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The underlying value of storage independent, multi-tenant SaaS

By Meg Cater | Apr 25, 2019

Compared to Media, most data-intensive industries have relatively simple workflows. Not that they are all that simple either. Industries like Medicine, Retail, Construction, Banking and Transportation gather data from records, devices, images and more. Some may then migrate huge amounts of pooled data to the cloud or another location for research and analytics, but they don’t tend to repeatedly transfer large files, long distances over IP networks like Media companies do during post production and delivery.

These unique conditions — exceptionally large data sets moving through complex, global workflows — make storage independent, multi-tenant SaaS architecture perhaps even more valuable for the Media industry.

What is multi-tenant SaaS and why does it matter?

All cloud-native SaaS (Software as a Service) is inherently multi-tenant. That means it was designed from the ground up to be deployed in a public cloud infrastructure, where a single instance of a software application can securely service many customers (or tenants). The TCO of SaaS is generally much lower than traditional custom software, because development and maintenance costs are shared.

Elasticity — the ability to scale up and down based on current requirements demanded by the business — is also a key benefit of cloud-native SaaS. While elasticity can be accomplished in a single architecture, it is less efficient and on a far smaller scale. Additionally, SaaS solutions are managed and maintained for customers across the multi-tenant architecture.

These three benefits alone — low TCO, elasticity and vendor management/maintenance — have been game changing for Media companies.

For example, traditional on-premises large file acceleration software has been used by the largest media enterprises since the industry first transitioned from tape to file-based workflows, but it requires substantial IT infrastructure to be deployed. It also requires maintenance and management by the customer. And, since that infrastructure is fixed, it doesn’t scale up or down easily.

On the other hand, that same core large file acceleration technology can be deployed in a SaaS solution and, not only does the solution scale to the workload of large and small media companies, it requires little to no upfront infrastructure investment. This has allowed smaller companies to join the field, while greatly improving the operations and agility of larger ones.

What is storage independence and why does it matter?

The benefits of multi-tenant SaaS architecture are fairly well recognized by tech leaders in Media, but storage independence is a newer concept and the terminology is still in flux. Phrases such as hybrid-cloud/multi-cloud architecture and software-defined content exchange (SDCX) are related and capture some of the same meaning.

Basically, a storage independent solution is compatible with all major storage types and vendors used across an industry, including on-premises, private and public cloud. This means it’s never sold bundled with storage and the software developers work to ensure that the solution remains up to date with any new storage options being adopted.

Storage independence supports hybrid-cloud/multi-cloud use cases, where companies use a mix of on-premises and cloud storage and/or multiple cloud storage vendors (AWS and Azure for example). This is particularly important for global media supply chains, allowing companies to strategies on a case-by-case basis, and have complete control over assets and storage costs.

Storage independent SaaS large file acceleration solutions provide a powerful storage abstraction layer, allowing asset managers to use preferred storage types and locations independent of how files move between people and systems in various workflows.

Signiant’s three SaaS solutions provide all the benefits of multi-tenancy and storage independence.

  1. Media Shuttle is a powerful SaaS solution for people to send and share large files fast, used by businesses of all sizes.
  2. Jet is a powerfully simple SaaS solution to automate recurring file transfer jobs between global locations and partners.
  3. Flight is a unique SaaS solution that accelerates large datasets to and from the cloud at multi-Gbps transfer speeds.