Multi-tenancy in Cloud will Dominate, Change Open-Source

So, you want to put your SaaS apps on the cloud. Most likely you’ll start out with a hosting service that offers you a private cloud (that is, a single tenant set-up). Well, you get a pat on the back for your bravery and taking the leap to the cloud, but you’ll probably quickly find that the single tenant model (if you’re lucky to experience growing usage) will run out of steam, and you’ll need more robust cloud services that support multi-tenants.

But switching is not an easy task.

In a recent Forbes article, Treb Ryan, CEO of OpSource, a company that specializes in enterprise cloud and managed hosting, put it like this: “Updating the code for a multi-tenant application means rolling out and testing a single instance of the application. In single-tenant, virtually deployed applications you have to roll out and test the code for every single customer. Once you get past 100 customers this gets extremely onerous. In the multi-tenant model, almost everything is shared at the appropriate layers of the application. This also has the advantage of having only one integration point for outside Web services, where in single-tenant applications Web services need to integrate with each individual customer.”

OK, we get it. That makes sense; but how does this affect open-source? Well, open-source was created mostly for the single-tenant architecture – with few exceptions. And until open-source starts supporting multi-tenancy, it’s not going to be the miracle help for applications that are speeding up to scale.

So is this the end of open-source for robust apps?

Says Ryan: “The ability to rapidly create multi-tenant architectures will be a very useful skill. I suspect that the open source community will address this in an organized manner for the most important components. Commercial firms will of course step in with offerings to make open source multi-tenant. But in the end, a lot of open source won’t be converted. Don’t get me wrong, that software won’t shrivel up and die, but it also won’t be involved in what is clearly going to be the main event for developers: multi-tenant applications.”

One man’s opinion, but makes a lot of sense in my view. It rings true for our commercial app, Monitis cloud-based monitoring. Our IT infrastructure – based in the cloud – supports our customers’ desire for growth because it was built for multi-tenants and their ever-expanding transactions.

We don’t create an instance per customer as some of our competitors do (and call it cloud- based application). We indeed are using a single instance for all our customers.  It makes us up to 75% faster in terms of new feature delivery due to single code base. Customers benefit by always using the most recent version of our software – as it is updated automatically.

Compare that to hosted monitoring solutions that get bogged down trying to support a single tenant and exploding transactions.

Check out how Monitis stands up against in-house monitoring software, including open source solutions!