AWS Case Study: Totaljobs Group
About Totaljobs Group
Totaljobs Group, founded in 1999, is one of the largest online job board businesses in the United Kingdom. The company’s flagship website, Totaljobs.com, provides job search information for generalized employment searches. In addition, Totaljobs Group has six websites that target job searches in specific industries, such as technology, retail, and hospitality. Together, the websites list more than 200,000 jobs and attract more than 7 million jobseekers per month.
Totaljobs Group is headquartered in London and has approximately 450 employees throughout the United Kingdom.
Following its purchase by StepStone GmbH in April 2012, Totaljobs Group began searching for a new hosting environment for its business units. The company wanted a secure, mature environment while at the same time being able to reduce its hosting costs. After researching alternatives, Edward Vassie, Totaljobs Group database architect, completed a proof of concept (POC) demonstrating that Amazon Web Services (AWS) would be a viable alternative to a traditional data center.
Why Amazon Web Services
The cloud environment was a good fit with the way Totaljobs Group’s new parent set up operational responsibilities for its divisions, and Totaljobs Group received approval for the migration. Totaljobs Group was able to plan and implement the migration to the AWS Cloud in only six months.
Totaljobs Group found that the AWS feature stack complements the company’s own wide-ranging web services. Currently, the company is using an average of 80 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances paired with Elastic Load Balancing. The company also relies on Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and Amazon Route 53. Totaljobs Group uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store almost 9 TB of data and expects to increase usage to approximately 20 TB of storage during its first year in the AWS Cloud.
“Our websites serve more than 2 million pages per day and process 4 million job applications every month,” says Vassie, “We have benefited from a 20% reduction in latency by using Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes compared to our previous hosting environment.” Totaljobs Group also plans to move their performance-critical servers to Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS. Vassie comments, “We believe the new Provisioned IOPS instances will be perfect for our IO-intensive workloads.”
Totaljobs Group also engages AWS Support at the Enterprise-level. James Cahill, Totaljobs Group CTO, explains, “We value the support engineers’ assistance in helping us identify what AWS services we needed for our server farm and helping us to provision these resources quickly. We also value the feedback that they provided after reviewing our architecture plan; it inspired confidence in our management.”
Totaljobs Group estimates that a similar transfer to another physical data center would have taken six months longer than the company’s migration to the AWS Cloud. The cloud migration also laid the groundwork for considerable savings. Cahill explains, “We avoided having to replace multiple end-of-life SAN systems in 2013 which eliminated about $800,000 capital expenditure. Moreover, we estimate that the move to the AWS Cloud will reduce our existing hosting costs by about $500,000 per year.”
“Our business goals and competitive opportunities can change within a short timeframe” says Nigel Sterndale, Totaljobs Group CIO, “AWS gives us the ability to be agile and scale to meet business objectives while keeping our operational and capital costs low.”
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