Find your best CDN service

Since the commercial use of the Internet began to flourish, among the major issues have been the establishment of networks that enable fast and stable provision of web services. Particularly for services that host large-capacity image data, load decentralization and routing optimization are crucial issues to be tackled. Typically, CDN (Contents Delivery Network) services automatically and dynamically mirror server content, which method has long been adopted to decentralize load and speed up Internet access. End users just type the same host name to access the Web, and they can enjoy a fast connection to get the content from a nearest edge server.

It is becoming easier to organize paperwork to sign up with a CDN service, which encourages more and more online service providers to implement a CDN. Paid CDN services have been diversified in terms of size and usage. This article takes up for comparison several CDN service providers who are showing the pricing information. It also discusses server/storage provision services and other related services.

Amazon CloudFront

http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/ – Amazon CloudFront is a CDN service started in 2008 by Amazon, who has also been recognized as a versatile cloud service provider. Amazon CloudFront focuses on the improvement of general-purpose cloud service Amazon EC2 and online storage service Amazon S3. So, Amazon EC2 works in conjunction with Amazon S3 seamlessly, but it does accept third-party web servers, too.

The monthly bill is mainly based on the amount of data transferred in/out of an edge server and the number of requests. The edge server locations are composed of 4 regions: U.S., Europe, Singapore & Hong Kong, Japan. The U.S. has the highest rate while Japan the lowest. Amazon CloudFront offers different price rates depending on the amount of transferred data. A lower rate applies to a greater amount of data. Like other types of AWS(Amazon Web Service), Amazon CloudFront offers users online application, which makes itself a most suitable service for a quick implementation or temporary use. On the other hand, as they practice a pay-as-you-go policy, you need to keep an eye on how much you use. Amazon Simple Monthly Calculator helps estimate the cost of use including a case of combination use of EC2 and S3. You might want to check your estimate on this site before implementation.

Windows Azure Content Delivery Network

http://www.microsoft.com/japan/windowsazure/cdn/ – Windows Azure Content Delivery Network is a CDN service, one of the cloud services “Windows Azure” provided by Microsoft. Accordingly, to use this service, you can only use a storage space handled on the Windows Azure cloud services. Apart from this point, the pricing system and features are similar to those of Amazon. Windows Azure assumes cooperation with development solutions provided by Microsoft. The Case Study page shows users who distribute their services by harnessing Azure technologies.

Cloud Flare

http://www.cloudflare.com/  – While the above two worldwide corporate giants provide a great scalability to support a wide range of size and usage, Cloud Flare targets small and medium sized services. They offer three different plans: CloudFlare Free (available free for use), CloudFlare Pro ($20/month flat-rate), and CloudFlare Enterprise (a service for enterprises, being built now). According to the “System Status” page, the edge servers have been set up in the Netherlands, several states in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Japan. According to this blog post (Japanese text only), this service actually supports data transfer of 10 – 20 GB/day, a little over 1TB/month. As this service offers a fixed rate, you can reduce the cost to 1/5 to 1/10 compared to Amazon CloudFront for this scale of use. There is no restriction of servers used for this service. In addition, you can handle any type of content without restriction. This service will be suitable for those who compromise on some technical restrictions, do not need a perfect guarantee for it, but want to use a CDN service for a reasonable price.

Broadmedia CDN services

http://www.bmcdn.net/index.html (Japanese text only) – Broadmedia Corporation, a Japan-based broadcast company, offers different CDN service plans including:
– Broadmedia CDN Entry: for PC
– Broadmedia CDN Mobile: for mobile
– Broadmedia CDN Mobile FL: for flash video distribution on mobile; user images are formatted in Flash format
– Broadmedia CDN Mobile Movie: for video distribution on mobile; user videos are optimized for different mobile models

Broadmedia offers, not only environments for content distribution, also supports for specific needs. Like Broadmedia Corporation, other domestic CDN services seem to be aiming at meeting specific needs.

[email protected] CDN

http://www.willnet.ad.jp/index.html (Japanese text only) – [email protected], a rental server provider, entered the CDN service business in Febrary 2011. To use the CDN service, you need to use servers (e.g., shared servers, VPS servers, and WVM servers) leased by the company. If you need to configure the infrastructure of content distribution from scratch, this will be a good option because you can get a support for both server management and CDN service from the same company.

GMO CLOUD Public

http://www.gmocloud.com/service/cloud/public/ (Japanese text only) – GMO Internet, Inc. offers a CDN service as part of the company’s could services. You need to implement the company’s cloud service before join the optional CDN service, of which the initial cost is 10,500 JPN. The monthly charge for data transfer costs 105/GB.

Conclusion

Lastly, I present the following table that shows each service and its features and pricing. Note the pricing refers to prices for data transfer only. Other factors need to be considered to work out the entire cost.

Service name Usage Target storage Storage provision Total capacity/
File size limit
Initial cost 10GB/
month
100GB/
month
1000GB/
month
10TB/
month
100TB/
month
Notes
Amazon CloudFront
(Japan server only)
General-purpose Any web server AmazonEC2/AmazonS3 Storage dependent 0 2.01 USD 20.10 USD 201.00 USD 2,010.00 USD 14,317.92 USD Charged separately according to the number of requests
Amazon CloudFront
(Avarage among different locations)
General-purpose Any web server AmazonEC2/AmazonS3 Storage dependent 0 1.73 USD 17.28 USD 172.75 USD 1,727.50 USD 11,731.48 USD Charged separately according to the number of requests
Windows Azure CDN
(Japan server only)
General-purpose Windows Azure storage only WindowsAzure storage Storage dependent/
10GB
0 2.00 USD 20.00 USD 200.00 USD 2,000.00 USD 20,000.00 USD Charged separately according to the number of requests
Windows Azure CDN
(North America/Europe servers only)
General-purpose Windows Azure storage only WindowsAzure storage Storage dependent/
10GB
0 1.50 USD 15.00 USD 150.00 USD 1,500.00 USD 15,000.00 USD Charged separately according to the number of requests
Cloud Flare(Pro) General-purpose Any web storage None Not specified 0 20.00 USD 20.00 USD 20.00 USD
BloadMedia CDN Entry General-purpose Dedicated backbone Dedicated backbone 1GB 0 26,800 JPN and up 26,800 JPN and up 26,800 JPN and up 26,800 JPN and up 26,800 JPN and up Fixed rate depends on scale of the service
BloadMedia CDN Mobile For mobile Any web server None Not specified 50,000 JPN 50,000 JPN 50,000 JPN and up 50,000 JPN and up 50,000 JPN and up 50,000 JPN and up Maximum number of access: 100,000
BloadMedia CDN FL Flash video formatting and distribution Any web server None Not specified 100,000 JPN 100,000 JPN and up 100,000 JPN and up 100,000 JPN and up 100,000 JPN and up 100,000 JPN and up Maximum number of access: 300,000
BloadMedia CDN MobileMovie Mobile(Video distribution) Any web server None Not specified 100,000 JPN 60,000 JPN and up 60,000 JPN and up 60,000 JPN and up 60,000 JPN and up 60,000 JPN and up Minimum number of download: 5000, charged separately for exceeded data
[email protected] CDN
(Shared server  or VPS server)
General-purpose [email protected]’s shared server  or VPS server [email protected]’s shared server  or VPS server Server dependent (50GB-100GB) 50,000 JPN
(Monitor 10,000 JPN)
0 0 0 0 0 You need to switch to [email protected] (WVM server or cloud)plan if transferred data overflows
[email protected](WVM server or cloud) General-purpose [email protected]’s WVM server  or cloud [email protected]’s WVM server  or cloud Server dependent (50GB-100GB) 0 0 0 25,000 JPN 475,000 JPN 4,975,000 JPN Up to 500GB, 50 JPN /1G for exceeded data
GMO CLOUD Public General-purpose GMO’s cloud storage GMO’s cloud service Cloud dependent
(10GB-40GB)
10,500 JPN 1,050 JPN 10,500 JPN 105,000 JPN 1,050,000 JPN 10,500,000 JPN
This post is also available in other languages.