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What is the difference between single tenant architecture and multi-tenant architecture?

You are probably wondering what the main difference between single tenant architecture and multi-tenant architecture is for cloud service providers. The key difference is whether the cloud service provider uses one app (or instance) for each customer or one app for multiple customers. In other words, in multi-tenant architecture, the customers “share” the application rather than having their own dedicated application.

What is single tenant architecture?

Single tenant means that only one customer occupies the application. Similar to renting a house, if the house is one application, that means there is only one tenant in the house. As you can see, each customer would have their own app that is connected to their own cloud storage.

What is multi-tenant architecture?

Multi-tenant means that multiple customers occupy one instance of the application. Similar to renting a house, if there are multiple tenants renting the house together, then they would each be sharing the house. The same is true is multi-tenant architecture as multiple customers “share” one instance of the app (i.e. the house).

What is the risk of using multi-tenant architecture vs single tenant architecture?

It really addresses the risk of data security for the customer. When a company enters into a cloud service agreement that uses multi-tenant architecture, the risk is higher since the application is shared with multiple customers. With multiple different customers on one single instance of the application, the risk of data breach is much higher.

This topic has been seen on the BEC section of the CPA exam. The topic was relevant to evaluating data security measures for a 3rd party cloud service provider.

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