Want to Provide Cloud Services? You Need to Understand Multi-Tenancy

Most MSPs recognize the significant opportunity in providing cloud services, yet 48 percent of IT solution providers say they lost a sales opportunity because they couldn’t meet a customer’s cloud need.

May 1, 2013

2 Min Read
Multitenant cloud services can yield high ROI and customers will turn to their MSPs for help with cloud services
Multi-tenant cloud services can yield high ROI, and customers will turn to their MSPs for help with cloud services.

By Zenith Infotech 1

Major cloud players, like Amazon and Google, have generated huge profits from their cloud services. Microsoft’s third quarterearnings report for Jan 1–Mar 31 showed tremendous growth of its Office 365 and Windows Azure offerings, even as the revenues from its Windows division stayed flat.

Most MSPs now recognize the significant opportunity in providing cloud services. Small to mid-size businesses are looking for customized cloud services with a tailored managed services component. When their service provider can’t fulfill their request, SMBs turn elsewhere. In the CTTA State of the Cloud Channel 2013 report, 48 percent of solutions providers say they lost a sales opportunity because they couldn’t meet a customer’s cloud need.

Multi-Tenant Cloud Service = High ROI

Building your own cloud service has the potential for a high return on your investment if done right. In order to minimize the upfront investment, simplify management and capitalize on economies of scale, you need a system that has multi-tenant capabilities.

What is multi-tenancy? Simply put, multi-tenancy is the ability to run multiple clients on a single instance of an application or piece of hardware.  Multi-tenancy is more than putting everyone on one server. You need to satisfy two major criteria when providing shared infrastructure resources:

1.     Guaranteed resource allocation. Your clients may not be aware that others share the same physical server. But they most certainly notice if their system lags, they don’t have enough storage for their data, or their network slows to a crawl. A multi-tenant architecture pools resources for maximum utilization, but you need to ensure that each client is allocated sufficient resources and that you plan for peak activity periods.

2.     Isolated environments. Data security is a major requirement of a multi-tenant design. It’s important that clients not be able to view, access, alter or impact the data of other clients. A technology like VLAN tags should be implemented to segregate client’s resources and unique IP address ranges should be assigned to segregate network traffic.

Configuring a multi-tenant infrastructure yourself can be quite complicated. Fortunately, many applications and hardware systems are now being released with native multi-tenant architectures. In other words, they are designed and pre-configured to support secure multi-tenancy. This enables MSPs to become successful players in the cloud landscape. Channel providers who have done so are reaping the benefits. Understanding multi-tenancy will put you well on your way to becoming a cloud provider so you can share in the spoils.

Maurice Saluan is Senior Vice President of Sales at Zenith Infotech. Zenith Infotech specializes in delivering enterprise-class IT solutions for virtualization, storage, and business continuity for IT providers. Zenith’s TigerCloud multi-tenant converged infrastructure provides cloud, storage and disaster recovery capability for SMBs. Learn more at www.zenithinfotech.com or email [email protected].

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