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Graceful SaaS Platform Deployment on GKE

For software companies wishing to provide their end users with a dependable and turnkey product experience, Software as a Service (SaaS) is the preferred distribution option. Of course, the framework you will use to run your SaaS application is just one of the many factors a firm needs to take into account while developing a SaaS product. Kubernetes, the well-liked container orchestrator, is a logical and most common solution for operating contemporary SaaS systems since modern software development makes use of software containers. Google will cover the basics of selecting an architecture in this post while developing a SaaS platform using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

GKE’s advantages when used in SaaS applications

Containerized apps can be deployed in a managed, production-ready environment called GKE. The foundation of the project is Kubernetes, an open-source platform that streamlines the deployment, scaling, and administration of containerized applications. Google, the project’s main sponsor, gave the platform to the CNCF.

For SaaS applications, GKE provides several advantages, such as:

Globally accessible IP addresses: That can be configured to route traffic to one or more clusters based on the request’s origin. This makes it possible to configure complex DR and application routing.

Cost optimization: GKE offers insights on cost optimization to assist you in matching infrastructure spending to consumption.

Scalability: GKE can quickly increase or decrease the size of your apps in response to demand. At 15,000 nodes per cluster, the current scale restrictions dominate the industry.

High-performance, safe, and dependable data access is made possible by advanced storage choices.

Four well-liked SaaS GKE designs

You should consider your SaaS application’s needs and isolation requirements before selecting a SaaS architecture. At the Kubernetes namespace, node, and cluster levels, there is a trade-off between cost and levels of isolation. Each will result in an increase in cost. Google go into greater detail and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the architectures based on each in the section that follows. GKE sandboxes can be used to strengthen security on the host system in addition to all the techniques listed below. Considerations for network security are also included in the main GKE Security overview page, which you may access here.

1. A flat application for multiple tenants

Using a copy of the SaaS application, single-ingress routing to a Kubernetes namespace is one method of hosting a SaaS application. The intelligent ingress router would be able to provide data exclusive to the verified user. For SaaS apps that don’t require user isolation past the software layer, this configuration is typical. Frequently, only applications that manage tenancy through the primary SaaS application’s software layer can utilize this strategy. Regardless of which user is using the CPU, memory, and disk/storage the most, these resources scale with the application using the default autoscaler. Persistent volume claims specific to each pod can be used to link storage.


Cluster and nodes are handled as a unified, consistent resource.

Negative refers to

  • Since several tenants share the same underlying server, other tenants may be impacted by CPU spikes or networking events brought on by a particular tenant (sometimes known as “noisy neighbors”).
  • Any upgrades to the cluster affect all tenants simultaneously since many tenants share the same cluster control plane.
  • The only layer of isolation for user data is the application layer, so issues with the program could reveal one user’s data to another.

2. In a multi-tenant cluster, namespace-based isolation

With this pattern, you configure single-ingress routing to route to a suitable namespace containing a copy of the application that is specifically dedicated to a particular customer by using the host path. Clients who need to isolate their resources for their clients in a very efficient manner frequently choose this approach. A CPU and memory allotment can be made for each namespace, and during surges, extra capacity can be shared. Persistent volume claims, particular to each pod, can link storage.


  • In order to maximize productivity and strengthen security, tenants might pool resources in a segregated setting.
  • Cluster and nodes are handled as a unified, consistent resource.

Negative refers to

  • A single underlying server serves several tenants, therefore network events or CPU spikes from one tenant may impact other tenants.
  • Any cluster updates affect all tenants simultaneously since many tenants share the same cluster control plane.

3. Isolation via node

Similar to the last example, you set up single ingress routing here by utilizing the host path to route to the proper namespace, which has a copy of the application that is specifically dedicated to a tenant. But the application-running containers are anchored, via labels, to particular nodes. In addition to namespace isolation, this gives the application node-level separation. Applications that require a lot of resources are deployed in this way.


  • In a secluded setting, tenants have devoted resources.
  • Both the cluster and its nodes are handled as a single, consistent resource.

Negative refers to

  • Regardless of whether the tenant is utilizing the application or not, each tenant receives a node and will use infrastructure resources.
  • Any upgrades to the cluster affect all tenants simultaneously since many tenants share the same cluster control plane.

4. Isolation through clusters

In the final arrangement, each cluster which houses a customer-specific version of the application is accessed over a single, distinct ingress route. When applications demand the highest security standards and are highly resource-intensive, this kind of deployment is employed.


Tenants have their own cluster control plane and specialized resources in totally segregated environments.

Negative refers to

  • Regardless of whether they use the application or not, each tenant has their own cluster and uses infrastructure resources.
  • The requirement for independent cluster updates can result in a significant increase in operational burden.


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