Posts Tagged 'multitenancy'

Building Integration Into Your Cloud Apps and Platforms

Last week I hosted an Informatica Cloud webinar that featured speakers from salesforce.com and Xactly that focused on building next generation cloud applications and platforms. I’m trying really hard not to use the term “SMAC Stack,”  but it is truly all about ensuring your solutions are built for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud…not to mention Big Data. I’ll post the recording later this week – there was a good discussion about the importance of multitenancy, which as the comments from this post indicate continues to be a hot topic of debate. Are you considering the building blocks of Social Enterprise apps? Are you building interoperability and integration into your strategy from the outset?

Beware of the False Cloud

Marc Benioff went on a multitenant rant at Cloudforce San Jose last week.  He warned: Beware of the False Cloud.

Beware False Clouds

But hasn’t the multenancy debate for SaaS applications and platform been decided? I’ve written about the importance of mulitenancy to a cloud integration service in the past, as well as highlighted the challenges of integration appliances, but I think that some of the confusion here stems from the differences between software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  Are the lines blurring? The public vs. private cloud debate seems to be getting all of the attention in enterprise IT organizations these days. What role does multitenancy have to play in this discussion? And how will salesforce.com respond to the notion of private and hybrid clouds? Are they all really false clouds?

Benioff also had a few choice words for Microsoft’s attempted protest. (BTW, check out this TechCrunch post decoding Microsoft’s numbers.) As he set up the shift to the cloud in the enterprise, he referred to tablets as “cloud viewers” and asked, “why isn’t all enterprise software like Facebook?” (And I don’t think he’s referring to the criticisms outlined here). You can watch the entire Salesforce presentation here:

Questions to Ask On-Premise Software Vendors About the Cloud

I enjoyed this post from Brian Sommer on the ZDNet blog today:  The Expanding Gap Between On-Premise and SaaS Solutions. While I don’t agree with all of his points, he does stress the importance of integration to SaaS success and concludes with some key points to look for when you’re digging into the cloud strategy of an on-premise vendor. He recommends:

“Ask the tough questions to see if:

  • the on-premise vendor can get to the cloud anytime soon
  • the speed of innovation emanating from this vendor matches or exceeds that of SaaS vendors
  • your on-premise solution can actually catch up to the capabilities in newer SaaS products
  • your on-premise vendor’s true core competency is ‘spinning’ a story around SaaS instead of actually ‘delivering’ a true, multi-tenant SaaS product complete with a PaaS and IaaS toolset.”

Phil Wainewright on Multitenancy

Recently I wrote a post called, “If it’s not multitenant, it’s not really SaaS.” Well, today Phil Wainewright has once again jumped into the fray (not surprisingly after a Salesforce event in London). His post is called “Cloud computing, so much more than multi-tenancy.” His main point:

“Cloud computing is far more than just multi-tenancy. The technology is core and it’s essential, but it’s not the whole story.”

Fair enough. The post is a bit of a soapbox rant against SaaS/Cloud marketing and the need to sell value not features, but he does goes on to outline some of the types of questions to ask your cloud application and platform vendors when it comes to multitenancy.

It’s definitely worth reading…and commenting on.

Cloud Purchasing Hit List

I checked the CloudWorld Conference today in San Francisco. (It’s actually three events rolled into one:  Cloud + Open Source + Next Generation Data Centers.)  A couple of take-aways from a fantastic panel moderated by Jeff Kaplan from ThinkStrategies:

  1. We need to get beyond the hype. “For some vendors, no matter what the question is the answer is cloud computing.”
  2. The hybrid model is real. “Enterprise data centers aren’t going away.”

Because there is so much confusion (and hype) surrounding the topic of  software, platform, and infrastructure as a service (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), I found the session from the head of engineering and operations at Genius.com to be particularly useful. Here is her Cloud Purchasing Hit List:

What to look for:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. No/Limited IT Involvement
  3. Track Record of Quality
  4. Self-Service Provisioning
  5. Interoperability
  6. Single Instance, Mulltitenant Architecture (“You aren’t a true cloud vendor if you’re just a hosted enterprise application.”)

What to watch out for:

  1. Complex/Costly Set-Up and Customization
  2. Extended Time to Value
  3. Security (check out this excellent ZDNet post on cloud security)
  4. Availability
  5. Scalability, Performance
  6. Single Tenant Architecture (“Very difficult for vendors to manage; costs get passed on to the customer.”)

There was also a great deal of emphasis put on the importance of vendor viability when considering a SaaS / Cloud vendor in this economy. Even so, the point that was most heavily emphasized was what Salesforce.com refers to as their “multitenant kernel.”  The benefits of multitenancy have been proven over the years for both software vendors and customers (self-provisioning, costs, upgrades, frequent releases, etc.), but many ISVs continue to try to market and sell around the fact they they’re delivering a single tenant solution – or in some cases an on-premise applicance!

The bottom line of the session: do your due diligence and be sure that you’re investing in real SaaS/PaaS/IaaS…dare I say “on-demand” solutions. The conference continues on Thursday with some pretty meaty topics. More details here.


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