"Today it’s clear that the idea behind our platform works. And we also know that no matter how large we become one day, AWS will always have a solution that fulfills our requirements concerning availability, scalability, and the security of the systems."
Johannes Prüller Head of Global Communications & Insights

kununu is the largest employer-rating platform in Europe, with more than 2.5 million assessments of over 600,000 companies. It enables employees and applicants to rate companies on different categories, such as working conditions, salary, or corporate culture. In this way, kununu creates transparency in the job market and provides jobseekers with workplace insights that matter and help them make better career decisions.

At the same time, the platform gives employers the opportunity to present themselves in an environment that is relevant for their target group. kununu was established in 2007 in Vienna and has been a subsidiary of XING AG since 2013. kununu has more than 100 employees across four locations in Europe and the US.

Each day, kununu receives more than 1,000 new ratings on nearly as many companies. Every new entry increases the benefit and appeal of using the platform, and this has accelerated kununu’s growth. Johannes Prüller, head of global communications & insights at kununu, says: “The one-millionth rating went online in 2015. Since then that number has more than doubled. And there is no end in sight.” This growth also applies to the number of people who visit the site in order to search for jobs. Today, kununu attracts around 3.5 million visits each month.

In total, kununu’s rating questionnaire contains 13 different categories and a recommendation option. Users can search according to company name, industry, location, average rating, or ratings in specific categories. Other search criteria include the benefits offered by the company, such as a retirement plan or coaching. For each category, the answers are on a five-point scale and allow for additional open text comments. Michael Osl, software architect at kununu, explains: “In order to make this amount of data permanently available, kununu needs an infrastructure that offers a high degree of availability and is powerful and secure.”

Due to the platform’s rapid growth, kununu’s engineering team wanted to work with a flexible and scalable cloud. “The amount of data is growing faster and faster. So it’s important that new resources can become available quickly and easily. That’s not possible with the servers we purchased for our own data center. That’s the reason why we moved our platform to the cloud as early as 2009.”

kununu selected AWS as its cloud provider at a time when the employer-rating platform was still a startup company. It had been looking for a provider that could offer the right solutions for a wide range of possible development scenarios. “We couldn’t foresee how the business would develop over the longer term,” explains Prüller. “Today, it’s clear that the idea behind our platform works. And we also know that no matter how large we become one day, AWS will always have a solution that fulfills our requirements concerning availability, scalability and security of the systems.”

The fact that AWS Professional Services offers extensive support in building and running the platform also played an important role in the company selecting AWS as cloud provider. kununu’s employees do not have enough time to deal with all details of the IT infrastructure — that much became obvious when the company was still working with its own servers in its data center.

For the last eight years, kununu’s offering has been based on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). What initially began as one m1.large instance today contains several dozen different instance types to handle various workloads in the development, testing, and production environments. Over the years, kununu has also integrated other AWS services. An example is the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), which significantly simplifies the operations of a database cluster.

kununu wants its users to have a positive experience whenever using the platform, whether they’re rating a company, researching their employer of choice, or preparing for a job interview. All of these users expect the platform to be available 24/7, and they expect short response times. This makes the stability and performance of AWS’s services its most important benefits, according to Johannes Prüller. “Three and a half million visits a month are a challenge to handle. Thanks to the services from AWS, however, this is not a problem for us.”

The high availability, performance, and security of Amazon Web Services are also among the business-critical factors when marketing the premium company profiles that are only available at a cost. Due to the growing competition to attract the best specialists and management talents, employers have to be online and reachable all the time and, if necessary, need to be able to respond quickly, either regarding profile updates to support a new campaign or to comment on employees’ ratings.

What’s more, kununu provides companies with a dashboard containing statistics, which provide employers with insights into how they compare against competitors. In this case, kununu and its customers also benefit from the performance of AWS’s infrastructure. For example, AWS Auto Scaling ensures that, for these applications, services and containers are made available in the background when needed. As a result, companies can quickly track the effects of events and campaigns on their branding and take action accordingly.

When kununu expanded into the US in 2016, it benefited in particular from the easy and fast availability of the infrastructure. “We believe the idea behind kununu can work globally,” comments Johannes Prüller. “After the good experiences in DACH and North America, we are now also considering expanding into other countries. So it's good to know that the infrastructure we would need for this can be rolled out in just a few clicks.”

Learn how to maintain optimal application performance and availability with AWS Auto Scaling.