What is multi-tenant cloud computing?

  • Multi-tenancy in cloud computing allows multiple users or organisations to share the same physical infrastructure while maintaining data and resource isolation.
  • It enables cost-effective solutions by maximising resource utilisation and providing efficient resource sharing among tenants.
  • It is achieved through techniques like virtualisation, containerisation, and software-defined networking, ensuring secure and customisable environments for each tenant.

With the rise of cloud computing, we now have unprecedented access to and utilisation of computing resources. Cloud computing enables us to obtain storage and computing power on demand, greatly improving scalability and convenience. And the key to making it all possible is multi-tenancy architecture. So what exactly is multi-tenant cloud computing? Let’s start with the term of cloud computing.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the provision of computer system resources, such as data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, on-demand, without the active management of the user. Large clouds often have functions distributed across multiple locations, with each location being a data centre. Cloud computing relies on resource sharing to achieve coherence and typically adopts a pay-as-you-go model, which can reduce capital expenses but may result in unexpected operating expenses for users.

Cloud computing is a new innovation in the information age, following the Internet and computers. It offers strong scalability and indispensability, providing users with a completely new experience. The core of cloud computing is the ability to coordinate numerous computer resources together, allowing users to access unlimited resources through the network. Furthermore, these resources are not limited by time and space.

Also read: How are big data and the Internet of Things connected?

What is multitenancy?

Multi-tenancy is a software architecture pattern that supports serving multiple users or organisations simultaneously within the same application or system. In a multi-tenant architecture, each tenant is considered a relatively independent customer. Tenants share the same application instance, hardware resources, and infrastructure. However, their data and configurations are isolated from each other, and each tenant can only access their own data and configurations without interfering with others. Tenants can be individual users, enterprises, organisations, or other entities.

Multi-tenancy architecture is widely used in many cloud computing services such as software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). It also applies to software systems deployed internally within enterprises to support resource and service sharing between different departments or teams.

Also read: How does the Internet of Things impact our lives?

How does multi-tenancy work in cloud computing?

Multi-tenancy is a key feature in cloud computing that enables multiple users, known as tenants, to share the same physical infrastructure while maintaining the separation and security of their data and resources. It allows cloud service providers to offer cost-effective and efficient solutions to multiple customers, by maximising resource utilisation.

In a multi-tenant environment, a single instance of the application or platform serves multiple tenants simultaneously. Each tenant operates within its own logical domain, where they can customise and configure their resources according to their specific needs while being isolated from other tenants. This logical isolation ensures that tenant A cannot access or view the data and resources of tenant B. The underlying infrastructure, such as computing, storage, and network resources, are shared among multiple tenants in a secure and efficient manner.

To enable multi-tenancy, cloud providers employ various techniques such as virtualisation, containerisation, and software-defined networking. Virtualisation allows the physical resources to be abstracted into virtual instances, ensuring that each tenant’s data and applications are isolated within their own virtual environment. Containerisation provides lightweight and portable instances that encapsulate the application and its dependencies, facilitating efficient resource utilisation and deployment. Software-defined networking enables the creation of virtual networks that connect the different tenants while keeping their traffic separated.

In summary, multi-tenancy in cloud computing enables efficient resource sharing, isolation, and customisation for multiple tenants. It is achieved through the use of virtualisation, containerisation, and software-defined networking, allowing for cost-effective and scalable cloud solutions.


Crystal Feng

Crystal Feng, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in tech trends. She is studying Chinese-English translation at Beijing International Studies University. Send tips to c.feng@btw.media.

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