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Hackernoon logoSingle-Tenant Cloud vs Multi-Tenant: Understanding the difference between SaaS Architecture by@govind

Single-Tenant Cloud vs Multi-Tenant: Understanding the difference between SaaS Architecture

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@govindGovind Malviya

Technical Manager and Passionate Fullstack and polyglot developer

We sometimes hear the word "tenancy" when it comes to cloud software applications, but if you had googled the tenancy concept, it would mean the ownership of land or area by another person for a given time. The question, then, is how does SaaS apply to a tenancy?

In cloud computing, tenancy refers to the sharing in a private or public environment of computing services that is distinct from other users and kept invisible. In SaaS, the tenancy is broken down into two formats: single-tenant SaaS and multi-tenant SaaS.

What Is a Single Tenant?

Single-tenancy is an architecture in which one entity is supported by a single instance of a software application and supporting infrastructure. In software-as-a-service (SaaS) distribution models or cloud computing, single-tenancy is generally introduced. A client named a tenant would have a singular instance of a SaaS program allocated to them in single-tenancy architectures.

Some standard features of single-tenancy models are that they appear to provide a high degree of user interaction and control of users and reliability, protection, and backup ability.

Benefits of Single-Tenant SaaS Architecture

1. Security

A more secure environment is also allowed by single-tenant architecture. This is because the information of each tenant is entirely separate from the knowledge of other clients, single-tenant settings more easily allow enhanced protection as the data of each client is entirely different from each other. The probability of one client inadvertently accessing the data of another (as in a multi-tenant environment) is virtually eliminated.

2. Dependability

Thanks to the independent output of the tenant's software, a single-tenant system is known to be very secure. The result of the activities of another tenant is not compromised by running the program locally.

3. Backup/Restore

In the single-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.

4. Migration

They can quickly move an application to their own managed servers if a tenant wishes to move from a single-tenant (SaaS) system into a self-hosted or local environment. With a single tenancy, the process is less complicated for companies who might eventually want to move into a self-hosted domain.

5. Flexibility

In a single-tenant environment, there is greater control over the implementation and framework. This control allows the platform to provide more customization, flexibility, and more control over the local software's activities and functions.

What Is a Multi-Tenant?

In cloud computing, multitenancy means that multiple clients of a cloud provider use the same computing resources. Cloud customers are not aware of each other, despite the fact that they share resources, and their data is kept totally separate. Multi-tenancy is a core component of cloud computing; cloud services will be much less functional without it. In several types of public cloud computing, including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, containers, and serverless computing

Benefits of Multi-Tenant SaaS Architecture

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 the 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.

Single Tenancy VS Multi-Tenancy

Image courtesy - techtarget

Single Tenant -

The tenant is the SaaS client in a single-tenant SaaS setting. By design, this form of architecture allows running on the SaaS server for a single instance of a piece of software per client.

Typically, single-tenancy is contrasted with multi-tenancy, an architecture in which many clients represent a single instance of a software application.

Multi-Tenant -

The clients are still offices in a multi-tenant setting, but they are all situated inside one high-rise building this time. Within a larger SaaS software product, each client operates from its own space.

Each consumer shares the same database and framework in a multi-tenant architecture. For companies who want a smoother start-up environment and fewer hardware requirements, multi-tenancy is usually ideal.

Multi-tenancy is cheaper compared to single-tenancy, has better use of capital, has a lower maintenance cost, and potentially greater processing power.

Single Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant SaaS Architecture

Image courtesy - peoplefluent

Architectures of single-tenant vs. multi-tenant all have their upsides and downsides. A significant drawback of a single-tenant structure is that more maintenance than a multi-tenant system is expected. The client has to update and modify the single-tenant architecture, while the multi-tenant architecture uses the universal updates that have been launched for all users at once.

There are parallels between single-tenant and multi-tenant architectures, but they also have variations. The B2B environment is based on the multi-tenant SaaS architecture, in which two or even more parties can cooperate on the same operation at the same time, whereas the single-tenant architecture does not provide its customers with this capability.

Single Tenant Architecture

People are often not sure which architecture to choose, but the architecture of single-tenant vs. multi-tenant is pretty straightforward. This framework helps users to use a piece of software as a single instance per each client on the SaaS server when it comes to single-tenant architecture.

Multi-Tenant Architecture

It is possible to define multi-tenant architecture as the setting in which customers are offices, but all offices (customers) are situated within the same building in this case. Within a large SaaS software product, every client operates from its own space, making it much more comfortable and accessible in some cases.

Today, start-up companies use multi-tenant architecture because it offers them different advantages. Multi-tenancy is not the solution for them; however, if a company wishes to move from a finely-managed business environment to a self-hosted domain.

Single-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant Architecture Which One is Better for SaaS Applications?

Nowadays, when it comes to designing SaaS applications, developers and companies prefer to select the most effective and cost-effective architecture.

Single-tenant offers a high degree of user interaction with control and customization, protection, reliability, and restore and backup functionality. The single tenancy is now part of the SaaS marketplace with a higher per-person cost than multi-tenant architecture. There are multi-tenant options to provide enforcement, protection, rapid onboarding, and excellent customer service.

After evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the architecture of single-tenant SaaS and multi-tenant SaaS, it is concluded that multi-tenancy provides more long-term investment and growth benefits for SaaS application vendors. While it is not an easy task as it entails immense privacy and security problems, it gives the company more significant data capacity and a higher ceiling.

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@govindGovind Malviya

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Technical Manager and Passionate Fullstack and polyglot developer

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