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AWS Well-Architected Framework: optimizing productivity, security, and cost of your AWS cloud

AWS gives you all the tools and services you need to build your cloud. The challenge lies in knowing which ones you should use to implement and operate your workloads. One common analogy is that of trying to build a house by walking

into a hardware store and purchasing all the items you need. The first problem is understanding which items you need, the second is understanding how they go together. AWS Well-Architected Framework helps you do all that. Plus, it helps you

understand if your decisions are the correct ones, in other words, will they deliver in terms of performance, security and

cost? In short, the AWS Well-Architected Framework provides a structure to compare your use of AWS with its own best practices.

The Well-Architected Framework is built around six pillars—operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability. It enables customers and partners to evaluate architectures and implement scalable designs.

The Framework includes the AWS Well-Architected Tool, which is available free of cost in the AWS Management Console. It provides a mechanism for evaluating workloads, identifying high-risk issues, and recording improvements.

Through its partner program, AWS also provides access to a network of partners, so you can engage with a partner in your area who can help analyze and review your applications.

Benefits at a Glance

Workloads that follow the AWS Well-Architected framework have the ability to: Build and deploy faster

Mitigate technology risks before they happen Make better informed decisions

Implement AWS-recommended best practice

Pillars

AWS Well-Architected Framework comprises six basic pillars:

Operational Excellence

This pillar focuses on running and monitoring systems, and continuously improving processes and procedures. This includes automating changes, response to events, and setting standards to manage daily operations.

Security

The security pillar is primarily concerned with protecting information and systems. It include information pertaining to confidentiality and integrity of data, managing user permissions, and establishing controls to detect security events. 

Reliability

Workloads need to perform as per their intended functions and must be able to recover quickly from failure. Key topics of the reliability pillar include distributed system design, recovery planning, and adaptability to changing requirements.

Performance Efficiency

This pillar focuses on the structure and streamlining of IT computing resources, it includes topics such as selecting resource types and sizes to optimize workloads, to monitor performance, and maintain efficiency as business needs evolve.

Cost Optimization

Key topics in the Cost Optimization pillar include understanding of spendings over time, managing fund allocation, selecting the right type and quantity of resources, and scaling up or down to meet business needs cost-effectively

Sustainability

There are environmental consequences to running cloud workloads, and the sustainability pillar focuses on how to minimize this environmental impact. It includes information about the shared responsibility model for sustainability,

understanding the impact of resources and how to optimize utilization of required resources so as to reduce downstream

impact.

Each of these pillars provides information covering design principles—general and specific. The pillars also provide the information needed to review your AWS infrastructure.

Well-Architected Framework Lenses

Lenses offer a way to consistently compare your architectures against best practices and identify areas for improvement. The AWS Well-Architected Framework Lenses are applied whenever a workload is defined. Workloads may have one or more of the Well-Architected Lenses applied. Each with its own set of questions, best practices, notes, and improvement recommendations.

AWS Well-Architected Framework provides the following lenses:

Serverless Lens

The serverless lens helps you apply best practices when building serverless application workloads on AWS. It covers RESTful microservices, mobile app backends, stream processing, and web applications.

The SaaS Lens

This lens focuses on design, deployment, and architecting of Software as a Service (SaaS) workloads in the AWS Cloud. Use it to apply best practices when building SaaS workloads on AWS.

The FTR Lens

This lens is aims at enabling independent software vendors (ISVs) prepare for a Foundational Technical Review (FTR) in the AWS Partner Network (APN).

It provides questions for ISVs to conduct a workload self-assessment before requesting a review.

Users can also create and use their own custom lenses, or use custom lenses that have been shared with them.

Even if a lens is removed from a workload, the data associated with the lens remains, and is restored if the lens is added back to the workload.

Well-Architected Review

It is recommended that you conduct Well-Architected Reviews periodically to encourage a consistent and structured approach. This will ensure that you get the best return on investment for your efforts.

AWS Partners, like AAIC are qualified by AWS to perform reviews. The process consists of exploring functional and non- functional topics through Q&As, with the objective of qualifying the current state of the workload’s architecture and

implementation.

If you want to be sure you’re getting the most from your AWS cloud, there’s no better way that to conduct a Well- Architected review. Contact AAIC today to get started.

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