Multitenancy in cloud computing is also known as “on servers.” As the name implies, multitenancy refers to accommodating multiple tenants on a particular server, with various cloud customers sharing the same computing resources. Multitenancy is available in both public and private cloud computing.
Unlike single tenancy, multitenancy allows an application to operate in a shared environment. But although tenants share the same servers, each enjoys logically separated and exclusive integration. That means their data is stored in different sectors, ensuring security and privacy. Multitenancy has become a vital cloud computing architecture in public and private clouds.
How Does Multitenancy in Cloud Computing Work?
Multitenancy in cloud computing works by hosting several software tenants on one physical server. These tenants aren’t aware of each other since their data is kept separate. However, they use the same cloud vendor resources.
Multitenancy is comparable to living in an apartment building. The tenants share the same utilities since they are physically located in the same building. They have the same security system. However, privacy is still maintained because they have separate apartment units.
What Are the Advantages of Multitenancy in Cloud Computing?
Multitenancy has several competitive advantages. We listed a few below.
- Cost-efficient: Multitenancy allows users to save money since they share features and cloud resources with others. Therefore, you also share the cost of maintenance, development, and updates initially shouldered by the cloud host.
- Security and privacy: Each tenant’s data is isolated from that of others, so no one else can access it. They also enjoy the security systems put in place by the cloud host.
- Maintenance-free: Users don’t have to worry about hiring a team to monitor and manage the cloud infrastructure since the vendor takes care of these aspects. In this sense, multitenancy in cloud computing is like renting a house. The landlord handles the repairs and maintenance, while renters only have to pay the rent.
What Are the Disadvantages of Multitenancy in Cloud Computing?
Although multitenancy offers some benefits, it also has disadvantages that users have to put up with. Check them out below.
- Security risks: When the cloud host suffers a cyber attack, the tenant’s data is also exposed to threats. Data security hugely relies on the cloud service provider.
- Response time issues: Because of the number of users accessing the same server simultaneously, they may experience a slowdown in processing. That usually happens during hardware and software maintenance.
- Less flexibility: Applications shared with multiple users may not be as flexible as those in single-tenant architectures.
What Are the Differences between Multitenant and Single-Tenant Architectures?
A single-tenant cloud architecture is comparable to living in a village. Each resident has control over what security system and other utilities to employ. But only a specific individual or family owns each house. In the same way, only one customer uses the host infrastructure in a single-tenant architecture. Client data is stored in separate databases.
In contrast, multitenancy in cloud computing means everything is shared. All customer data is stored in the same database.
Some companies may prefer using single-tenant architectures for greater privacy since they can use their own data centers and customize them as needed. On the other hand, multitenant systems are more vulnerable to data breaches since it only takes one successful attack to infiltrate all client data.
However, single-tenant architectures are more expensive than multitenant systems. It takes more money and human resources to set up and manage.
What Are Some Examples of Multitenancy in Cloud Computing?
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are the best examples of multitenancy in cloud computing. We described them briefly below.
- IaaS is a cloud computing model that allows computing resources to be hosted on a private, public, or hybrid cloud. It offers essential computing, storage, networking resources, and many more.
- PaaS is a cloud computing model that gives users access to hardware and software that third-party providers deliver. The tools are used for application development.
- SaaS is a distribution model that delivers applications over the Internet (as part of a service) for users. It allows users to access cloud-based applications. The software is licensed on a subscription basis and is typically hosted centrally.
Multitenancy has made cloud computing more feasible and cost-effective for companies, especially those just starting out.
Multitenancy in cloud computing has its fair share of pros and cons. Users still get to decide what software architecture suits them best based on their needs and preferences. Startup companies on a tight budget usually choose a multitenant architecture when using cloud services. On the other hand, large companies that are more concerned about stability and security prefer single-tenant architectures.
- Multitenancy has made cloud computing more accessible to startups and small businesses.
- SaaS, PaaS, and other as-a-service business models are examples of multitenancy in cloud computing.
- Like other technology solutions and architectures, multitenancy in cloud computing has benefits and risks that users have to weigh.