Pearson Case Study

Using Kubernetes to reinvent the world's largest educational company

Pearson, the world's education company, serving 75 million learners worldwide, set a goal to more than double that number to 200 million by 2025. A key part of this growth is in digital learning experiences, and that requires an infrastructure platform that is able to scale quickly and deliver products to market faster. So Pearson's Cloud Technology team chose Kubernetes to help build a platform to meet the business requirements.


"To transform our infrastructure, we had to think beyond simply enabling automated provisioning, we realized we had to build a platform that would allow Pearson developers to build manage and deploy applications in a completely different way. We chose Kubernetes because of its flexibility, ease of management and the way it would improve our engineers' productivity."

— Chris Jackson, Director for Cloud Product Engineering, Pearson


  • Pearson had difficulty in scaling and adapting to the growing online audience. They wanted to build and deliver content primarily over the web.

Why Kubernetes:

  • Kubernetes will allow Pearson's teams to develop their apps in a consistent manner, saving time and minimizing complexity.


  • Build a centralized platform for use across the entire enterprise
  • Use container technology as the core of the platform
  • Deploy Kubernetes to manage the platform


  • Pearson is building an enterprise-wide platform for delivering innovative, web-based educational content. They expect engineers' productivity to increase by up to 20 percent.

Kubernetes powers a comprehensive developer experience

Pearson wanted to use as much open source technology as possible for the platform given that it provides both technical and commercial benefits over the duration of the project. Jackson says, "Building an infrastructure platform based on open source technology in Pearson was a no-brainer, the sharing of technical challenges and advanced use cases in a community of people with talent far beyond what we could hire independently allows us to innovate at a level we could not reach on our own. Our engineers enjoy returning code to the community and participating in talks, blogs and meetings, it's a great way for us to allow our team to express themselves and share the pride they have in their work."

It also wanted to use a container-focused platform. Pearson has 400 development groups and diverse brands with varying business and technical needs. With containers, each brand could experiment with building new types of content using their preferred technologies, and then deliver it using containers. Pearson chose Kubernetes because it believes that is the best technology for managing containers, has the widest community support and offers the most flexible and powerful tools."

Kubernetes is at the core of the platform we've built for developers. After we get our big spike in back-to-school in traffic, much of Pearson's traffic will interact with Kubernetes. It is proving to be as effective as we had hoped," Jackson says.

Encouraging experimentation, saving engineers time

With the new platform, Pearson will increase stability and performance, and to bring products to market more quickly. The company says its engineers will also get a productivity boost because they won't spend time managing infrastructure. Jackson estimates 15 to 20 percent in productivity savings.

Beyond that, Pearson says the platform will encourage innovation because of the ease with which new applications can be developed, and because applications will be deployed far more quickly than in the past. It expects that will help the company meet its goal of reaching 200 million learners within the next 10 years.

"We're already seeing tremendous benefits with Kubernetes — improved engineering productivity, faster delivery of applications and a simplified infrastructure. But this is just the beginning. Kubernetes will help transform the way that educational content is delivered online," says Jackson.