Strategies for Seamless SaaS Deployment

SaaS provisioning requires tenant account creation, user provisioning, figuring out the tenant placement, configuring the tenant, and storing all the metadata. We also need to set up all the infrastructure, deploy software, configure software based on user input, enable monitoring, set up certificates, secure end-to-end access, safely coordinate everything during failures, and notify users of the provisioning progress.

Now, you may be required to do this seamlessly across different cloud providers, hundreds of different regions, and keep the entire SaaS stack in sync, deploying it in your account or your tenant's account, and supporting different tenant isolation models as mentioned above. Even for multi-tenant applications, we typically need to create cells to isolate groups of tenants from one another to limit the blast radius. There could be many factors that decide tenant-to-cell placement. As a result, you need a mechanism to create, upgrade, scale, and manage these cells.

Is that all? Not even remotely.

I still remember it used to take months going through the IT department to procure databases in the old days. Early-generation SaaS offerings dramatically changed that to 10-60 minutes, even for dedicated tenancy. The expectation these days is a couple of minutes at best.

If that was not enough, life is not static. Your users may need more capacity for a planned event, or there may be a sudden spike due to an unplanned event, or maybe you want to upgrade their infrastructure to take advantage of cheaper and latest generation hardware, or roll out performance improvements or security patches. Imagine telling your customers to wait for an hour, and we will scale your capacity. It has to be real-time.

But hang on, what happens after the spike? Do you want to continue to charge your customers at that rate? Now, you have to scale down your entire stack of microservices and infrastructure, and maybe even have to go down to zero and seamlessly scale up on-demand.

Finally, you have to worry about tenant data after de-provisioning or off-boarding, considering experience, regulatory and privacy requirements, and cost perspective. For example, how would you handle accidental deletes by your tenants and yet address all the above requirements?

To learn more about all the core capabilities that we need to deliver a SaaS offering, see here
To learn more about how users can leverage a SaaS platform like Omnistrate to address many of these challenges, please see here.