How PeopleStrong is leveraging AWS’s auto-scale capabilities to scale seamlessly and serve 1 million users
In 2011, legacy on-premise systems were the only applications that businesses had access to. These systems were the bane of a business user’s life because of their complex UX and set up process. For HR, it was all the more challenging, because the systems weren’t necessarily designed keeping the organisation’s need in mind, and since they were difficult to use, it restricted HR teams from extending the access of these systems to all employees. So, despite having invested in technology, a majority of HR ran paper-based or Excel-based processes. Moreover, since ownership of everything remained with the HR teams, it impacted the bottom-line as well as the employee experience.
Enriching work experience for enterprises and users globally
PeopleStrong, a leading work and HR technology company from India, wanted to change that, and so began their SaaS journey with the mission of redesigning work-life for the future. “Our intent was to provide consumer-grade experience to employees, keep things simple for the business users, all the while delivering enterprise-grade security and infrastructure,” says Vishal Saha, Founding Member and Chief Technology Officer, PeopleStrong.
The company is on the journey of writing the ‘New Code of Work’ through their comprehensive product suite which includes next-gen apps in the space of HR technology (talent acquisition, human capital management, talent management) and business productivity.
Choosing AWS as the preferred partner
As the company continued expanding, the ability to scale seamlessly was the highest priority. Security was also extremely important as they handle sensitive and confidential data for customers. This created a need for PeopleStrong to shift workloads to a secure and scalable public cloud for greater control, reliability, and improved performance.
There was a clear need to pick a partner that catered to future requirements, had a strong presence in different geographies across the globe and had a consistent experience across different data centres; AWS matched all these key requirements.
“The performance and reliability of infrastructure was extremely important to run our mission-critical applications. In addition, we needed a platform that could handle voluminous data, so that we could extend our analytics and machine intelligence capabilities. On a head-to-head comparison, AWS emerged as the most suitable platform” says Vishal Saha, Founding Member & CTO, PeopleStrong.
PeopleStrong decided to shift their production load from private cloud to AWS, fully leveraging Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers for hosting web applications and databases for primary operations.
Serving a 1 million userbase with AWS
PeopleStrong has around 300+ enterprises and 1 million users who access their Product Suite which comprises 20+ modules. They have deployed their applications running on a multi-tenant microservices-based architecture on AWS Virtual Private Cloud with 50+ servers running on a cluster with high availability.
The VPC holds defined roles, access, security groups, authorisation, and give access to load balancer as per the given parameters. In the private subnet, they have the application servers in clusters running over Kubernetes. They are using 100+ pods for serverless architecture with auto scale and that helps them serve nearly 1 million users.
Speaking about the seamless deployment, Vishal says, “We have done a seamless transition to AWS with minimum downtime (within 2 months). We extended the network to AWS and scaled some instances to AWS and on the final day of cut out, we just had to shut down the earlier instance and all our applications were mapped with AWS instances.”
AWS offers PeopleStrong with continuous support in operations and scaling. They have a cadence call with AWS every quarter where they review the architecture and provide more insights for better stability, scalability, and optimisation.
Utilising auto-scale capabilities
PeopleStrong’s product stack is deployed on Infrastructure-as-a-Service from AWS and with the sturdiness of the platform, their tech product is well placed to provide an omnichannel experience on both web and mobile platforms.
On how customers are benefiting from the deployment, Vishal says, “Because of the underlying technology, our application performance is very robust, and we are able to provide and commit 99.95 percent of application uptime month-on-month.”
They also have auto-scale in their Kubernetes deployment, and at the time of peak load, they are able to scale up horizontally to cater any load and accordingly scale down. They can optimise requirements which helps ensure on-demand consumption of computing resources.
“AWS has not only helped us in delivering a scalable and reliable product experience for customers, they have also been great partners in accelerating our go-to-market efforts across Asia. We are a part of AWS’s accelerator program and Market Development Funding (MDF) support that helps us reach a wider market segment,” he adds.
Future plans with AWS
Today, PeopleStrong is present in seven countries and 14+ industries and their customer base includes leading brands across Asia, like Aditya Birla Group, Amararaja Group, Chola Financials, Coromandel International, Cars24, Aditya Birla Capital, among others. Their adoption rates are the highest globally at 98 percent and they are the highest-rated app globally on Play Store.
Looking ahead, Vishal says they plan on taking their products to new geographies, extend their partner network and deliver on their promise of writing the ‘New Code of Work’. “AWS is an important partner in this journey.”