Single Tenant Vs Multi-Tenant- Which one is Better?

November 27, 2021

In the business world, you have to deal with huge amounts of customer and business data. When there is a large amount of information to be stored, you have to operate it through the cloud. Now, when working with the cloud, it is significant to decide which kind of architecture you need for your business and consumer data. It is because if the chosen architecture is cost-effective, it will be profitable for developing the SaaS software for your trade.

There are two alternatives when it comes to selecting the type of architecture for your cloud storage. They are single-tenant and multi-tenant cloud architectures. Both these have allegations for privacy and security. However, they differ from each other in the matter of cost significantly.

What is a Single Tenant?

When you select a single-tenant architecture, you cannot share the database or application with anyone. It is because it gives a software application and a database to each tenant separately. Therefore, they cannot share them with other clients or tenants.

A single-tenant architecture is made up of a particular design, which makes it unique. Moreover, it allows only one occurrence for each SaaS server. Thus, you can have a specific piece of software for your clients for specific purposes separately. Besides, when you locally install the software, you can independently change the User Interface (UI) after completing the installation. As a result, you can edit the software according to your requirements or fit a specific environment. The best part is that you do not need to touch the basic code.

It is to be noted that Cloud Computing can easily adapt to the single-tenant architecture. People mostly use a third-party or a private cloud service, which consists of a single tenancy system.

Benefits of Single Tenant

Probability

One of the benefits of using a single-tenant architecture is that you can easily migrate the data. It is because a single-tenant system has less data when compared to a multi-tenant one. As the system contains the data for a single client, the data migration becomes smoother and hassle-free. Moreover, every single-tenant architecture is very similar to one another, which makes it convenient to transfer the data.

Data Security

A single-tenant system offers the biggest benefit of data security. In this type of cloud-style, every client’s data is inaccessible, which minimizes the risk of a data breach.

Customization

As every client has dedicated software and hardware, they get a wide range of options for customizing. On the other hand, a multi-tenant system doesn’t offer such functionality.

Complete Control

As a single-tenancy architecture offers dedicated software and hardware, you are in complete control of the environment. As a result, you are privileged with the utmost flexibility from the customization viewpoint. Moreover, the benefit is extended to updates and upgrades as well.

Easily Restored

As we mentioned, a single-tenant system offers you complete control, it also means that you have control over recovery and backup as well. It is because the system is backed up with one dedicated part of a SaaS server. It is just the opposite in a multi-tenancy system.

Ease of Relocation

The single-tenancy system is extremely beneficial for organizations that have the plan to move into a self-hosted environment. It is because the system makes it more convenient and flexible to undertake the entire process.

Reliability

A single-tenant system offers dedicated instances for every customer, which means that they have their separate software and hardware. As a result, the performance of one client’s case does not affect the other’s.

Drawbacks

Inefficient use of Resource

When you select the single-tenancy system, likely, resources may not be utilized completely. Clients will not have the same usage patterns when it comes to using the allocated resources. Some of them may need more than allocated and others may have little or no use of these. Therefore, it is the basic drawback of using single-tenant architecture.

High cost of Maintenance

Maintaining a single-tenant setup can turn out a costly affair. As every client will have their database and compute, it would need several resources to manage each of them. In this case, having shared resources can be cost-effective.

Management and Set Up are Complex

Under a single-tenant system, you have to assign an instance and set up a database for every client. Initially, it may seem easy to manage the clientele. However, when it starts growing, it becomes tough to handle multiple customers simultaneously. This kind of cloud architecture may prove a costly affair for startups.

What is a Multi-Tenant?

A multi-tenant cloud architecture offers a B2B ecosystem, wherein more than two teams can come together to accomplish a common goal at the same time. On the other hand, a single-tenant system does not offer this functionality.

Today, enterprises deploy a multi-tenant architecture to take advantage of the several features it offers. However, if they plan to transform into a self-hosted setting, then multi-tenancy is not the solution.

Benefits of a Multi-Tenant Architecture

Cost-Effective

A multi-tenant architecture is cost-effective for a lot of businesses, especially for startups. It is because several clients share the cost of the setting, which makes it inexpensive to develop and manage. Under this system, multiple customers share the cost of administration and maintenance.

Easy to Deploy

Under the single-tenancy, it becomes painful for a team of two to handle multiple clients, while establishing a new startup. However, using a multi-tenant architecture, it becomes easier for them to perform the same task with the tools offered by the cloud services provider. As a result, they can rapidly develop the application. Hence, multi-tenancy is cost-effective when it comes to performing SaaS operations. 

Efficient Use of Resource

Under a single-tenant system, resources are underutilized as several clients have unique software & hardware requirements. However, with a multi-tenant model, the resources available are utilized to the maximum extent because of multiple customers.

Easy to Onboard and Set-Up

When you select to use a multi-tenant setting, you are ensured to get top-notch customer service. It is because they have a wide array of customers, and they make sure they all have a filling experience. The multi-tenant system widely offers the same setup for every client except for some voluntary arrangements. As a result, it makes it easier for multi-tenant SaaS enterprises to take advantage and easily use it.

Maintenance

Under a multi-tenancy, the system updates affect all customers together. Moreover, these updates are handled by a single client, but a SaaS firm manages them. As a result, it lowers the cost of maintenance.

Drawbacks of Multi-Tenant

Lack of Cost Visibility

One of the drawbacks of multi-tenancy is that the costs are shared among multiple clients, which makes it hard to separate the cost of each of them.

Bigger Security Risk

A multi-tenant architecture is prone to higher risks because multiple clients share the allocated resources. Moreover, the effect on one consumer’s data also reflects on others. As a result, they all together are compromised in one or another way. On the other hand, in a single-tenancy, customers are isolated, which is beneficial in this case.

Restoration & Backup

Many multi-tenancies have been working on making robust backups, while others do not offer strong restoring features. 

Less Control Over the Environment

Unlike a single-tenant architecture, wherein you have complete control over the environment, in a multi-tenancy, you lack it. It is because it offers a few customization features for the same.

Effects to all Tenants if one is Affected

We mentioned above that the system updates affect not just one customer, but all of them together. As a result, there may arise troubles related to uptime or preparing the system for system upgrades.

Single Tenant Vs Multi-Tenant SaaS Architecture

Both these cloud architectures have their pros and cons. One of the remarkable drawbacks of a single-tenant system is that it requires more maintenance compared to that of a multi-tenant system. Moreover, the customer independently updates and customizes the single-tenant system. On the other hand, clients using multi-tenancy do not need to worry about it, but the architecture uses universal updates.

These cloud architectures have their counterparts along with variations. A multi-tenant architecture offers a B2B setting, wherein two or more clients collaborate on a common goal. On the other hand, a single-tenant system does not offer this functionality to its customers.

Wrapping Up

Today, with the increasing competition, emerging technologies, and increasing costs, enterprises opt for cost-effective and most efficient architecture to design SaaS apps.

After assessing the pros and cons of both single and multi-tenant architectures, we can say that a multi-tenant system offers to have a long-term investment and growth. However, privacy and data security are still vulnerable in this case.

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