An Introduction to Multi-Tenant Clouds

Rachel Grand
Cloud ComputingData Centers
06 Nov 2022

Cloud computing technology has changed the way businesses operate. In the past, many were reluctant to adopt the cloud due to security concerns and fear of losing control. Fortunately, over time, cloud service providers have improved public cloud security and proven how integral this technology is to business operations and growth.

A public cloud is a multi-tenant cloud, meaning multiple companies share computing resources. This allows public cloud providers to offer services at a lower cost while companies can reap the benefits, such as scalability, faster speed, remote access, and more.
Startups and businesses without serious privacy concerns benefit from using the public cloud. Companies that want more control over resources and servers can opt for a private cloud or hybrid cloud.

Keep reading to learn what you need to know about multi-tenant clouds, containers, and multi cloud, the types of multi-tenant architecture, and how this model offers improved cloud communications.

What Is A Multi-Tenant Cloud?

A multi-tenant cloud is a public cloud where multiple organizations share computing resources. However, each company’s data is completely isolated from others to ensure data privacy and security. In other words, each tenant can only access its own data, and it’s invisible to the other companies using the same cloud.

Multi-tenant architecture is a valuable feature of the public cloud, but it is not the only multi-tenant option. Multi-tenant private clouds work much like public clouds, but the tenants are all part of the same organization. For example, different departments of the same company share private cloud storage, computing resources, and infrastructure.

People sometimes confuse a multi-tenant cloud strategy with a multi-cloud strategy, but these are different concepts. Multi-cloud management refers to using multiple public clouds. For instance, an organization that uses multi-cloud is getting services from more than one public or private cloud service provider.

 

How Does Multi-Tenant Cloud Architecture Work?

Before we explore how a multi-tenant cloud works, let’s first discuss how cloud-computing works in general.

How Cloud Computing Works

How Cloud Computing Works

Image Source

The history of cloud computing or similar concepts, such as networking-based computing, dates back to the 1960s. However, it wasn’t until 2006 that modern cloud computing became popular. Today, cloud computing is everywhere. From IT and health, to automotive, education, and media, various industries now use cloud technology.

Cloud computing refers to the collection of on-demand data storage and computation accessed over the internet. On-demand means users can add or remove storage and computing power as per their requirements.

With public cloud providers, users don’t have to own the equipment and hardware; they are also not responsible for maintaining and upgrading the equipment. In other words, cloud computing refers to hosting applications and data in remote servers that users can access via the internet.

When customers use cloud-hosted apps, they are actually using the data stored in the data centers of third-party cloud providers. Hence, the applications and data are centralized in the cloud.

 

How Multi-Tenant Cloud Architecture Works

In a multi-tenant cloud, the cloud provider offers computing resources and storage to multiple users through virtualization. This means that more than one company can store data, information, and projects in remote cloud servers.

Providers have complex permission protocols in place to ensure that each user has access to only their stored data. This way, tenants sharing the cloud resources cannot access each others’ data. Additionally, in a multi-tenant cloud, businesses only have to pay for the services they use.

You can think of a multi-tenant cloud like an apartment building. Each apartment owner can access (enter) their own apartment, but all the residents share resources, such as electricity and water. A multi-tenant cloud works the same way.

 

‍Single-Tenant Cloud vs. Multi-Tenant Cloud

 

Single-Tenant Cloud vs. Multi-Tenant Cloud
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In addition to multi-tenant clouds, a single-tenant cloud is another option available to businesses. In single tenancy, cloud services are dedicated to only one company, not shared between several organizations.

Single tenancy is typically found in a private cloud environment. Businesses can choose to host private cloud on-premise in their own data centers. A private cloud can also be based on the infrastructure of a third-party cloud provider, but only one organization can access resources via the internet.

In contrast, more than one organization uses resources and storage in a multi-tenant cloud. While users cannot access and see each other’s data, they do keep their data in the same data centers.

We can again use our apartment building analogy to understand the difference between single-tenant and multi-tenant clouds. A single-tenant cloud is an apartment building where only one resident lives, and only that resident uses the resources like electricity and water. In contrast, in a multi-tenant architecture, multiple tenants live in the same apartment building and share resources, but each resident

has access only to their own apartment.
For industries like finance and healthcare where organizations have to deal with sensitive customer data, a single-tenant architecture is the right option for maximal security. However, if an organization does not deal with sensitive data, it’s more economical to opt for multi-tenant architecture.

Single-Tenant ArchitectureMulti-Tenant Architecture
Only one customer uses compute resources and storageMultiple organizations use compute resources and storage
Typically found in private cloudsTypically found in public clouds
Mostly used by enterprisesMost startups use multi-tenant clouds
More expensive than multi-tenant cloudsCosts less than single-tenant clouds

 

Benefits Of Single-Tenant Cloud

Here are the key benefits of single tenancy:

Security

Since only one customer is using the resources, data breaches are rare, resulting in better data security and privacy.

 

Control

A single-tenant cloud provides better control over data and hardware. In this architecture, you have complete control over physical servers and who can access them. Additionally, if you have an on-premise single-tenant private cloud, you can choose to buy the equipment and software you prefer instead of those provided by a third-party cloud provider.

 

Customization

Every company has different requirements in terms of storage, resources, type of networking, etc. Dedicated hardware and software in a single-tenant cloud mean more customization options. You can customize the software and physical servers to your exact needs.

 

Drawbacks of Single-Tenant Cloud

 

Complexity

Single-tenant cloud providers have to deploy and set up everything for each user separately. This may seem easy when only a few users need cloud access, but as your business grows, it can get pretty challenging.

 

Expensive

Single-tenant cloud involves high costs as the cloud provider is offering services only to one customer. Running and managing a single-tenant architecture is expensive for the cloud provider as they have to buy separate resources for each client.

 

Underutilization Of Resources

In a single-tenant architecture, companies may or may not use all the resources allocated to them, resulting in inefficient use of resources.

 

Benefits Of Multi-Tenant Cloud

Here are the key benefits of multi-tenant architecture:

Cost-Effective

Perhaps the biggest benefit of multi-tenant clouds is that they are affordable compared to single-tenant clouds. In a multi-tenant cloud, many organizations share the resources as well as costs, allowing the cloud provider to offer services at a lower cost. That’s why most startups opt for multi-tenant clouds.

 

Better Usage Of Resources

When multiple organizations are sharing resources, they are utilized better. For example, your organization may not fully utilize a machine’s computing power, but since you only pay for what you need, you can adjust your cloud storage to optimize resource usage and keep costs down.

 

Better Access

Multi-tenancy provides improved storage and remote access from anywhere in the world.

 

Drawbacks Of Multi-Tenant Cloud

  • No or limited customization options
  • Less control over servers, hardware, etc.
  • Higher risk for security breaches

 

Ridge’s Multi-Tenant Cloud

Ridge Cloud is a multi-tenant platform. It provides complete isolation between customers in terms of management, runtime and data security. Identity and access management (IAM) is tightly integrated into the system and ensures that only authorized users can perform actions in it. Users of Ridge Cloud can not only deploy in any location where they need, but also benefit from the many advantages of using a multi-tenant cloud.

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

 

What is a multi-tenant cloud?

A multi-tenant cloud refers to a public cloud in which more than one organization shares computing resources. However, the data of each company is completely separated or isolated from others to ensure data privacy and security. As a result, each company can only access its data, and its information is invisible to others.

 

What Does Single Tenant Cloud Mean?

In a single-tenant cloud, only one client uses the storage and compute resources. In other words, single-tenant cloud services are dedicated to only one organization. This means that storage, databases, and compute resources are not shared with any other user or organization.

 

What is the difference between single-tenant and multi-tenant architecture?

In single-tenant architecture, only one company uses compute resources and storage, whereas, in a multi-tenant architecture, multiple organizations share resources. A single-tenant architecture is usually found in private clouds, while a multi-tenant architecture is typically found in public clouds.

 

What are the benefits of using multi-tenant architecture?

One of the biggest benefits of using multi-tenant architecture is cost reduction. In a multi-tenant cloud, multiple organizations share the resources and costs. This way, the cloud provider can offer services at a lower cost. Most startups use multi-tenant clouds because of their lower costs.


Author:
Linkedin Rachel Grand, Content Writer | Ridge
Rachel spends her nights reading the stars and her days exploring the Cloud. As an expert in all things related to modern computing architectures, Rachel is helping Ridge to spread the gospel of the distributed cloud.