Two of the millennium’s biggest breakout companies are undoubtedly Netflix and Zoom. They tirelessly helped a community through a pandemic by providing entertainment, work and networking opportunities, and a more connected world in an isolated age. So that leads us to the question: how did they do it? Not only do the digital MVPs of the pandemic have more in common than what they offer the world; they also share how they operate in the world and on the cloud with SAAS. 

 

What is SAAS? 

Zoom and Netflix, like many other popular web apps, use SAAS to reach their clients. SAAS stands for “software as a service”; it is a mode of licensing and delivering software through the internet. Rather than downloading hardware onto a computer, SAAS uses a cloud-based subscription process which allows individuals to access content through a web browser. For this reason, SAAS is often also called “on demand software.” 

 

Single-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant  

There are essentially two types of SAAS models. The first is single-tenant. As the name implies, single-tenant means that one instance of software and its supporting infrastructure will serve a single user. Each customer will have their own database; there is no sharing of data as each customer’s database is completely separate.  

Multi-tenant SAAS means that a single instance of software serves multiple customers, or tenants. Every customer shares a single database, but individual data of the tenants remains isolated and private. 

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A common analogy to help explain the difference is fittingly that of real-estate. Single-tenancy is as if a single person lived in a whole apartment building with no other tenants. There is certainly an abundance of resources, but the resources might be used inefficiently. Multi-tenancy is as if multiple people had separate rooms in the apartment building. Each person uses shared water, electricity, etc., but they still have their own private space and security within individual apartment units. 

 

The Netflix Solution: Multi-Tenant SAAS  

Single-tenancy can provide security and abundant resources, but streaming giant Netflix is a multi-tenant company. Why? Let’s take a look at the benefits of multi-tenancy. 

Benefits of Multi-Tenancy 

Easy software updates 

    • Rather than individually access every user’s server to install updates, vendors use a single server to install updates to multiple users at once.

Accessibility

    • Multi-tenancy applications grant greater agility to the vendor and the customer. Any device with an Internet connection can access databases through the vendor’s application.

Lower Costs

    • Multi-tenant architecture is simply a more efficient and cost-conscious way of using funds and resources. Rather than needing entire apartment buildings for a single customer, you can house multiple tenants in one building and more efficiently utilize resources. This ultimately saves time and money. Multi-tenancy cuts back on the number of employees needed to address issues, decreases support calls, and scales back on cost increases as a company expands.  

SAAS has grown from emerging risky technology in the 1960s to the mainstream tool of companies across the globe, including Netflix. Through the cloud, SAAS becomes possible for not only industry giants, but any company that wants to connect better with customers. Contact ACI for more.