What is a Well-Architected Review?
The Well-Architected Review is a systematic way to assess the security and performance of your AWS infrastructure. This method can help you identify any potential issues before they become major problems, with input from using best practices of well architected review framework. In a more precise way, the Well-Architected Framework is a set of best practices for building cloud applications. It covers six key areas: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, sustainability and cost optimization. The Well-Architected Framework has been designed to help you make informed decisions about how to architect your application on AWS. The Well-Architected Framework is easy to use. You can start by reviewing the Foundation documents, which provide an overview of the Well-Architected approach and the five key areas. Once you have a solid understanding of the framework, you can begin evaluating your architecture using the Lens tool. The Well-Architected Framework is constantly evolving. In this post, we’ll explain why it’s important to review your workload and applications hosted on AWS to ensure they are compliant with the WAF framework. Keep reading to learn more! Now let’s move on to –
A Brief Overview of the six pillars of Well-Architected review
The AWS Well-Architected Framework defines AWS best practices for AWS customers. AWS has developed a well architected framework to help AWS customers review their architecture and improve their AWS architecture. As previously mentioned, the AWS Well-Architected Framework is based on five pillars: security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and operational excellence.
By following the best practices called AWS Well-Architected Review Framework, AWS customers can get the benefit of improve their architectures to build a secure, reliable, high-performing, efficient and cost-effective infrastructures for cloud applications on AWS. It provides a consistent review and measurement process for cloud architects, using AWS best practices also be sure that your current architecture stays up to date with the latest changes.
So now let’s explore the six pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework in depth –
The AWS Operational Excellence pillar is associated with the operation and monitoring of systems in order to deliver business value, as well as the continuous improvement of processes and procedures. The AWS WAF Operational Excellence Pillar addresses best practices for developing robust, repeatable processes for all aspects of cloud infrastructure management. It enables organizations to extend the benefits of cloud adoption beyond the IT department while also ensuring that the cloud infrastructure can manage changes, respond to events, and automate standards-based tasks and processes in order to successfully manage daily operations.
According to AWS best practices there are five design principles for operational excellence in the cloud:
- Perform operations as code
- Make frequent, small, reversible changes
- Refine operations procedures frequently
- Anticipate failure
- Learn from all operational failures
Security is the most prior pillar in the AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF). According to Amazon’s AWS WAF documentation, “the Security pillar encompasses the ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.” The AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF) provides guidance on how to do just that.
There are seven design principles for security pillars in the cloud, that you should consider when implementing security on your architecture:
- Implement a strong identity foundation
- Enable traceability
- Apply security at all layers
- Automate security best practices
- Protect data in transit and at rest
- Keep people away from data
- Prepare for security events
The Reliability Pillar of the Well-Architected Framework addresses the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service outages and incidents, dynamically acquire capacity to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfiguration or transient network issues.
There are five design principles for reliability in the cloud to increase reliability of your architecture:
- Automatically recover from failure
- Test recovery procedures
- Scale horizontally to increase aggregate workload availability
- Stop guessing capacity
- Manage change in automation
The pillar of performance efficiency focuses on use resources efficiently by selecting the right resource types and sizes that are optimized for workload requirements, monitoring performance, and preserving efficiency as business demands change, in order to ensure that performance is not compromised.
There are five principles of best practices, in order to achieve performance efficiency:
- Democratize advanced technologies
- Go global in minutes
- Use serverless architectures
- Experiment more often
- Consider mechanical sympathy
The AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF) cost optimization pillar provides guidance for balancing business goals with budget justification in order to create a cost-effective workload while avoiding capital-intensive solutions. Cost optimization is the process of reducing unnecessary expenses at the lowest possible cost while improving operational efficiencies.
AWS recommends the following principles to achieve a cost-effective architecture:
- Implement cloud financial management
- Adopt a consumption model
- Measure overall efficiency
- Stop spending money on undifferentiated heavy lifting
- Analyze and attribute expenditure
Customers and AWS share responsibility for environmental sustainability. The sustainability of the cloud is the responsibility of AWS, which also provides effective, shared infrastructure, water management, and renewable energy sources.
There are six design principles for sustainability in the cloud:
- Understand your impact
- Establish sustainability goals
- Maximize utilization
- Anticipate and adopt new, more efficient hardware and software offerings
- Use managed services
- Reduce the downstream impact of your cloud workloads
A senior solution architect having in depth knowledge on these five pillars of Well-Architected Framework, can review the cloud infrastructure & prepare the ‘well-architected review’ report with which s/he indicates or suggests some resolution for the gap in the existing infrastructure. Well Architected Review has 2 phases, first is review & second is remission for achieving performance efficiency, security standard & lower cost. And to achieve the desired business goal and technical outcomes while optimizing costs Well Architected Review is a must.
To elaborate further-
The main purpose of reviewing an architecture is to address any nagging concerns you may have about your infrastructure and to ensure that it is up to scratch.
However, the review can also help you to identify areas where you can improve your infrastructure, and provides specific recommendations /guidance for addressing those areas through the well architected review process to make sure that your infrastructure is well-suited to your needs.
In short, the Well-Architected Review is an essential service for anyone who wants to make sure their infrastructure is up to the best-practice standards.
The review can also serve as a forum to bring the concerns of digital platform to the right attention in order to improve the experience of a customer using the workload as well.
So undoubtedly it can be said that the importance of AWS Well-Architected Review is an essential part for maintaining a healthy AWS architecture.
Benefits of Well Architected Review
Implementing a Well-Architected Framework is an excellent way to reduce risk and increase your business value. You can compare workloads to the latest architectural best practices, monitor the overall status of workloads, and gain insight into potential risks. The Well-Architected Review creates an opportunity for organizations to align their technical and business objectives by understanding the pros and cons of the decisions that you make while building systems on AWS. The Well-Architected review framework offers many more benefits including the following:
Fewer risks & improved security
Conducting periodic reviews of your Well-Architected Framework allows you to identify any gaps or issues before they become a major problem, as well as help you to find better solutions to problems that may come up in the future so you can quickly fix problems when they arise. Most importantly It also helps to Reduce risk of data breaches and loss of data. The AWS Well-Architected Framework provides a way for you to always measure your systems Keep up to date with the AWS WAR framework pillars.
Identifying the unnecessary costs of your cloud infrastructure can be difficult, but conducting a regular WAR will help you identify the unnecessary costs of your cloud infrastructure and get back on track with making sure that all necessary resources are being used efficiently.
While it’s important to have a reliable and scalable infrastructure, your organization needs consistency in order to achieve the business goal. When everybody uses the same framework, they are more likely able make consistent developments with their applications because there will always seem like one person or group that has been doing things all along without any changes needed. In fact, with the help of Well-Architected review framework assure Reduced downtime and improved availability of your system on AWS.
Insight into potential impact
The Well-Architected Framework provides an environment where changes can be made quickly with little impact. When changes are made, there is always the possibility that they will have a positive or negative impact on the system. The processes and procedures you employ with the AWS Well-Architected Framework helps you to assess and address any issues in an organized way, which reduces the risk associated with updates or additions that may impact your system negatively when things don’t go according plan due change No matter how agile our environment becomes – there will always be some sort of “change” around every corner! The AWS Well-Architected Framework gives you a way to measure your systems against best practices. Consistent and frequent reviews help you to identify areas for improvement.
Leads to well informed future decision
The Well-Architected Framework assists you in making well-informed choices about your cloud-native architectures and understanding the effects of design choices. This enables you to plan and envision the state of workloads that will have high security, reliability, and sustainability as well as be cost- and performance-optimized in the future.
shorter timelines for development and deployment
In today’s business world, being able to move quickly is essential, that’s why consistency in your processes and procedures is so important. Having a solid, dependable infrastructure in place allows you to build and deploy apps more quickly and with less risk. In addition, working with a well-defined framework helps improve developer skills and knowledge, which leads to better customer service. end result? Better customer service.
But you must be curious to know how Often Should You Run an AWS Well-Architected Framework Review?
As your AWS environment grows and changes, it’s important to periodically review your architecture against the latest AWS platform capabilities and services to ensure that it is still well-architected. Depending on the size and complexity of your environment, we recommend conducting a Well-Architected Framework review at least once a year. If you have a complex or rapidly changing environment, you may want to consider conducting a review more frequently.
The goal of the review is to help you identify areas where your architecture can be improved in order to realize greater efficiencies, reduce costs, improve performance, or make your applications more resilient.
After the review, you will receive a report that includes specific recommendations for improving your architecture. Conducting periodic Well-Architected Framework reviews is an excellent way to stay abreast of the latest AWS platform capabilities and ensure that your architecture remains well-suited to your needs.
Interested in knowing how well-architected you are?
Due to the complexity of the Well-Architected Review, it is recommended to use a certified Solutions Architect for the Review or a Well-Architected Review Partner who can assist your organization in establishing good architectural habits through their in-depth understanding and expertise in reviewing critical workloads.
As a proud advance partner of AWS, we have approved AWS well architected partner program. Our solutions architects possess the skills and expertise to guide your organization through a Well-Architected Review of your workload as well as ensure that all of your business processes align with AWS best practices.
Sign up for free Well Architected Review today and see how this standard practice can benefit your business! Our team of certified professionals & trained well architected reviewer will work with you to review & create customized reports for you, will identify best practice gaps and find your infrastructure loop hole that needs fits in your current infrastructure against the AWS Well-Architected Framework.