Optimize Azure content delivery for your scenario

When you deliver content to a large global audience, it's critical to ensure the optimized delivery of your content. Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) can optimize the delivery experience based on the type of content you have. Content can be a website, a live stream, a video, or a large file for download. When you create a CDN endpoint, you specify a scenario in the Optimized for option. Your choice determines which optimization is applied to the content delivered from the CDN endpoint.

Optimization choices are designed to use best-practice behaviors to improve content delivery performance and better origin offload. Your scenario choices affect performance by modifying configurations for partial caching, object chunking, and the origin failure retry policy.

This article provides an overview of various optimization features and when you should use them. For more information on features and limitations, see the respective articles on each individual optimization type.

Note

Your Optimized for options can vary based on the provider you select. CDN providers apply enhancement in different ways, depending on the scenario.

Provider options

Azure CDN Standard from Microsoft supports the following optimizations:

Azure CDN Standard from Verizon, and Azure CDN Premium from Verizon support the following optimizations:

Azure CDN Standard from Akamai supports the following optimizations:

Microsoft recommends that you test performance variations between different providers to select the optimal provider for your delivery.

Select and configure optimization types

To create a new endpoint, select an optimization type that best matches the scenario and type of content that you want the endpoint to deliver. General web delivery is the default selection. For existing Azure Content Delivery Network from Akamai endpoints, you can update the optimization option at any time. This change doesn't interrupt delivery from Azure CDN.

  1. Within an Azure CDN Standard from Akamai profile, select an endpoint.

    Endpoint selection

  2. Under SETTINGS, select Optimization. Then, select a type from the Optimized for drop-down list.

    Optimization and type selection

Optimization for specific scenarios

You can optimize the CDN endpoint for one of these scenarios.

General web delivery

General web delivery is the most common optimization option. It's designed for general web content optimization, such as webpages and web applications. This optimization also can be used for file and video downloads.

A typical website contains static and dynamic content. Static content includes images, JavaScript libraries, and style sheets that can be cached and delivered to different users. Dynamic content is personalized for an individual user, such as news items that are tailored to a user profile. Dynamic content isn't cached because it's unique to each user, such as shopping cart contents. General web delivery can optimize your entire website.

Note

If you use Azure CDN Standard from Akamai, you might want to use this optimization if your average file size is smaller than 10 MB. If your average file size is larger than 10 MB, select Large file download from the Optimized for drop-down list.

General media streaming

If you need to use the endpoint for live streaming and video-on-demand streaming, we recommend general media streaming optimization.

Media streaming is time sensitive, because packets that arrive late on the client can cause a degraded viewing experience, such as frequent buffering of video content. Media streaming optimization reduces the latency of media content delivery and provides a smooth streaming experience for users.

This scenario is common for Azure media service customers. When you use Azure media services, you get one streaming endpoint that can be used for both live and on-demand streaming. With this scenario, customers don't need to switch to another endpoint when they change from live to on-demand streaming. General media streaming optimization supports this type of scenario.

For Azure CDN Standard from Microsoft, Azure CDN Standard from Verizon, and Azure CDN Premium from Verizon, use the general web delivery optimization type to deliver general streaming media content.

For more information about media streaming optimization, see Media streaming optimization.

Video-on-demand media streaming

Video-on-demand media streaming optimization improves video-on-demand streaming content. If you use an endpoint for video-on-demand streaming, you might want to use this option.

For Azure CDN Standard from Microsoft, Azure CDN Standard from Verizon, and Azure CDN Premium from Verizon, use the general web delivery optimization type to deliver video-on-demand streaming media content.

For more information about media streaming optimization, see Media streaming optimization.

Note

If the CDN endpoint primarily serves video-on-demand content, use this optimization type. The major difference between this optimization and the general media streaming optimization is the connection retry time-out. The time-out is much shorter to work with live streaming scenarios.

Large file download

For Azure CDN Standard from Akamai, large file downloads are optimized for content larger than 10 MB. If your average file size is smaller than 10 MB, use general web delivery. If your average files sizes are consistently larger than 10 MB, it might be more efficient to create a separate endpoint for large files. For example, firmware or software updates typically are large files. To deliver files larger than 1.8 GB, the large file download optimization is required.

For Azure CDN Standard from Microsoft, Azure CDN Standard from Verizon, and Azure CDN Premium from Verizon, use the general web delivery optimization type to deliver large file download content. There is no limitation on file download size.

For more information about large file optimization, see Large file optimization.

Dynamic site acceleration

Dynamic site acceleration is available for Azure CDN Standard from Akamai, Azure CDN Standard from Verizon, and Azure CDN Premium from Verizon profiles. This optimization involves an additional fee to use; for more information, see Content Delivery Network pricing.

Dynamic site acceleration includes various techniques that benefit the latency and performance of dynamic content. Techniques include route and network optimization, TCP optimization, and more.

You can use this optimization to accelerate a web app that includes numerous responses that aren't cacheable. Examples are search results, checkout transactions, or real-time data. You can continue to use core CDN caching capabilities for static data.

For more information about dynamic site acceleration, see Dynamic site acceleration.