Multi-Tenant Demystified – Yet Again…

Matt Asay had a really great post on his blog about SaaS yesterday.

I am really, really glad people are starting to understand how SaaS should be positioned – the real benefits rather than an over-marketed hyped up concept of “multi-tenancy” which really does nothing for the user but limit their options and the performance of their CRM.

Matt sums it up nicely here:

Even with open data policies, once you leave the service, you leave it. Or, rather, it leaves you. You don’t have the software anymore so your data is largely worthless unless you can find another service to import it. You’re beholden to the whims of the vendor even more so than in an on-premise software deployment world. Once you jack in it’s very hard to get out.

And of course there are more limitations and issues…but the main point is – how comfortable can you be knowing that however hard you try – you simply “can’t take it with you.”

I’ll admit I was a bit ignorant of SugarCRM’s take on SaaS when I first started working here.  I simply took it for another multi-tenant clone. But SugarCRM’s multi-instance CRM is much, much more than that, in ways that benefit the user and not just the vendor.

Being able to simply “package up” your SaaS deployment and bring it on site is an invaluable Ace up your sleeve when you are in charge of a CRM deployment. Multi-Instance On-Demand form SugarCRM makes this a simple, painless procedure.

Also, a more compartmentalized SaaS infrastructure (while still cutting needless costs) eliminates universal downtimes that multi-tenant CRM products still experience.

I think a lot of awareness and progress has been made in understanding that open source components, grid and virtualization, and other tech advancements have allowed providers to do SaaS in a more effective manner, that benefits the vendor, sure, but more importantly gives users more freedom and control over their SaaS deployments.

2 thoughts on “Multi-Tenant Demystified – Yet Again…

  1. About a year late with this comment, but… multi-instance expands the costs for everyone over a multi-tenant solution. Sure, there’s ease of migration and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your data is separate, but the SaaS vendor has to charge customers more to cover the cost of the resources of each instance. The better solution is system that gives the customer choice: Multi-tenancy (shared-data), multi-tenancy (separate-data), multi-instance, single-instance, in-house appliance. Multi-tenancy exists because it makes better economic sense for some customers. It also exists because it’s cheaper to implement for the hosting company per customer. Let’s face it, SugarCRM is not multi-tenant ONLY because it wasn’t designed with that forethought in mind. Multi-instance is the easy, more costly solution for CRM vendors and customers alike.

  2. David – glad to see even old post are being read 😉

    To address your points on cost – in older SaaS models where a lot of proprietary components are used, yes the costs can be higher for multi-instance architectures. But with a 100% open stack (now call the Sugar Open Cloud) users get the great data dedication, but with lower costs. Case in point – Sugar recently LOWERED prices on its cloud/SaaS editions.

    I think open sources penetration of all areas of the hosting world is the thank for this.


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