Case Study

PowerSchool’s Rapid Growth Calls for Quick Scale of Multicloud Environment

$2.5 Million
How much money CloudHealth has helped save PowerSchool over a 12-month period
$400,000
The amount of unused EC2 Instances (per year) that went unnoticed before CloudHealth provided asset visibility
Governance
PowerSchool can now uncover hidden cloud costs and improve governance to prevent future waste

PowerSchool is a leading provider of K-12 education technology solutions, supporting more than 45 million students in over 80 countries. PowerSchool manages over 100 million users worldwide and has had 8 acquisitions since 2016. This rapid growth has forced PowerSchool to increase the speed and agility of their scaling AWS and Azure environments.

Powerschool's cloud challenges

PowerSchool began consuming cloud resources in 2015 as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) customer, and in 2018 they added Microsoft Azure. They chose to have a multicloud strategy that aligned their workloads to whichever cloud provider offered the best services. As a result, PowerSchool’s cloud investment is nearly identical for both clouds.

When PowerSchool began acquiring multiple legacy startups, it became essential for them to implement a reliable multicloud management solution to keep up with their growth. Juggling around 300 reservations between AWS and Azure at any given time, PowerSchool had difficulty centralizing governance across their multicloud environment. They needed to increase cost visibility and improve transparency on overall cloud use.

With all of these moving parts, Josh Aldridge, Program Manager and Cloud Commander at PowerSchool, needed a solution that could provide more visibility into their rapidly growing infrastructure. Most of PowerSchool’s customers have a unique cloud environment and Josh wanted to be able to understand all accounts at a higher level.

Finding a solution

PowerSchool chose CloudHealth because the platform is able to easily uncover hidden cloud costs, improve governance, and increase visibility.

During the evaluation period, the PowerSchool team started to dive deep into the platform. They found increased value in CloudHealth’s proven cost management functionality, which enables the company to continue to mature and grow at a quick pace. The platform allows users to customize dashboards and reports to identify immediate cost-saving opportunities and take action. Unlike other cloud management platforms, CloudHealth is able to collect data from all of PowerSchool’s different environments and easily make sense of it all.

CloudHealth is able to give PowerSchool a holistic view of their AWS and Azure environments in one central location. “Maintaining reservations is extremely easy through CloudHealth, even when operating in a multicloud environment,” Josh shares. CloudHealth’s proactive recommendations ensure that their Reserved Instances purchases are fully optimized.

"Maintaining reservations is extremely easy through CloudHealth, even when operating in a multicloud environment."

— Josh Aldrige
Program Manager & Cloud Commander, PowerSchool

PowerSchool continues to find new useful features within the platform. So far they’ve been able to identify even bigger opportunities for cost savings, and they’re starting to leverage automation to keep costs down and get into rightsizing large accounts. 

"CloudHealth is able to aggregate all of that data in a way that easier to slice and dice."

— Josh Aldrige
Program Manager & Cloud Commander, PowerSchool

The results

CloudHealth has helped PowerSchool save over $2.5 million in cloud spend over a 12 month period. The platform has also allowed PowerSchool to easily migrate multiple applications to the cloud.

"When I give feedback, I feel like it’s listened to. The CloudHealth team values customer input and takes action instead of just smiling and nodding.”

— Josh Aldrige
Program Manager & Cloud Commander, PowerSchool

Additionally, Josh’s team has been able to leverage the CloudHealth Asset Reports to do data audits and investigate unused resources. PowerSchool had $400,000 worth of unused EC2 Instances per year that went unnoticed until CloudHealth gave them visibility with asset data.

What's next for PowerSchool?

Looking ahead, PowerSchool plans to hone in on CloudHealth’s automation capabilities as the company continues to develop and expand their multicloud environment. The team’s priority is to better align their cloud program to business metrics like spend and predictability. “We’re pushing more and more responsibility into engineering and off of the operations team,” Josh explains.

Josh appreciates the relationship he has with CloudHealth and the timeliness of communication from the CloudHealth Customer Success Team. “CloudHealth has always been transparent,” Josh said. “When I give feedback, I feel like it’s listened to. The CloudHealth team values customer input and takes action instead of just smiling and nodding.”