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Why Multi-Tenant Cloud Solutions Are Better For Your Business


Should you care if your cloud application is multi-tenant?

12/10/2011

By David Terrar, CEO of D2C Limited, Co-founder of Cloud Advocates

When I first came in to the Software as a Service world 10 years back I was a bit of stickler for differentiating properly architected "pure cloud" solutions from old style, client/server, on premise applications that are simply hosted somewhere and available through the Internet.

These days I'm much less concerned over the technicalities. If the business solution you've chosen offers anytime, anywhere access, does the job at a good monthly subscription fee, and performs well, does it really matter? Recently some debate...

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...between Marc Benioff of Salesforce warning us to "beware of the false cloud" and Oracle's recent announcement of their Public Cloud has sparked some debate and discussion amongst cloud bloggers and analysts and my "Enterprise Irregular" friends.

The key issue under discussion was multi-tenancy. A single tenant application is where there is one instance (or partition) of the application software and database for each customer. This is easy to do with today's virtualised hardware environments and can be the short route to getting an existing application in to the cloud, essentially just using cloud infrastructure. As a by-product one customer is segregated from another and so it might appear more secure.

Multi-tenant solutions share software and database amongst all customers in a public cloud service, and the software itself handles the secure separation of customer's data. Dennis Howlett summarizes the discussion on Zdnet and input from the likes of Bob Warfield, and Phil Wainewright chimes in with his pro multi-tenant position.

Part of the argument is that Total Cost of Ownership is the key, and that multi-tenant really only matters to the vendor's cost structure. The vendor can share resources more easily across... continued on page two >

 

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