Multi-tenant vs. single-tenant cloud deployment

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Infor solutions

Industry analysts sometimes squabble over the pros and cons of single-tenant versus multi-tenant deployment. While single-tenant deployment may have been a viable solution for some organizations in the recent past, multi-tenant deployment offers numerous benefits for organizations looking to modernize their operations. As a true cloud-based platform, multi-tenant deployment can offer vast amounts of storage, a speedy implementation, and advanced security capabilities. Read on to learn more why multi-tenant deployment is the better choice as a long-term solution.

The difference between single-tenant and multi-tenant

It’s important understand the characteristics of these two deployment platforms so we can take note of key differences between them. Here are basic definitions:

Single-tenant architecture typically provides separate software and server resources for each customer. This gives the customer’s enterprise plenty of control over the system, but it also requires more effort and a larger investment than with multi-tenant. Some organizations “lift” their legacy system with all its existing strengths and shortcomings and “shift” it to the cloud in a single-tenant deployment. Unfortunately, this process perpetuates many of the same outdated processes organizations are hoping to evolve away from.

In addition, single-tenant architecture requires the same resource-intensive and expensive upgrade processes as on-premises solutions. Also, the often-rigid structure of a single-tenant deployment limits the extent of changes that can be implemented; such lack of flexibility can impede an organization’s growth. As business activities increase, single-tenant system performance can suffer until the system is redeployed on new servers, requiring downtime and potential business disruption.

A multi-tenant environment gives several customers the use of the application within the same operating environment on the same shared hardware. This model provides all the benefits of cloud computing—such as greater agility and security—plus the costs are shared across more business users. This helps reduce the cost for the provider even while it leverages more robust technology. This in turn, enables providers to offer lower prices. A multi-tenant environment also requires the customer to adopt and adhere to proven, standardized processes; this approach helps avoids a “modification mindset,” which can unnecessarily complicate upgrades. Well-engineered cloud-based software, such as Infor CloudSuite™ industry solutions, enable personalization by using extensibility and platform tools, rather than code modifications. With multi-tenant deployment, organizations get flexibility, scalability, reliability, and value.

Single-tenant vs. multi-tenant




Routine maintenance and backups

In self-hosted, single-tenant solutions, you provide your own maintenance and backups. Some single-tenant providers may also require this. Infor®, though, provides backups, and addresses uptime via the service level agreement (SLA).

The multi-tenant provider takes care of routine maintenance and backups for you.

With multi-tenant platforms,
the provider’s experts focus on maintenance for you, applying best practice standards for reliability.

Full redundancy and disaster recovery

With a single-tenant deployment, implementing full redundancy and disaster recovery could more than double your costs because you need duplicate systems. Infor achieves this by utilizing various availability zones and elastic load balancers.

Multi-tenant solutions are built on auto-scaling technologies that provide full redundancy.

A multi-tenant deployment is more reliable and less expensive.


Some single-tenant providers make their customers responsible for the security of their solutions. Infor provides security for its single-tenant customers that’s just as secure as our multi-tenant customers. Not all single-tenant providers can make that claim.

With multi-tenant, security is managed for you by experts who stay on top of new types of threats.

Unlike some single-tenant providers (not Infor), multi-tenant providers won’t charge extra for security capabilities or require you to manage your solution’s own security.

Updating features and functionality

When working with some single-tenant providers, the responsibility for performing upgrades may rest with you, unless you pay extra for a service contract. Infor manages upgrades for its single-tenant customers, but upgrades are scheduled less frequently than for multi-tenant customers.

Multi-tenant providers perform regular updates (monthly for Infor), ensuring your solution is always up-to- date with modern technology.

With multi-tenant, monthly updates are more easily implemented and less disruptive. Business users can be trained on new features as they are rolled out.

Scaling for fluctuations
of high traffic
and workloads

With single-tenant, you need to invest in extra capacity to prepare for peak periods, whether you use it or not.

The elastic capacity of a multi- tenant deployment means your capacity automatically expands as needed, and you only pay for what you need.

Why deployment matters

In the rush to the cloud, some organizations make hurried decisions about whether to leverage single-tenant or multi-tenant deployment. CIOs and IT directors planning a cloud strategy need to be well-versed in the pros and cons and fully understand the long-term ramifications or each approach. Some risk-adverse organizations assume single-tenant deployment is safer and adopt that model, only to be surprised at the limitations. If the single-tenant deployment falls short of expectations, it may eventually need to be re-implemented on a true multi-tenant cloud solution. This is how wrong decisions can waste resources, capital, and time.

The additional resources and costs of single-tenant deployment

The difference between single-tenant and multi-tenant is often greater than people think. The responsibilities retained by the organization also differ. The chart above shows the impact that single-tenant and multi-tenant deployment can have on some key processes.

Nine benefits of multi-tenant deployment

Embarking on a digital transformation journey

Choosing between single-tenant and multi-tenant deployment is a critical part of your upgrade strategy. It’s often a decision that’s rushed or, by default, left to the IT team. The IT team may favor the single-tenant option to retain more control. The CEO and executive leadership, however, may be seeking an end-to-end transformation. If digital transformation is the goal and you want a long-term solution, multi-tenant is the best option for you. Choosing multi-tenant deployment is the first step in a digital transformation journey.

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