How BYJU’S uses AWS to deliver interactive learning content to more than 15 million students ,

BYJU’S has made a big impact on the online learning world since its launch in 2015. The India-based mobile learning app, created by Byju Raveendran—a teacher by choice and entrepreneur by chance—is now used by more than 15 million students and has 900,000 paying subscribers. BYJU’S The Learning App helps teach children to absorb the culture of learning on their own rather than being spoon-fed, and is reinventing how students learn in the age of mobile devices. The BYJU’S approach combines world-class teachers, proven pedagogical methods, innovative technology, and data science to deliver personalized learning, feedback, and assessment for students.

FIRST OF ALL WE SEE WHAT IS AWS AND HOW THE BYJU’S USES AWS TO DELIVER THE INTERACTIVE LEARNING CONTENT

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform provided by Amazon that includes a mixture of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings.Amazon Web Services (AWSis a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow. Running web and application servers in the cloud to host dynamic website

The cloud is a hot topic for small businesses all the way to global enterprises, but remains a broad concept that covers a lot of online territory. As you begin to consider switching your business to the cloud, whether it be for application or infrastructure deployment, it is more important than ever to understand the differences and advantages of the various cloud services.

There are usually three models of cloud service to compare: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Each of these has its own benefits, as well as variances, and it is necessary to understand the differences among SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to know how to best choose one for your organization.

Cloud application services, or Software as a Service (SaaS), represent the largest cloud market and are still growing quickly. SaaS uses the web to deliver applications that are managed by a third-party vendor and whose interface is accessed on the clients’ side. Most SaaS applications can be run directly from a web browser without any downloads or installations required, although some require plugins.

Cloud platform services, or Platform as a Service (PaaS), are used for applications, and other development, while providing cloud components to software. What developers gain with PaaS is a framework they can build upon to develop or customize applications. PaaS makes the development, testing, and deployment of applications quick, simple, and cost-effective. With this technology, enterprise operations, or a third-party provider, can manage OSes, virtualization, servers, storage, networking, and the PaaS software itself. Developers, however, manage the applications.

Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are self-service models for accessing, monitoring, and managing remote datacenter infrastructures, such as compute (virtualized or bare metal), storage, networking, and networking services (e.g. firewalls). Instead of having to purchase hardware outright, users can purchase IaaS based on consumption, similar to electricity or other utility billing.

WHY AMAZON WEB SERVICE USE IN A BYJU’S AND OTHER APPLICATION

Migrating to AWS to Host a Popular Website and Analyze App and Web User Data

BYJU’S chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the cloud platform for its website and mobile app. “Many of our team members had used AWS previously, so we were familiar with the technology, and we knew it could help us scale easily,” says Ramachandran. “AWS is also very simple to configure. In just a few weeks, we moved the BYJU’S website, our apps, and a video pipeline to AWS.”

BYJU’S runs its website and mobile apps on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. The company uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for PostgreSQL as its primary database service, and it stores presentations and other educational content in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets.

For data analytics, BYJU’S takes advantage of the Amazon Redshift fully managed data warehouse to analyze app and website user data through the company’s existing business-intelligence software tools. Using Amazon Redshift, BYJU’S can evaluate student feedback and capitalize on those insights to provide a more personalized learning experience. “We can discover more accurately how students are actually using the app or if they’re watching a learning video all the way through, for example,” says Ramachandran. “Based on the results, we can more directly map learning content to individual students’ needs or preferences.”

Scaling to Support 15 Million Users

In AWS, BYJU’S has a reliable and scalable cloud environment for hosting its website and mobile learning apps, allowing the company to scale on demand as the business keeps growing. “We now have more than 15 million students using the BYJU’S mobile app, and we could not support that number without being on AWS,” says Ramachandran. “As our user and subscriber base continues to expand, we are extremely confident in our ability to support and manage that growth.”

BYJU’S has already proven it can quickly scale to meet spikes in traffic during special online events. “For a recent event on our website, we were expecting a fourfold increase in traffic, but what we actually saw was a tenfold increase,” Ramachandran says. “All we had to do was essentially turn on a switch, and we had more instances on AWS to support the spike. It was very fast and simple.”

AWS CASE STUDY

The Benefits

Gaining Better Insights into Student Behavior

Using AWS, BYJU’S gains deeper insights into student preferences and app usage, ultimately helping the company create unique, effective, and engaging learning experiences for students across all grades. “When we started the company, we did not have an analytics-processing layer, so it was very difficult to get good analytics about how students use the website and mobile app,” says Ramachandran. “Using Amazon Redshift, we have a robust analytical tool that helps us collect usage data so we can more effectively personalize every student’s learning journey and provide customized feedback and in-depth analysis.” For example, BYJU’S is leveraging data analytics on Amazon Redshift to develop guided instructional paths based on student preferences. “Amazon Redshift is helping us make our content better for each student,” says Ramachandran. “By analyzing how students view specific features and courses, we can ultimately tailor the content being taught to make it much more effective.” The company also uses Amazon Redshift to send customized notifications to mobile app users based on courses they have completed.

Shot of two young women using a laptop together in a college library

BYJU’S continues to innovate by making use of newer AWS services to develop solutions. As an example, the organization recently launched a product in India that takes advantage of the Amazon Alexa intelligent personal assistant to deliver audio-based educational content on the Amazon Echo device. Using Alexa voice commands, students can find out additional information about a given topic or play educational videos or games within the BYJU’S app.

We now have more than 15 million students using the BYJU’S mobile app, and we could not support that number without being on AWS. As our user and subscriber base continues to expand, we are extremely confident in our ability to support and manage that growth.”

“We are very excited about integrating services like Amazon Alexa into our new solutions,” says Ramachandran. “As we expand the business in India and look for new ways to reach students, we know that using AWS will help us develop interactive, engaging products and applications.” In spite of BYJU’S many education industry work on AWS.


As technology advances, we see education progressing towards a better phase. With an increasing number of students now possessing smartphones and laptops, education has become more affordable and accessible for the learners, allowing them to gain knowledge at their own pace and capability.

Online education has started overtaking the conventional classroom approach.  When we think of Online education, particularly in the Indian context, there’s only one platform that crosses our minds first.

–NISHANT KASHYAP

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