In a managed-hosting environment, when the database goes down, it requires manual intervention and it’s a major event. With Amazon RDS, it’s handled automatically. That will drive our total costs down significantly over time.
Reinhold Staudinger Chief Architect, Blackboard

Blackboard delivers innovative education technology and services that enable millions of people worldwide to learn in schools, institutions, and companies. Its flagship product is Blackboard Learn, a comprehensive learning management system that is offered in three configurations: on premises, hosted, and fully managed software as a service (SaaS).

For its SaaS version of Learn, Blackboard was initially using a major commercial database in a managed-hosting environment. However, this resulted in high licensing costs and required the company to invest significant resources in day-to-day database management.

That’s why it chose to migrate to the open-source PostgreSQL database running on Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). This required an initial investment to carry over optimizations from one platform to another, but the company expects the move to pay off by eliminating licensing fees and reducing management overhead. “In a managed-hosting environment, when the database goes down, it requires manual intervention and it’s a major event,” says Reinhold Staudinger, chief architect at Blackboard. “With Amazon RDS, it’s handled automatically. That will drive our total costs down significantly over time.”

Adopting Amazon RDS has provided additional advantages beyond cost savings. When the company wanted to offer customers read-only access to real-time data, it found that Amazon RDS already had the feature built in. Staudinger says, “Using Read Replicas in Amazon RDS, we empower customers to access transactional data without significantly increasing our computational workload.”