Table of Contents
- Contrasting Single Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant Cloud infrastructure
- Advantages of single tenant model
- Choosing the right architecture for you
- Some important benefits of Hybrid Cloud Model
- Wrapping up!
In this article, we shall talk about the advantages and disadvantages of single-tenant clouds and multi-tenant clouds. So let us get started!
In the past decade adoption of cloud computing has been off the charts. For a long time, most companies (primarily enterprises) managed their own IT infrastructure and they could reap the benefits of isolation, privacy and greater management control.
This is what is known as a single tenant cloud architecture i.e. when you do not share the underlying IT infrastructure with any other organization.
With the boom of small and medium-sized organizations arose the need for cheaper access to computing resources, and therefore Public cloud was born. With the help of the public cloud, you could get your business online in no time with a fraction of the cost as compared to owning a private IT infrastructure.
However, there was a compromise involved that the IT infrastructure needed to be shared with another organization. If you were ready to embrace this methodology, it included benefits like a cost-efficient startup, quick ability to scale, and offloading of infrastructure management and maintenance. This is known as multi-tenant cloud infrastructure.
Lately, there has been buzz about another term which is called Hybrid cloud infrastructure. Later on in this post, we will touch upon this a little, so sit tight!
With such complex architecture hosting your business’ critical applications it is immensely important that you have correct infrastructure monitoring in place. Your monitoring stack should be able to provide you with an in-depth view of your application and infrastructure’s performance. This way, you can take the right business decisions and tap into your infrastructure’s potential.
MetricFire can help you ensure that these metrics are monitored properly and you have complete insight into your application’s performance. MetricFire specializes in monitoring systems and you can use your product with minimal configuration to gain in-depth insight into your environments.
If you would like to learn more about it please book a demo with us, or sign up for the free trial today. Let’s go ahead and learn the different pros and cons of Single Tenant vs Multi-Tenant Cloud Infrastructure.
Contrasting Single Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant Cloud infrastructure
Advantages of single tenant model
1. Single-tenant hosting gives clients more control
Single-tenant hosting solutions can customize their software more than multi-tenant solutions since they only serve one client. An analogy is if you live in a house you can knock out a wall and no one else cares—you can do what you want and it won’t impact anyone living in the house next door.
2. Single-tenant hosting offers isolated security risks
Unlike multi-tenant agreements that share a database and server, single-tenant clients have these all to themselves. This makes security exposures to vulnerabilities and penetration attacks isolated to the single client and recovery may be expedited easily from a backup/restore or a disaster recovery system.
3. Single-tenant hosting can be choosier about software changes
Because they’re the only tenant, they can usually choose to accept or decline a software update. Most SaaS organizations have limits on the end life of old software before they either stop supporting it or force an update. But single tenants can choose when and if they want to update, providing it is before the software version expires.
They can also choose what features or add-ons they want, as well as request custom solutions built specifically for them. This is rare since most vendors would still want to maintain a single code base with configurable options per client, but it is possible.
4. Dedicated systems services
There is better control of system capacity planning and monitoring since the client knows the traffic workload characteristics. When sharing system resources, it can be challenging to deterministically tell what resources are needed, since there is a dependency on other clients.
Disadvantages of single tenant model
The primary disadvantage of single tenancy is cost.
- There is no cost sharing for things like serviceability, system monitoring, and deployment.
- Clients need to worry about their own data backup/restore and disaster recovery system as well as manage their own patching and updating (which means high IT costs).
It’s not just cost though. Single-tenant systems can be less efficient as well. Firstly, because they’re running on entire servers that might not be at capacity. Secondly, the underlying software is only serving one client and not benefiting from all the services provided by multi-tenant solutions.
Advantages of the multi-tenant model
1. Lower costs
A cloud provider may sell its services to many customers at a much lower cost than if each customer needs their own dedicated infrastructure, with many customers sharing resources.
2. Better resource usage
One computer reserved for one tenant is not useful because it is not possible that one tenant can use all the processing power of the computer. The use of available resources is maximized by sharing computers between multiple tenants.
3. Maintenance effortlessly
The multi-tenant application architecture is designed in such a way that it makes it much more efficient to manage the application for the vendors. It is easy to customize the modules and render using the program conveniently. Since shared codes are nearly popular, you do not need to change the codes or data structures.
4. Simple to add a new customer
For delivering top-notch customer support, SaaS networks offering multi-tenant environments are typically sticklers. That's because they have a high number of clients and need to make sure they have a good experience with each one.
Since it has an automatic signup mechanism, the multi-tenant application would give the vendors an advantage. It also automates the configured domain and the sub-domain. Setting the default data and configuring the program are other automated activities.
5. Easy to customize
You can include an additional layer with multi-tenancy-based applications to allow customization while also retaining an underlying codebase that remains consistent for all users, including, of course, all new customers.
6. Backup and restore
In the multi-tenant system, the tenant can manage updates by downloading and upgrading local applications. When configuring backups and recovery options, this model allows for better overall control. This also allows for the backup of each user to be carried out separately.
Disadvantages of the multi-tenant model
1. Greater security risk
Strict authentication and access controls need to be in place to prevent clients from reading, writing, and updating each other’s data. What’s more, there is a risk that data corruption can propagate through all the clients in an instance – a risk multi-tenant hosts work hard to mitigate.
2. Serviceability and maintainability
Because everyone relies on the same codebase, updates to both hardware and software can affect all clients, and the maintenance period for any downtime will affect all clients at the same time.
3. Possibility of competing for system resources
Multi-tenant hosting shares system resources and as the client base grows dynamically, provisions must be made to add more resources as needed. While theoretically there can be conflict over these resources, there are protocols in place to make sure that resources are balanced across all clients: protocols like load balancers and “elastic” computing.
These innovations ensure that checks and balances are in place to service all clients in response to dynamically changing resource demands.
4. Difficult to migrate
If a customer using a single tenant system wants to move from a SaaS environment (where the software is hosted for them, usually by the offering company) into a self-hosted environment (where they host the software on their own managed servers), it is a simple process with little or no headaches.
With the multi-tenant model, it gets a little more complicated and is often impossible to move or extremely costly to move to a self-hosted environment.
Choosing the right architecture for you
Choosing the correct cloud architecture is an important decision, and sometimes going through all the above advantages and disadvantages can be overwhelming. There is no right answer to which is a better architecture.
Single tenant or multi-tenant?
You should look at the needs of your organization and then decide which way to go. However, some important things to consider can be:
Want to choose the best of both worlds? Say hello to Hybrid Cloud.
Hybrid cloud means that you can have applications running in private cloud and public cloud and also on your own traditional infrastructure. This means you can leverage the multi-tenancy benefits of the public cloud and reap the benefits of single tenancy on your own IT infrastructure.
For example, you can host your databases and other high-security applications in a single-tenant system. At the same time, move your non-mission critical and stateless applications to a multi-tenant system which incurs less cost and is easier to scale.
And yes, Metricfire can provide you with a single pane of glass view for all your applications even if they are running in different cloud models. Cheers!
To learn more about how you can use MetricFire’s solutions to monitor your applications, regardless of your cloud model, book a demo with us. You can also try it out for yourself with a 14-day free trial.
Some important benefits of Hybrid Cloud Model
One of the key benefits of implementing a hybrid cloud solution is control. Rather than entrusting all aspects of IT infrastructure to a third-party cloud provider, you can customize the private end of their hybrid cloud model to your specific needs and adjust them accordingly as you see fit.
Since a portion of the networked-enabled application remains private, internal IT staff can retain control of critical operations and deal with the day-to-day management of servers and other infrastructure.
One important byproduct of retaining control over networked-enabled applications is speed. Of course, a hybrid cloud environment isn’t inherently faster than a multi-cloud environment or a purely public cloud.
It does, however, allow IT staff to optimize the network to minimize latency and make it easier for data to get where it needs to be. Hybrid environments can also take advantage of edge computing architectures to further increase speed and locate crucial services closer to end users.
With a hybrid cloud model, you can leverage the security of a private cloud with the power and services of a public cloud. While data stored in a private environment will likely still have to be transmitted to the public cloud for analytics, applications, and other processes, extensive encryption methods can be implemented to ensure this data remains as secure as possible.
Since the IT staff retains direct control over the structure of a private cloud, they can manage access to that data across an organization and establish strict protocols for how critical assets should be managed.
With hybrid cloud architectures, you can have the best of both worlds. Critical data, assets, and operations can continue to reside in the private cloud. Organizations can also leverage the expansive power of cloud computing to quickly and efficiently increase their operational capacity.
Public cloud computing resources make it easier to develop new applications and run powerful analytics programs that would simply be beyond the capacity of a small organization with no more than a few servers at its disposal.
With this impediment to growth removed, hybrid clouds offer the opportunity for companies of all sizes to compete with more established competitors faster than ever before.
Implementing a hybrid cloud solution can impose some additional costs beyond establishing a purely single-tenant or multi-tenant cloud environment. But in the long run, it can significantly lower IT costs.
The scalability of a hybrid cloud makes it an attractive alternative to a purely private single-tenant cloud, which can be extremely expensive to both updates and expand over time.
More importantly, by storing critical data in the private portion of a hybrid network, companies can mitigate the potentially ruinous cost of migrating assets from one cloud provider to another (or worse, having to find a new provider quickly should an existing partner go out of business).
I hope by now you have enough information about various cloud deployment models and are able to make the right choice for your organization. Once you decide on these models we highly recommend collecting a rich set of metrics to monitor your infrastructure.
If you need help setting up these metrics feel free to reach out to me through LinkedIn. Additionally, MetricFire can help you monitor your applications across various cloud models. Monitoring is extremely essential for any application stack, and you can get started with your monitoring using MetricFire’s free trial.
Robust monitoring will not only help you meet SLAs for your application but also ensure a sound sleep for the operations and development teams. If you would like to learn more about it and talk to our experts, please book a demo with us.