In April 2019, Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure Front Door (AFD). What is AFD? What is it used for? How is it different from Azure CDN? If you’re curious to know more about the Front Door, read this blog to gain a peek into the world of Azure Front Door.

What Is Azure Front Door

Have you ever wondered how a web application based in one part of the globe can be accessed by millions spread across the world at the click of a button? It is through an Application Delivery Network (ADN), which helps deliver web applications globally at lightning speed. Azure Front Door is one such ADN which is a scalable entry-point and global in nature. It uses the global Microsoft edge network to create high-speed, protected, and highly scalable web applications. It offers various layer 7 load-balancing capabilities for applications, combining security and Content Delivery Network (CDN) technology in a tightly integrated service that can provide secure app and accelerate content delivery.

AFD helps to build, operate and scale out dynamic web applications as well as static content. It also helps to define, manage, and monitor global web traffic routing by optimizing for top-tier end user performance and reliability through prompt global failover.

AFD’s smart load balancing algorithm routes traffic to the fastest available backend. It is different from the typical DNS-based load balancing systems since Azure Front Door delivers almost instant failover across application backends along with higher granular control to even failover specific microservices.

Key Features

Some of the key features of Azure Front Door include but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring smart health probe for back-end resources
  • Security for Application with Web Application Firewall (WAF) integration
  • Redirects traffic from HTTP to HTTPS with URL redirect
  • Enables hosting of multiple websites for efficient application infrastructure
  • Accelerated application performance by using split TCP-based anycast protocol

Difference between Azure Front Door and Azure CDN

Just like an ADN enables fast delivery of global applications, a CDN enables quick delivery of high-bandwidth content. Azure CDN provides accelerated data transfer, deep integration and multiple providers, whereas Azure Front Door offers globally distributed microservice applications, dynamic applications with global reach and global, real-time performance and availability for apps or APIs. Azure Front Door can be used for delivering sites, services and APIs, whereas Azure CDN can be used for delivering static content like videos, images and PDFs, integrating the best of both solutions.

As the internet traffic continue to increase with global digital transformation, further accelerated by the pandemic, digital assets and network are at a higher risk of attack from cybercriminals. Using Azure Front Door, helps protect your apps, content, APIs and websites as the traffic always remains inside the protected Microsoft global network.

This article only provides a brief introduction to AFD. Reach out to us to know more about this service in detail and how it can help you transform your global consumer and enterprise applications into robust, high-performing personalized modern applications with contents that reach a global audience.

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