More and more organizations are employing a cloud-first strategy by moving their operations to the cloud. Research shows that 67% of enterprise workload has transitioned to the cloud and 40% of companies use a cloud-native-first strategy. That’s not so surprising if you consider the many advantages available, especially for businesses, with cloud computing.
Not only is it cost-effective, but there’s also no need to maintain physical assets to carry out essential functions, thanks to cloud software. Physical assets, if any, are also ensured to have a safe backup via cloud storage. This can become a lifesaver in the case of natural disasters that may damage physical documents.
In a cloud environment, businesses can achieve significant cost-savings, enjoy automated print processes, future-proof their IT systems, scale up or down depending on needs and growth, safeguard data and users, and take advantage of always-on availability. With progressive solutions like SAFEQ Cloud, businesses can even bid farewell to system administration and make life easier for their IT team.
Multi-tenancy cloud makes a great pool of resources available to a larger group of people without sacrificing security or slowing down applications. Multi-tenant architecture brings cost-savings, resource efficiency, easy setup, and little-to-no maintenance requirements to companies and their IT departments.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of opting for a multi-tenant architecture, and how you can tell if it’s the right option for you.
What is Multi-Tenancy in the Cloud?
First off, the ‘cloud’ represents various services and software that run on the internet. Instead of running locally on an individual’s computer, tasks performed via the cloud do not take up the computing power of an individual’s or business’ computers.
Cloud computing allows computing services, which include the following, to be delivered over the internet:
In fact, some people rent out their PC’s computing resources by using software that allows researchers, businesses, and individuals to safely access their desired services through the cloud.
As such, businesses are no longer required to have on-site data centres or server facilities. Third-party providers, such as IT infrastructure companies, can supply cloud solutions that are appropriate for clients’ needs. Some providers also offer cloud solutions such as cloud-based printing infrastructures.
When it comes to tenancy in software architecture, what is meant by ‘tenants’ is really user groups. As such, different tenancy architectures address how service providers provide user groups with access to their software.
A multi-tenant cloud is a type of cloud architecture that, as the name suggests, welcomes multiple users or ‘tenants’ into a single instance of a software application. Users share the same cloud resource (application) with other users in a multi-tenant architecture. Simultaneously, each tenant can access only their allotment in the cloud (separate database).
Multi-tenancy is all about public cloud deployment with an ecosystem shared by multiple tenants–where each tenant have their own space allocations within the cloud. They can then use this to store apps, data, and other requirements. To keep data secure, access is restricted only to authorized users and each tenant can only access their own separate database.
Statistics show that 92% of organizations using the cloud adopted a multi-tenant strategy.
Multi-Tenant vs. Single-Tenant Cloud
What’s the difference between a single-tenant and multi-tenant environment? Essentially, a single-tenant cloud (i.e., reserved hosting) has only one client whereas a multi-tenant cloud (i.e., shared hosting) serves multiple clients. In a nutshell, here’s how the two cloud architectures differ:
- Multi-Tenant Cloud (Shared hosting): Multi-tenancy allows multiple clients to share the same cloud resource. In effect, the clients’ apps and websites are hosted alongside each other. Multi-cloud services are typically public cloud arrangements. This type of arrangement opens up the application to multiple tenants, while separating their data and access across separate databases.
- Single-Tenant Cloud (Reserved hosting): Single tenancy offers clients a dedicated resource specifically for one client’s databases, software architecture, and other elements. Typically, businesses that use a third-party cloud service or deploy their services in a private cloud fall under a single-tenant arrangement. This type of arrangement makes both applications and databases separate.
For context, there are also hybrid cloud offerings that allow organizations to combine public and private cloud hosting arrangements based on their needs. Resources are allocated across single-tenant and multi-tenant cloud platforms, allowing organizations a greater degree of flexibility depending on their needs.
What Are the Benefits of a Multi-Tenant Cloud?
Naturally, both cloud environments have their own set of advantages. Very briefly, single tenancy offers clients the following benefits:
- Dedicated cloud environment
- Easier and more tailor-made customization
Multi-tenancy, on the other hand, comes with several benefits that are great for businesses looking to optimize their resources further:
1. Lower Cost
Multi-tenant cloud services are more cost-effective than single-tenant ones because the cost of ownership and maintenance is shared across multiple users. This is something that a lot of organizations benefit from as the savings can be significant over time.
Given that multi-tenancy architecture is typically found in public cloud arrangements, chances are that the costs are also subscription-based. Such a multi-tenant SaaS architecture allows each tenant to only pay for the licenses they need.
2. Resource Efficiency
Multi-tenancy architecture allows for efficient usage of compute and hardware resources. These resources are used efficiently because they are shared among tenants. Multi-tenancies tend to be more efficient in terms of resource utilization, so no resources are wasted and there are no unnecessary costs.
3. Easy Set-Up
SaaS platforms that offer multi-tenant cloud services typically have large numbers of clients. As such, they are experts at providing customer support and making sure that cloud adoption and migration go as smoothly as possible for each client. Multi-tenant applications are therefore easy to deploy. You only need to set up one single instance of a software application, which in turn will be able to serve all your user groups.
Multi-tenancies are easier to maintain because updates are typically handled by the SaaS company. Since environments are similar for all clients, providers can provide an optimal onboarding and maintenance process for each one. A single software instance is much easier to maintain, secure, and optimize over time.
Why Multi-Tenancy Fast Tracks Evolution
When hundreds (or even thousands) of businesses are using the same operational infrastructure, all of them benefit through the various ways in which they’re challenging and improving that shared cloud infrastructure.
For example, new security and compliance features requested by one customer will be implemented on the platform seamlessly, for all customers, at no additional cost. And, thanks to cloud-centric architecture — with zero downtime. Also, if a single customer identifies a security issue, that issue is not only eliminated for the specific customer; it’s fixed for all customers at once.
All the while, platform providers gain insight into their customers’ businesses, pain points, and needs. This gives solution providers the ability to compare data with their other customers and draw powerful conclusions on the product roadmap and evolution.
Multi-tenancy is also one of the key differences between a legacy application that ‘moved to the cloud’ (Cloud-enabled) and one that was ‘born in the cloud’ (Cloud-native). Those that moved to the cloud are less likely to evolve than those born in the cloud. Legacy applications born in the cloud will likely continue to evolve with the cloud, alongside the wealth of possibilities it creates.
A word of caution. When you’re ready to choose a print-infrastructure solution for your cloud-first strategy, validate your supplier’s cloud credentials first. Here are a few questions to ask them:
- Was this solution built for the cloud or has it been moved to the cloud?
- How do you scale the server resources associated with my business peaks? (You want to hear its elastic scalability – instant, automated, and scaled to suit your business needs).
- How do you deliver security or compliance updates? What’s my downtime impact? (Ideally, you want to hear that there’s zero downtime).
- How long will it take to set up new sites/devices/services? (They should be capable of near-instant provisioning).
Essentially, you want your supplier to have a secure infrastructure with superior technology. This will ensure that they will be a reliable provider for years to come and will not put your organization under any kind of risk.
FAQs on Multi-Tenancy Cloud
Q1) Are Multi-Tenant Cloud Architectures Secure?
It’s not uncommon to consider security in a multi-tenant application distorted.
This is because a hack or breach in one tenant’s database can impair other tenants' privacy and data within the shared environment. At the same time, even more importantly, solution providers behind multi-tenant solutions apply a proactive approach to security, conducting frequent penetration tests and vulnerability scans to ensure risks are mitigated at all times.
One benefit of SaaS solutions is that providers deliver frequent updates (monthly in our case) with anything from security patches to preemptive security enhancements being delivered to every tenant for immediate upgrade.
Q2) Is Data Kept Separate in a Multi-Tenant Application?
Multi-tenancy architecture can serve multiple organizations using the resources of a single software instance while keeping the data of each tenant isolated from the others. Strict logical separation of data through domain and certificate concepts ensures only your company can access your data.
Cloud services have paved the way for businesses to optimize their storage, data, and even print solutions while minimizing costs. One great example of such a service is Y Soft's SAFEQ Cloud, a true cloud-centric service, designed and developed for the cloud, based on a multi-tenant platform.
Our clients who have moved their print infrastructure to the cloud are reaping the benefits in terms of deployment times, as well as the evolution of one of the fastest print engines in the world.
The SAFEQ infrastructure is secure, convenient, and cost-effective. It’s the answer to most organizations’ printing problems, including forgotten documents, leaked confidential files, and typical troubleshooting concerns.
Does cloud print sound like the next thing to include in your cloud-first strategy? Find out how you can transcend your cloud adoption with a cloud print system.