As your organization begins or extends its cloud journey, one of the options to consider is whether to use a single-tenant (dedicated) or multi-tenant (shared) cloud architecture.

Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll cover in this post.

For single-tenant, benefits include greater management control and higher levels of isolation. For multi-tenant, benefits include cost-efficient startup, quick ability to scale and offloading of management and maintenance.

As an additional benefit, if your organization is migrating applications and workloads on VMware to a public or hybrid cloud environment, you don’t have to choose one or the other! You can make choices for each application and workload based on what is best for your business, providing optimum flexibility and agility.

Migrating VMware to the cloud

Business leaders are increasingly pressing IT teams towards cloud-first or even cloud-only scenarios. More often than not, it’s about fundamental business issues around agility, cloud economics, and responsiveness to the needs of employees and customers.

For any enterprise with an existing VMware footprint, one of the first steps to the cloud is migrating your virtual machines (VMs) to the cloud. The idea is to extend existing VMware workloads to the cloud using consistent tools and technologies across cloud and on-premises infrastructure.

There are many advantages to this model, when properly deployed. It enables IT teams to do the following:

  • Move mission-critical applications to the cloud at their own pace.
  • Use a common platform to modernize applications and add cloud native capabilities, such as containers and microservices.
  • Transition to an OpEx pricing model while still leveraging the value of existing investments in on-premises hardware and software.
  • Utilize governance, security, and compliance practices and policies that are already in place to minimize risk.
  • Leverage automation, AI, and other tools to reduce complexity, accelerate deployments and enable a turnkey process for building the cloud stack.

Single-tenant vs. multi-tenant

The primary benefit of using the shared multi-tenant cloud model is in cost savings. With a solution like IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions Shared (IC4V Shared), IT teams can extend their VMs to the cloud with as much flexibility and scalability as they need. In doing so, they can choose an on-demand or reserved pricing model in which they only pay for what is consumed.

Another advantage of the multi-tenant cloud model is that migrations are fast and streamlined. IT can start moving VMware VMs to the cloud in minutes using a self-service console that makes it easy to quickly scale capacity up or down to maximize cost efficiency. With a consumption-based cloud model, many IT teams find that the multi-tenant model is particularly effective in setting up disaster recovery sites or providing cloud resources to rapidly moving DevOps and software development teams.

The primary benefit of the dedicated single-tenant model is in enabling IT to retain control over activities such as managing updates, patching, and other activities down to the hypervisor level. As noted by TechTarget, dedicated clouds “work especially well for resource-intensive workloads,” and are “made to reduce an organization’s downtime and cost while promoting flexibility and performance.” IT also has more customization options when it comes to features such as bandwidth and storage.

Choosing the right solution

For IT teams migrating VMware workloads and applications to the cloud, the new reality is that they don’t have to choose between multi-tenant or single-tenant environments; they can utilize both, depending upon their needs and the needs of the organization. The key is to take advantage of existing VMware environments and all of the knowledge and tools in which they have already invested.

How do you choose the right solution? It starts with choosing a cloud provider that offers the flexibility to use either multi-tenant or single-tenant cloud architectures through a variety of deployment and pricing models.

Learn more about IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions Shared and IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions Dedicated and how these architectures can support your business needs.


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