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10 Questions Answered About MULTI-TENANCY VS. SINGLE-TENANCY

To find a correct SaaS service environment that compliments your business model is a Decisive task.
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Multi-Tenant vs Single Tenant Architecture

When you explore the SaaS model, you’ll come across these two different tenants.

  • Single-tenant
  • Multi-tenant

These two have their pros and cons, and each one is suited for a different dedicated environment.

Let’s get in-depth with both of them.

Table of Contents

What is Single-Tenancy?

In single-tenancy architecture, a single instance of the software application and required infrastructure serves an individual customer. Additionally, customer has their independent database and an instance of the software. This architecture is dedicated to cloud services or SaaS models.

Here a single instance of a SaaS application is dedicated to the customer. The customer is also called a Tenant.

In this architecture, customer has more reliability, control, security, and flexibility in their environment for directing particular requirements.

Instance of Single-Tenant

For instance, the customer (tenant) owns a house which means each tenant has its instance. So, the tenant can control what supply they want in their house, and accordingly, they can set their optimization layer.

How Single-Tenancy Works?

single-tenancy

For addressing specific requirements, tenants are bound in separate environments from one other.
Each tenant will have their software instance and a separate database. After installation, the tenant might customize UI as per requirements of the environment, or each instance of software might be designed according to new tenant needs. The tenant has no access to the underlying code.
Restoring data is moderately easy as each tenant has an isolated backup. Moreover, the tenant can update or install services rather than depending on a provider to do so.

Customers choose single-tenant mostly to access applications entirely, customize applications as per requirements, and have a flexible environment. 

Up-sides of Single-Tenancy

  • Full User Control – Single-tenant gives clients more control.
  • Reliability – Choose when to update and upgrade application software.
  • Data Security – Data security exposure to vulnerable attacks gets isolated, and also data is easily recovered if a backup is maintained.
  • Restorability – Each tenant has an independent database.
  • Back up or disaster recovery – Disaster recovery from attacks gets easier as the tenant has access to its server and database.
  • Data is independent
  • Ease of Migration – In a single tenancy, the process gets uncomplicated if you want to move into a self-hosted environment.
  • Better monitoring and planning of system capacity can be done.

Down-sides of Single-Tenancy

  • Consume more time while upgrading, managing, and updating
  • Resources are hardly utilized.
  • No Cost-sharing for any service or maintenance.
  • Self-maintain data backup and restore 
  • Cannot depend on the IT manager to manage, deploy, update data.

What is Multi-Tenancy?

In Cloud, Multi-tenancy means using shared resources and shared services for multiple clients. These resources include network, compute, and storage. In short, a single instance is shared by multiple users, and the developer controls the resources.

A tenant consumes services such as SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS offered by cloud service providers.

Multi-tenancy has multiple clients/ occupants, each user is unaware of the others, and software is shared by several users.

Instance of Multi-Tenancy

For instance, a building with several flats. Here, the owner controls the standard architecture and requirements of the building, and the user (tenant) is given access to a particular flat.
So, the tenant shares multiple resources with other tenants such as water, elevator, electricity, etc.
Here, the building is providing tenants with shared resources, and the owner will meter your usage of these resources. So, in short, the cloud maintains the record of shared resources.
Each tenant is provided with the same resources as the other tenants with a dedicated space same like others.
Here, the data security risks is associated.
Each tenant has its key, can access their flat as they please, and can add or remove items as long as they follow building rules & regulations.

How Multi-Tenancy Works?

Each tenant’s data is isolated and invisible to other tenants.
A single instance of database and application is shared with multiple tenants. Every customer shares the database and the software application, unlike single-tenant architecture.
This architecture is less expensive than single-tenant as there is a larger computing capacity, shared resources are used efficiently, and maintenance cost is low.
The developer control multi-tenancy working.

Up-sides of Multi-Tenancy

  • Cost-effective – As resources are shared and utilized amongst all tenants.
  • Shared Resources 
  • Automatic Upgrades
  • Central Control
  • Quick Deployment
  • Consolidate Reporting
  • Efficient Resource Usage 
  • Maintenance
  • Scalability
  • Ease of setup and onboarding – this process is quite instant as there is no need for software installation and arranging new setup for customers.

Down-sides of Multi-Tenancy

  • If one tenant is affected, all tenants are affected.
  • Less security
  • No Backup
  • No environmental control

Requirements for Single-Tenancy and Multi-Tenancy

In single-tenancy, if a user is a newbie or startup beginner then an ample amount of time is needed to customize and built software for each tenant. Single tenants need to look after each resource regularly and should keep up its maintenance. If in a cloud service, the service should meet future demands.
In multi-tenancy, architecture is logically separated but physically integrated.

How to Choose Tenancy?

Each tenant has its upside, downside, and best use in a case. For enterprise SaaS applications, multi-tenants are industry standards.
While choosing which tenant you want to opt., it is necessary you should know your requirements and what you want to accomplish.
Developing or developed environments should be provided with whichever tenant you choose. For instance, if you want to access and control the entire environment, go with single but for industries looking for seamless digital change, it may be immense.
For startups, going with multi-tenancy is too considerable whereas single tenancy is ideal for a business expected to transform into a self-hosted environment from managed servers.

Single-Tenancy Vs. Multi-Tenancy

Specifications Single-Tenancy Multi-Tenancy
Downtime
Less
More
Customizability
Yes
No
Ease of migration
Yes
No
Resource usage
In-efficient
Efficient
Cost
Expensive
Cheap
Security
Secured
More vulnerable
User Control
Full
Restricted
Restorability
Yes
No
Maintenance
More
Less

Final Thoughts

These points are just the gist of single-tenancy and multi-tenancy.
Single-tenancy gives the user a fully flexible environment and an open space for customization. For large businesses, multi-tenancy is the best option as it is cost-effective and gives the edge of the best-shared resource.
Whereas, choosing the best for your organization depends upon the needs such as security, management, costs, and scalability that you want to provide and expand.

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Tejaswini

I’m translating complex technical ideas into concise, business-oriented content and storylines! I ensure every article we publish is EPIC. My team and I help people better understand their search.

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