OEM Architecture: What’s Right For Your Business?

There’s no denying it: the OEM analytics market is huge. A trend now recognized by Gartner in their 2018 Critical…

There’s no denying it: the OEM analytics market is huge. A trend now recognized by Gartner in their 2018 Critical Capabilities for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms report, more and more organizations see the value in providing their customers with analytics.

But what’s the best way to architect your OEM offering? This is where the fun begins.

But First! White Labeling vs. Embedding

Here at Sisense, there are two relevant use cases for OEM platforms: white labeling or embedding. Often mistaken for one another, there are some differences between the two.

In the white-labeled use-case, a Sisense server is completely rebranded so that the Sisense logo and name is replaced, the color palette is changed to the match the organization’s application, system emails are customized by the system to match the brand and more. The tenants (our customer’s customers) access the Sisense server directly, and experience Sisense analytics as provided by the customer. They are not necessarily aware that the analytics server they are accessing is actually a Sisense server.

In the embedded use-case, our customers have their own web application and embed Sisense within it. We support embedding the full Sisense application, including the data modeling, analytics and administration areas, or embedding specific OEM dashboards and widgets using IFrames. Widgets can also be embedded within web pages using the SisenseJS infrastructure.

Three Flexible OEM Architectures

Option 1: Shared ElastiCubes with row-based data security

The first type of architecture for OEM deployments utilizes shared Sisense servers for multiple tenants and shared ElastiCubes and dashboards. Segregation between tenants is achieved by using row-based data security within ElastiCubes. All of the customers’ data resides in a shared ElastiCube, but each of the tenants gets access only to their own data.

OEM Architecture
  • Advantages: Lower hardware costs, high resource utilization, simple asset change management
  • Disadvantages: Tenant resource usage may affect other tenants
  • Typically Best for: Tenants with identical data models and dashboard requirements

Option 2: Dedicated ElastiCube per tenant

The second architecture for OEM deployments utilizes shared Sisense servers for multiple tenants, together with providing a dedicated cube and dashboards for each tenant. In this deployment, multiple tenants use the same server.


Looking for an even deeper understanding of OEM architectures? Read an in-depth look at each of the three options described above in our whitepaper.


Typically, the OEM has default ElastiCubes and dashboards and creates a dedicated copy of them for each of the tenants. The ElastiCubes and dashboards can be identical copies for each of the tenants or customized per tenant. The OEM uses access control for ElastiCubes and dashboards to ensure each of the tenants only has access to their own data. Typically a user group is created for each of the tenants. All of the tenant’s users are assigned to the same group. The relevant ElastiCubes and Dashboards are shared with the tenant’s group. In this way, the asset access control layer ensures that users of each tenant only gets access to their own data.

With this solution, you need to consider how the system scales to support your future needs and support additional tenants. While initially, you’ll enjoy shared server resources, as you add more tenants you may have to provision additional servers, increasing the hardware costs of this solution.

OEM Architecture
  • Advantages: Low hardware costs for a small number of tenants, high resource utilization
  • Disadvantages: High hardware costs for a large number of tenants, more complicated asset change management, tenant resource usage may affect other tenants
  • Typically Best for: Tenants who require customized data models

Option 3: Dedicated Sisense server per tenant

The third architecture for OEM deployment is to provide a dedicated Sisense server for each tenant. Typically an OEM customer will have a server image including default ElastiCubes and dashboards. Each of the customers receives their own instance of the server. The ElastiCubes and dashboards can be identical between the servers or customized for each of the tenants. The data for each tenant is completely separate as each server has its own assets, including configuration, users, ElastiCubes, and dashboards.

OEM Architecture
  • Advantages: Highest level of security, dedicated resources per tenant
  • Disadvantages: Low resource utilization, higher hardware costs, complicated asset change management
  • Typically Best for: Tenants with strict security regulations, such as financial or healthcare institutes and tenants that need a high level of schema and dashboard customizations

What’s The Right Choice?

The type of architecture suitable for a specific customer depends on the use-case, the needs of the customer, the resources that can be dedicated to the deployment (both allocated people, and allocated hardware), and preferences. Of course, in order to make the right decision for you and your business, it’s always best to review all options in relation to your current and ongoing needs.

Looking for an even deeper understanding of OEM architectures? Read an in-depth look at each of the three options described above in our whitepaper.

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