SaaS: Cloud-native versus On-prem

Posted by: Vladimir Stefanovic November 05, 2020

Why cloud native is the way to go

Over the last decade, we witness that so many start-up businesses are SaaS-based solutions, mainly because the payment model moves from license-based to the subscription-based. From the company perspective, if they don’t have a commitment for a year or longer, and their customers could cancel subscriptions at any time, there is no logical explanation and justification to spend a lot of money on infrastructure that could be over-provisioned.

That is one of the main reasons for start-up companies that “force” them to use public cloud instead of on-premise infrastructure even they don’t have SaaS-oriented products. Along with that,  other important factors for choosing a public cloud are automation/auto-scaling, simplified CI/CD process, and cost-effectiveness.

All of those parameters are tightly connected, and if they are correctly implemented, the success of the product will come in a short time.

Auto-scaling gets your requests covered, from minimum to an outburst

If correctly implemented, auto-scaling could bring a lot of benefits from the performance perspective, as well as from the cost perspective. Let’s assume that the SaaS product doesn’t have the same workload during the day, and the load could vary on many different factors. Also, in specific periods of the day, the product is in high demand and need to serve a lot of customers. If the solution doesn’t include any auto-scalable public cloud services, then infrastructure must meet the requirements of the highest load of days, which could lead to over-provisioning resources and increase costs.

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At the same time, auto-scaling could help the business to have up & running a minimum of needed instances for the product, with the possibility to increase the number of instances in a very short time to respond to peaks, based on specific triggers, such as CPU or RAM consumption. Also, if the load is not so high and the product is responsible, the number of instances will be decreased to the minimum for the proper functioning of the application.

Which ensures a full cost-efficiency

By choosing to develop a cloud-native SaaS, you’re in for an economies-of-scale opulence. As opposed to on-premise software which demands a complex infrastructure and deployment, cloud-based SaaS requires nothing but a standard environment. When we talk about cost efficiency, we simply must mention the flexibility of the cost-per-use model which is a perk of every cloud-based service.

By the way, cloud cost optimization is our core area of expertise. Learn more →

The ability of a cloud-native SaaS to respond to both high and low usage times is visible through monthly bills which, if the infrastructure is set right, will be transparent and expected. Not to forget – consider this as a longterm spending benefit too, as the ability to scale your environment (and the bills) based on the activities and requests is a strategic thumb up compared to a rigid infrastructure which has to host the surges you surely won’t be having enough to find such a setting cost worthy.

You are seconds away from a new release

The public cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure or AWS, fully support DevOps culture and CI/CD process. Many public cloud services will force you to think about cloud-native development and involve CI/CD in your workflow, especially because integration with GitHub, BitBucket, and other platforms are included by design. That directly means that you can release a new version of the application or fix bugs or issues in seconds, with the possibility to back to the old version. If you decide to use any of PaaS services, such as Azure App Service or Elastic Beanstalk, to serve your SaaS product to the customers, that can give you better scalability and integration with other services and more time to focus on the development.

In conclusion, we are in the SaaS era and you have to decide what platform is appropriate for your product. The public cloud will give you many benefits, but the mindset has to be configured in a cloud-native manner. Otherwise, you will not be able to have the best performance and the lower costs simultaneously.

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