Kununu’s employer evaluation platform parallels the hotel evaluation platforms used by travel websites. Many people book hotels only after reviewing online evaluations and ratings, kununu.com believes that this concept applies to employment as well. Companies create profiles on kununu.com; current and previous employees post information about their experiences with the company. The evaluation platform benefits both employers and job seekers. The information posted in the evaluations empowers job seekers to make an informed decision about whether a particular company is a good match. Companies can use their profiles to promote corporate image on the website. By expanding the profile with information such as open positions, pictures of the workplace, and videos, a company can promote itself in social media networks. A profile on kununu.com is an effective part of social media branding.
Launched in June 2007, kununu.com initially used self-hosted servers, but moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS) after the physical servers became expensive and unwieldly. Migrating to AWS was an easy decision because the company wanted to reduce the costs involved in hosting and maintaining servers. Mark Poreda, Co-Founder and Manager of Technical Development, Infrastructure, and Product Development, elaborates: "The main advantage for us is to deploy new servers within minutes. No other system gave us this flexibility in such a short timeframe. Also, the use of Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS) allows us to have fewer downtimes," which is crucial for a busy website.
Kununu has been using AWS cloud computing solutions for the past two years. The AWS solution is comprised of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (Amazon ELB), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon CloudFront. Since migrating to AWS, the company has the ability to respond immediately to traffic demands by scaling up or down. Poreda explains: "This tremendously helped us to improve the availability of our website. Also, tasks like backup, system updates, and maintenance works can now be performed without any headaches compared to the self-hosted architecture."
Kununu built its own processes to automate many of the deployment tasks – booting new Amazon EC2 instances, updating the Linux and other software packages, deploying source code directly from the code repository, and attaching the instances to Amazon ELB after a final reboot.
The platform is built on the ZEND Framework, using PHP as the main programming language. The ZEND Framework provides an effective interface for Amazon S3, which enables kununu.com to easily integrate AWS in its application. Its deployment process uses Amazon’s PHP Software Development Kit (SDK), which is very easy to use and offers tremendous flexibility. Another benefit of the SDK is that employees can manage the architecture without having to access confidential information stored in the databases.
Kununu.com has experienced the many benefits of Amazon’s cloud solution. The ability to scale up or down as necessary has increased the profit margin. Furthermore, the technical staff can now focus on the running system instead of on the architecture and hardware, which was quite time consuming. Other benefits are fast, reliable, and secure processing power. While the benefits of AWS are numerous, Poreda especially likes the ease of use, flexibility, transparent cost structure, and ability to experiment with new services without long term contracts. He explains: "We are really impressed by the speed of new releases and functionalities. Amazon is constantly working to become a one-stop provider for all of the technical services that a Web application needs. In two years of usage, we've never regretted our commitment to AWS."
To learn more, visit http://www.kununu.com/.
Added May 18, 2011