Public cloud, private cloud, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS—all of it makes for a confusing set of terms for even the most experienced industry observers and IT pros.
As longstanding technology firms look for ways to get into the market and new entrants emerge, creating new terminology, claiming firsts and generally obfuscating the entire landscape, it only promises to get more confusing for technology buyers seeking a cost-effective, scalable and agile solution for their needs.
Multi-tenancy and why it matters
It’s this multi-tenancy that makes the big difference and separates fake solutions from true cloud solutions.
Many legacy software companies have simply ported their old code and architecture over to a private cloud and offered it up as a service—this is what’s called fake cloud.
Economies of scale
Running business applications in a single instance, whether it’s on-premise, with a hosting provider or with an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider such as Amazon, does not provide the economies of scale of a multi-tenant solution.
A hosted provider, also known as the old Application Service Provider, model may save a company the hassle of managing hardware and using IaaS for applications may allow companies to tap into shared commodity hardware.
But running all customers on one instance of the software and shared hardware can mean far bigger savings.
Some vendors might suggest that the advantage is only to the cloud provider, but be sure that savings are passed along to the customer—just do a little price comparison and you’ll find out for yourself.
Cloud customers using a multi-tenant solution don’t have to worry about being stuck four versions behind the way they do with hosted software.
Ask customers whether they want the latest version of the software and the answer is almost always “yes”. Unfortunately, the follow-up questions are “how much does it cost and how disruptive will it be?”.
Customers of multitenant solutions do not need to worry about either one. Upgrades come as part of the subscription service and enhancements are iterative and gradual, what many end-users have come to expect based on their experiences with consumer applications.
Shopping for software can be a confusing endeavour. With the true cloud, customers get economies of scale, regular updates and the scalability they could not with hosted solutions.
With well-established companies like NetSuite, they get a partner invested in their success that continues to enhance the product, while supplying the security, uptime and flexibility that modern business demands.