Akamai CDN would be beneficial to bigger customers who want multi-CDN capability for global deployments (Microsoft has been offering Verizon’s EdgeCast CDN since 2014). Sudheer emphasized Akamai’s Latin America and Asia network capabilities which have been highly requested by customers. In addition, small and mid-sized customers get web-based access to Akamai’s global network with just a few clicks for the first time.
For Akamai, the partnership means tapping into this demand without expending direct sales resources. In fact, Sudheer said Azure is adding 120K new subscriptions per month, so Akamai is likely to see meaningful new customer additions. Most of these will likely be lower volume but in the aggregate they could add up to something significant.
Ryan Shinnick, Akamai’s Global Alliance Director who runs the Azure partnership, told me that Akamai has put a strong emphasis on “breadth solutions” that are being brought to market as first party services including co-branding, as Azure is doing. Separate, Akamai announced a partnership with Rackspace a year ago and it wouldn’t be surprising to see other deals soon as well.
Ryan highlighted how Azure will field all support requests, with a hard handoff to Akamai support when applicable. The companies also developed a joint trouble ticket exchange system whereby Akamai can see all tickets and respond directly.
Both Sudheer and Ryan said the primary initial applications would be commerce, video streaming, software downloads and web acceleration. The companies have a long history of working together including on the 2014 Winter Olympics, 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 NFL Super Bowl.
(Note: Akamai is a VideoNuze sponsor)