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Multi-Tenant & Single-Tenant IoT Architectures

As you consider deploying an Ayla Networks cloud-based IoT solution, you may be considering your choices of server platform tenancy. Your Ayla IoT solution will likely be deployed as part of a multi-tenant implementation. Later, as your customer base grows, you may decide to transition from a multi-tenant to a single-tenant platform. What does that mean? How do you choose between the two types of tenancy? How easily can you migrate from one to the other? Let’s explore your options.


In a multi-tenant environment, numerous customers (tenants) share a single instance of the Ayla platform with its underlying infrastructure, e.g., hardware, data sources, and networking. It is important to note that each customer’s data is segregated such that it is secure, private, and invisible to other customers. Also, Ayla operates multi-tenant instances in three separate continents to support data privacy compliance requirements such as GDPR.

Benefits of Multi-tenancy Include:

  • Lower initial cost – The server and maintenance cost is shared, allowing all customers to take advantage of the economies of scale – especially at lower traffic volumes.

  • Time to market – Allows customers to rapidly test and deploy their IoT solution on a pre-built platform.

  • Low startup risk – Ability to crawl, walk, then run your business case on a pre-built platform.

  • Geographically diverse - Take advantage of localized multi-tenant environments to deal with compliance requirements. For example, you can launch your North America end users on the North America instance and European users on the European instance.

Drawbacks of Multi-tenant Include:

  • Updates – Cloud software updates are applied to all customers simultaneously, so there is less control over individual update schedules.

  • Performance – Server performance is optimized for multi-tenant operation rather than individual use cases.


In a single-tenant environment, Ayla manages a separate software instance for each customer. Each customer utilizes an entirely independent platform in terms of hardware, networking, and data sources. There is no resource sharing between customers with this option.

Benefits of Single-tenant Include:

  • Lower cost at scale – At higher traffic volumes, the environment is optimized for a specific use-case which could lower per-user costs.

  • Compliance – The environment can be customized for specific compliance requirements since each instance is entirely separate from other instances.

  • Predictability – The environment is optimized for each customer use case, such that performance and software behavior are not affected by other customers.

  • Control and Customization – Software modifications and updates are made independent of other customers.

Drawbacks of single-tenant include:

  • Maintenance – Additional resources are required to maintain each unique instance.

How to Choose Multi-tenant vs. Single-tenant?

Both platform architectures have unique properties that make them great for a range of applications. Usually, IoT solutions begin with a multi-tenant implementation. This provides lower initial costs and faster time-to-market with lower overall risk to the program.

As an IoT program scales going forward, a multi-tenant deployment can be migrated to a single-tenant platform. This could be especially useful to optimize the cost of high-volume traffic and provide scalability as the number of users increase.




Development resources


Cost -- initial low volume

Cost -- high volume

Update control


Ayla DevOps managed SLA

24x7x365 Monitoring

Moving from Multi-Tenant to Single-Tenant

Ayla IoT is designed to support easy migration from multi- to single-tenant architectures in a way that is seamless and invisible to IoT end-users. This includes migration of end-users, dashboards, IoT devices, and mobile apps. In most cases, migration is as simple as switching DNS entries. Migrations are performed methodically by Ayla engineering and services teams using step by step process honed through years of experience. The migration is validated using established test cases, and the final cutover is performed after the customer completes acceptance testing.

Ayla Makes it Simple

With Ayla IoT, the choice is simple. Start quickly and easily with a multi-tenant implementation. Then migrate to a single-tenant implementation as your business case dictates. Essentially, you have the best of both worlds.


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