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Exploring Deployment Models for Enterprise File Storage Systems 

Best Practice Recommendations for Enterprises

Organizations are being confronted with one of the most crucial decisions they’ll ever have to make when setting up their cloud file storage: what’s the right deployment model to use?

Why crucial? Choosing the right deployment model ensures resources are allocated efficiently, minimizing unnecessary costs and maximizing return on investment. And since different deployment models come with varying levels of risk exposure, choosing the wrong model can result in data breaches, downtime, or compliance violations.  

Whether opting for a fully private setup, a hosted VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) solution, or a multitenant SaaS approach, each deployment model comes with its own unique features and considerations. First, let’s define these:

  • A fully private setup where the infrastructure and services are maintained on a company’s private network and dedicated solely to them.
  • A hosted VPC is a private and isolated instance of the application hosted and managed by a service provider.
  • A multi-tenant SaaS (Software as a Service) model is a type of cloud computing architecture where each tenant shares the same underlying infrastructure, software, and database while their data is kept separate and secure.

In this article, we cover the nuances of these deployment models and highlight their advantages and drawbacks to empower businesses like yours in making informed decisions. 

Feature Comparison: Fully Private, Hosted VPC and Multi-tenant SaaS

The table below serves as an overview of the strengths and limitations of each deployment model—fully private, hosted VPC, and multi-tenant SaaS.  

Feature  Fully Private  Hosted VPC  Multi-tenant SaaS 
Resiliency to Outages  Highest  High  Medium 
Isolation Level  Highest  High  Low 
Control over Data Sovereignty  Highest  High  Low 
Cost  Highest  High  Low 
Scalability  Moderate  High  High 
Management Complexity  Highest  High  Low 

Digging Deeper into These Features 

Resiliency to Outages 

Resiliency to outages is the ability of a system or infrastructure to keep working and recover quickly in the event of disruptions or failures. In the context of cloud storage, it’s an indication of how well the system can withstand and recover from hardware failures, network interruptions, or service disruptions and more.  

A fully private solution provides full control over your infrastructure, including the ability to implement redundancy and failover mechanisms if you invest in redundant hardware, backup systems, and disaster recovery strategies. Hosted VPC comes with redundancy built in, however, outages within the cloud provider’s infrastructure can still impact your operations. As for multi-tenant SaaS, this solution is most susceptible to outages that may affect multiple tenants since it relies on the cloud provider’s shared infrastructure across all tenants. 

Isolation Level 

Isolation level refers to the degree of separation and independence between different entities or components within a system or environment. In the context of deployment models for cloud storage systems, the isolation level is all about how your files are kept separate and safe from everyone else who might be using the same system. It’s like having your own locker at the gym versus sharing one with a bunch of strangers — you want to make sure your stuff stays private and secure. 

Here’s a breakdown of isolation levels for each deployment model: 

  • Fully Private: Data and infrastructure are completely isolated from other users or tenants. Each organization has its own dedicated resources. 
  • Hosted VPC: While hosted within the cloud provider’s infrastructure, resources are logically isolated from other tenants. However, some shared resources may be involved, impacting the degree of isolation. 
  • Multi-tenant SaaS: Data lives on shared infrastructure with other tenants or users. While logical controls may be in place to separate some data and processes, there is a higher degree of shared resources. 

Security and Compliance 

Fully private and hosted VPC models offer organizations greater control over security as businesses have the autonomy to implement robust security measures for their specific needs. This can extend to access controls, encryption protocols, network segmentation, and intrusion detection systems that mitigate the likelihood of security incidents and ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets. 

In contrast, multi-tenant SaaS solutions where data resides in a shared environment, the architecture comes with potential risks such as data leaks or DDoS attacks that could impact multiple tenants. Organizations need to carefully assess the security posture of SaaS providers and determine how efficient their security controls and safeguards are.  

Control over Data Sovereignty 

This refers to an organization’s authority and ability to decide where its data is stored and who has access to it. In practical terms, control over data sovereignty allows organizations to comply with data protection regulations, maintain data residency requirements, address privacy concerns, and mitigate risks associated with data transfer.  

A perfect example can be found in companies that operate in the European Union, which may require control over data sovereignty to ensure compliance with the GDPR, or in the U.S., where businesses that store medical information must meet the regulations set out in HIPAA.  

Fully private deployment models allow for full control over where data is stored and who can access it, while with hosted VPCs, data resides within the cloud provider’s infrastructure, which translates to a high level of control with some limitations. As for multi-tenant SaaS, this model offers the least control over data location and access, since it’s a shared environment. 


Keeping operating costs low while ensuring smooth operations is a top priority for businesses of all sizes. While a fully private model may seem appealing, it often comes with a higher price tag. Setting up and maintaining your own infrastructure can lead to additional expenses. In contrast, a hosted VPC model offers dedicated cloud resources, allowing businesses to manage costs more effectively based on their specific needs. While the most cost-effective option – in theory – is multi-tenant SaaS, which operates on a pay-as-you-go model, it does come with some long-term cost implications should it be under par in resiliency and data sovereignty terms.   


As your business grows, you need a deployment model that expands as you need it to. Fully private solutions require manual infrastructure scaling, which makes for moderate scalability while multi-tenant SaaS and hosted VPC are both easier to scale, the latter because most cloud providers have environments built to accommodate changing demands. 

Management Complexity 

In the context of cloud storage solutions, management complexity encompasses various tasks, including provisioning resources, configuring settings, monitoring performance, implementing security measures, and troubleshooting issues.  

A fully private deployment model typically comes with the highest level of management complexity since organizations are responsible for everything. Multi-tenant SaaS solutions often provide the simplest experience but require you to be hands-off.  

In contrast, hosted VPC solutions offer a middle ground. While organizations retain control over their VPC environment, the cloud provider manages the underlying infrastructure, reducing the burden of day-to-day management tasks.  


While the points covered above compare deployment models in detail, before you sign up to a provider (or decide to do it all yourself), you should also consider performance. Due to dedicated resources, fully private and hosted VPC deployments may offer more predictable and isolated performance. 

Selecting the best deployment model for your enterprise file storage needs is a critical decision that requires research and time. By learning the ins and outs of fully private, hosted VPC, and multitenant SaaS solutions, you can make more informed choices that align with your strategic objectives to ensure your data storage infrastructure’s security, scalability, and efficiency. 

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