By: Drew Blazaitis, VP, Strategy & Enablement, Fulcrum GT
Single-Tenant Cloud (STC) is a type of cloud offering which, as the name suggests, provides each customer their own dedicated and provisioned environment. A simple way to think about it is as if you are purchasing a commercial real estate space, it is entirely dedicated to you, and you operate within that space in the way that best suits your business. Depending on certain factors, Single-Tenant Cloud could be an ideal solution in a firm’s journey moving to the cloud.
Single Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant
Single-Tenant Cloud is typically contrasted with Multi-Tenant Cloud (MTC), where a single instance serves multiple clients. In an MTC architecture, each client shares the same database and application. Think of it like renting an apartment vs the commercial space of Single-Tenant Cloud. MTC holds certain advantages over STC, which we will get to in a follow on article, but generally, the ability to make changes to the software is hampered because the software is shared among other tenants.
While configuration and customization may be a high priority for some, security and data privacy may take the top spot for others—which is another reason STC can be attractive for firms as these offerings mitigate and wall off application layer security threads by instance and help mitigate data privacy concerns. In addition, Single-Tenant Cloud protects from failures and unnecessary or unplanned downtime due to isolation between instances, meaning any failures in one tenant will have minimal to no impact on another.
The image below provides a quick point of reference for the primary difference between Single-Tenant Cloud and Multi-Tenant Cloud.
Benefits of Single-Tenant Cloud
Single-Tenant Cloud has some noticeable benefits when considering it vs Multi-Tenant Cloud:
- Data independence—your data is completely independent from other potential tenants
- Data security—if a different tenant experiences a data breach you would be safe from the breach since each tenant’s data is stored in a separate instance.
- Configuration—because tenant data is separated, there is a larger degree of configuration possible.
- Reliability—performance is based on only one instance, instead of many from different tenants.
- Disaster recovery—isolated backups allow users to enable recovery if data is lost
While there are certain benefits to Single-Tenant Cloud environments, there is no perfect answer when it comes to choosing between STC vs MTC offerings. The ideal solution varies with each firm’s specific requirements and working with your vendors to meet the needs of your business.
Drew Blazaitis leads Fulcrum Global Technologies’ product strategy and innovation teams, focusing on Fulcrum’s end-to-end legal product suite, emerging technologies, go-to-market activities, and value engineering practices.
Check out Drew’s The Evolving Needs of Data Privacy in Law Firms for more information about data handling and preparation.