CDN expert Dan Rayburn reported Monday that Microsoft is deep-sixing its home-grown content delivery network capabilities and is instead turning to Verizon EdgeCast to deliver video for Microsoft Azure customers. Verizon bought Edgecast for its media delivery expertise, in late 2013.
Reached for comment, a [company]Microsoft[/company] spokesman provided a limited confirmation: “[company]Microsoft[/company] licenses technology from many partners to complement our product offerings and to give customers complete solutions. We are happy to partner with EdgeCast to provide an integral component of the Azure Media Services workflow.”
Delivery of content of all kinds, including bandwidth-hungry video, has been a priority for the Azure forces. Microsoft trumpeted the use of Microsoft Azure Media Services to help live stream Winter Olympic events from Sochi, for example, but that effort relied on CDN market leader Akamai.
“While Azure did have some CDN services of its own before shutting them down, they were basic, Rayburn said via email.
“Partnering with [company]Verizon[/company]’s EdgeCast gives Azure more CDN functionality, greater reach and capacity and allows Azure to get all of the advantages of one of the best CDNs in the market, without any of the major capex or opex challenges. It’s a smart move on Azure’s part,” he said.
As Rayburn pointed out on his blog, [company]Amazon[/company] builds almost everything in its cloud from foundation to rooftop. Microsoft, on the other hand, is more partner-focused and thus more inclined to license or buy technology.
And, don’t forget, Microsoft is also playing cloud catch up to Amazon Web Services, which, having launched in 2006, has a multi-year head start over competitors. Azure, in its first PaaS-based incarnation launched in 2010, but the more AWS-comparable version kicked off in 2013.
When you’re behind in the race, buying in could be a way to make up for lost time.