Why should your SaaS product be cloud neutral?
Cloud and on-demand models have completely changed the equation when it comes to decision making and choices. With the increase in the number of cloud providers, today there is a plethora of choices for ISVs to pick and choose their deployment cloud environment.
There are broadly 2 categories of players in the cloud segment – IaaS and PaaS. From their original definition you will find that IaaS (like Amazon) is more around hardware services like CPU, storage, etc. and PaaS (like Azure) is more around software services. But if you take a closer look at these players the line demarcating them is diminishing fast as both tend to provide hardware and software services.
The below picture will provide you a quick head to head comparison of the major features supported by Amazon and Azure. While Azure being a lateral entrant to cloud space it is catching up with Amazon.
Cello Neutral Multi-Tenant Framework
However, ISVs need to answer a very important question – Should their be cloud neutral?
Following are the key reasons why your SaaS product should be cloud neutral,
- To avoid vendor lock-in – you don’t want to get stuck with a particular vendor as you will need the flexibility to move to other cloud providers in future. In case if your product is deeply integrated with the cloud provider’s services then it will require a considerable amount of time & cost to redevelop the integration for a different provider.
- Geographic Support – in many of the countries there are restrictions that enforce the data to stay within the boundaries of the country. There is a possibility that the cloud vendor you have chosen may not have a data centre in that geography. In this scenario, you don’t have a choice other than to deploy with a different local cloud provider. Therefore, your SaaS product should be able to work in any cloud.
- Hybrid model support – It’s very common in SaaS model for the product to be deployed in private cloud (more like on-premise deployment). Once again your customer’s private cloud may not have all the services that your current cloud provider offers but it has to still work in the private cloud.
Does it mean I cannot leverage the services offered by these providers? Not exactly. You can definitely consume these services provided that you architect your SaaS product in such a way that it consumes these services in an adapter model so that it’s easier to plug & play adapters for new environments.
Cello’s multi-tenant architecture exactly works in this model, where it’s completely developed using a plug & play model allowing your product to consume any type of service. When you consume the cloud provider’s services through Cello Cloud Adapters it completely abstracts the target environment from your SaaS product. This way when the target cloud environment changes only the adapters have to be updated and your product remains unchanged.
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