The term ‘Multitenancy‘ refers to a principle in software architecture where a single instance of the software runs on a server, serving multiple client-organizations (tenants). Multitenancy contrasts with multi-instance architectures where separate software instances (or hardware systems) operate on behalf of different client organizations. With a multitenant architecture, a software application is designed to virtually partition its data and configuration, and each client organization works with a customized virtual application instance.
Multitenancy is the prime technology that is used by clouds to share IT resources cost-efficiently and in a secure way. Similar to an apartment building—in which many tenants cost-efficiently share the common infrastructure of the building but have the privacy from other tenants with the help of walls and doors—a cloud uses multitenancy technology to share IT resources securely among multiple applications and tenants (businesses, organizations, etc.) that use the cloud. Some clouds use virtualization-based architectures to isolate tenants; others use custom software architectures to get the job done.
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