Hosting image via the Windows Azure CDN
By popular demand, here are some pictures from today (sorry for the quality, I only have my cell phone with me for taking pictures). Windows Azure Storage natively supports a CDN network (see the Windows Azure CDN announcement from a few days ago). In my case, I have set up the DNS name 'cdn.iconstructions.be' to point (via a DNS CNAME record) to the domain 'az1895.vo.msecnd.net', which is the DNS name that was generated for me on the Windows Azure management web site.
By using the Windows Azure CDN network, I can link to 'http://cdn.iconstructions.be/pdc-2009/pdc-2009-figueroa-bar-1.jpg' instead of 'http://iconstructions.blob.core.windows.net/pdc-2009/pdc-2009-figueroa-bar-1.jpg'. The images will be cached and served by the Windows Azure node nearest to the requestor. In my case, this is currently (I'm in my hotel room in Los Angeles) '126.96.36.199'. According to geoip.co.uk, this is near El Dorado!! I assume this might also be better SEO-wise (see also our seo optimisations).
A few weeks ago I tried use a DNS CNAME record to give my images a DNS name that properly reflects my domain name instead of Windows Azure domain names, but this didn't work. The Windows Azure Storage service refused to service the request if it was accessed via a different host name than 'yourazureproject.blob.core.windows.net'. With the introduction of the Windows Azure CDN it became clear to me that this was in preparation of the CDN. Anyway, with the CDN available, Windows Azure Storage seems to have reached feature parity with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) (at least when it comes down to CDN support).
I didn't have time to scale the images to a lower resolution more appropriate for web pages, so the images may be a bit slow to load. On the other hand, this also allows you to evaluate the speed of the CDN.