Economics of Multitenancy-Based Software as a Service

Monitis upfront design all its applications as multi-tenant hosted services. Multi-tenancy is a principle in program design where a single case of the program functions on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider’s servers, delivering its services to manifold user groups (tenants). It is different from a multi-instance design where different program instances or hardware system are installed for different user groups. With the help of a multitenant design, a software application is structured to practically separate its data and arrangement. Thus, each user group works with a tailored virtual application case.

Economics of Multi-tenancy software architecture:

1) Cost Savings. Multi-tenancy allows for cost savings over and above the basic economies of scale achievable from consolidating IT resources into a single operation.

2) Data Aggregation/Data Mining. One of the most compelling reasons for vendors/ISVs to utilize multi-tenancy is for the inherent data aggregation benefits.

3) Complexity. Because of the additional customization complexity and the need to maintain per-tenant metadata, multitenant applications require a larger development effort.

4) Community. This inter-tenant collaboration is very powerful.

5) Release Management. Multi-tenancy simplifies the release management process. In a traditional release management process, packages containing code and database changes are distributed to client desktop and/or server machines. These packages then have to be installed on each individual machine. With the multi-tenant model, the package typically only needs to be installed on a single server. This greatly simplifies the release management process. Need facts? Check how many features we were able to release during the last months!

Important note: when a vendor claims that it provides SaaS check if it is really multi-tenant!

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  • I agree with your comments on multitenancy, which we at SaaS-Attack often refer to as the ‘Single Instance’ approach.

    Intuition tells us that it has to be simpler if there is only one instance of the software to care about.

    In actual fact my colleagues and I have identified over 20 distinct advantages of the Multitenanted approach.