AWS Cloud
AWS Cloud
There are a broad range of factors that will shape and influence your SaaS design and architecture. The domain you’re in, the business goals of your product, the scope and time to market of your initial offering—these are some of the many considerations that will impact the approach you take for your SaaS solution. Ultimately, you’ll need to identify an approach that balances the technical and strategic realities of your business.
 
Fortunately, AWS has a broad range of technologies that enable SaaS organizations to find the right blend of services to address the complex architectural needs of SaaS environments. While the range of SaaS architecture options is diverse, there are some clear themes that every SaaS architect will need to address when building SaaS solutions on AWS.
 
To help you navigate this landscape and develop a solution that meets your product goals, we’ve put together prescriptive content covering some common architectural challenges you may come across while architecting your solution.
 
Check out the SaaS Success Stories page to see examples of how companies have successfully implemented the below.
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This Quick Start implements a high availability solution for identity and isolation in multi-tenant software as a service (SaaS) environments, using Amazon Cognito as the identity provider.

The Quick Start provides a lightweight SaaS order management system that illustrates different aspects of identity and isolation, spanning the roles in a multi-tenant environment. The Quick Start deployment includes AWS services such as Amazon Cognito, AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon EC2 Container Service (Amazon ECS).

The AWS CloudFormation templates that automate the deployment are customizable. The deployment guide explains core SaaS identity and isolation concepts and implementation details, and includes step-by-step deployment and configuration instructions.

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If you’re just diving into SaaS, it may be helpful to review a general introduction to SaaS architectural principles and best practices. The Architecting Next Generation SaaS Applications on AWS presentation provides a good foundation of knowledge for building SaaS solutions on AWS. It may also help to take a look at the SaaS Enablement Framework, which provides an end-to-end review of concepts surrounding SaaS architecture and operations.
 

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SaaS applications need to ensure that tenant data and resources are isolated from other tenants. There are a number of business and technical variables that must be considered when designing a SaaS environment. AWS also provides a number of different mechanisms that can be used to enforce this isolation.

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There are many approaches to storing data in multi-tenant environments. SaaS architects must identify the mix of strategies that most effectively address the compliance, performance, operations, and optimization goals you have for your SaaS environment. You will also need to consider how to best realize multi-tenancy on the different AWS storage services.

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SaaS adds additional complexity to identity and access. Architects must introduce tenant awareness into their authentication and authorization models to scope and control access to tenant-specific resources in a variety of different roles. As a SaaS architect, you have access to a rich collection of AWS and APN Partner offerings that can help fill this void.

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SaaS environments require a robust and responsive operations footprint. Having an accurate and proactive view of your system’s health is essential to maximizing reliability of your SaaS environment. SaaS architects can leverage a rich collection of AWS and partner tools to build robust, tenant-aware views and policies to manage system health.

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SaaS providers are continually evaluating usage and activity trends in their application to help determine how and where they need to shape the direction of their products. This analytics data is also used to optimize and tune the performance profile of SaaS applications and create better alignment between cost and tenant consumption.

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For some, the move to SaaS starts with figuring out how to migrate their existing single-tenant product to a multi-tenant model. There are many strategies and approaches to this migration that include both technical and business transformation. Migration often involves weighing the tradeoffs between near-term business impacts and long-term agility.

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Billing and metering are core concepts in the world of SaaS. It’s essential that your SaaS solutions capture and profile consumption and use this data as the foundation of a tiered billing scheme. This is a natural area to lean on AWS and APN Partner solutions to provide you with ready-to-use mechanisms to address your metering and billing needs.

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Serverless computing addresses a number of common pain points for SaaS architects. Scaling multi-tenant loads with the AWS Lambda service enables SaaS organizations to better match tenant activity with infrastructure consumption is real-time. This optimizes costs and simplifies the operational and deployment agility of SaaS applications.

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