Check it: Aligning with the AWS Well Architected Framework

10/10/2022 Team Cloudar

There are many pros to developing your IT infrastructure on AWS, including cost-effectiveness, security and reliability. But what works for one business, may not work for another. The AWS Well-Architected Framework provides a consistent approach to help cloud architects evaluate infrastructure and create a scalable design. Built on the six pillars of AWS, it helps businesses make the right decisions. Go down the checklist of these best practices to see how you align!

#1 Operational Excellence

The operational excellence pillar focuses on running and monitoring systems. The goal is to continually improve processes and procedures for delivering business value. This involves automating changes, responding to events and defining standards to manage daily operations. The design principles for operational excellence in the cloud are:

  • Perform operations as code: Define your entire workload as code and update it with code. By doing this you limit human error and enable consistent responses to events.
  • Make small changes that are reversible: Design workloads to allow components to be updated regularly. Make changes in small increments that can be reversed if they don’t help resolve issues.
  • Refine operations frequently: Keep looking for ways to improve operations procedures. Set up regular review moment to make sure procedures are effective and that the team is familiar with them.
  • Anticipate failure: Identify potential sources of failure. Test your failure scenario and validate your understanding of their impact. Test workload and team responses to simulated events.
  • Learn from all operational failures: Drive improvement by learning from all failures. Share what is learned across teams and the organization.

#2 Security

The security pilar focuses on protecting information and systems using risk assessment and mitigation. This pillar includes confidentiality and integrity of data, managing user permissions, and establishing controls to detect security events. These design principles can help you strengthen your workload security:

  • Build a strong identity foundation: Implement the principle of least privilege and enforce separation of duties with appropriate authorizations. Centralize identity management.
  • Create traceability: Monitor, alert and audit actions and changes to your environment in real time. Integrate log and metric collection to automatically investigate and take action.
  • Automate security: Create secure architectures that are defined and managed as code in version-controlled templates.
  • Protect data in transit and at rest: Classify your date into sensitivity levels and use appropriate mechanisms.
  • Prepare for security events: Prepare for incidents by having incident management aligned with your organizational requirements. Run incidence response simulations and use automated tools.
  • Keep people away from data: Reduce or eliminate the need for direct access or manual processing of data.

#3 Cost optimization

Cost optimization has a major impact on your bottom line. The cost optimization pillar helps remove all practices that lead to unnecessary costs or underutilized resources. It helps better understand spending over time and control fund allocation, selecting resources of the right type and quantity, and scaling to meet business needs without overspending. These are the design principles for cost optimization:

  • Implement cloud financial management: Dedicate the necessary time and resources for building capability in this new domain of technology and usage management. Build capability through knowledge building, programs, resources, and processes to help you become a cost-efficient organization.
  • Work out a consumption model: Pay only for the computing resources you consume, and increase or decrease usage depending on business requirements.
  • Measure overall cost efficiency: Measure the business output of the workload and the costs associated with delivery. Use this data to understand the gains you make from increasing output, increasing functionality, and reducing cost.
  • Don’t waste money on undifferentiated heavy lifting: Let AWS do the heavy lifting of data center operations and the operational burden of managing operation systems and applications with managed services.
  • Analyze and attribute expenditure: With the help of the cloud, accurately identify the cost and usage of workloads. This allows for the transparent attribution of IT costs to revenue streams and workload owners and helps measure ROI.


#4 Reliability

The pillar of reliability includes practices that help workloads perform their intended functions and allow for faster recovery from failure. It covers distributed system design, recovery planning, and adapting to changing requirements. This helps companies avoid interruptions and improve availability.

These design principles can help you increase reliability:

  • Test your recovery procedures: Test how your workload fail to validate your recovery procedures. Use automation to simulate failure scenarios and expose failure pathways.
  • Increase aggregate system availability: Scale horizontally, replacing one large resource with multiple small resources to reduce the impact of a single failure.
  • Don’t guess capacity: Avoid failure due to resource saturation by monitoring demand and workload utilization while automating resource levels.
  • Manage change in automation: Make changes to your infrastructure using automation. Changes can then be tracked and reviewed.
  • Automatically recover from failure: Trigger automation when a threshold is breached by monitoring for KPIs that measure business value. This allows for automatic notification and tracking of failures, and for automated recovery processes.

#5 Performance efficiency

The performance efficiency pillar focuses on efficiently allocating IT and computing resources. It includes selecting resource types and sizes optimized for workload requirements, monitoring performance, and maintaining efficiency as business needs evolve. These design principles can help you achieve and maintain efficient workloads in the cloud:

  • Experiment often: Quickly carry out comparative testing using different types of instances, storage, or configuration with virtual and automatable resources.
  • Go global in a snap: Deploy your workload in multiple AWS Regions, allowing you to provide lower latency and a better experience for your customers at minimal cost.
  • Use serverless architectures: Remove the need to run and maintain physical servers, reducing operational burden and lowering transactional costs.
  • Democratize advanced technologies: Make advanced technology implementation easier for your team by delegating complex tasks to your cloud vendor. Consider consuming the technology as a service.
  • Consider mechanical sympathy: Use the technology approach that aligns best with your goals.

#6 Sustainability

The sustainability pillar seeks to minimize the environmental impacts of running cloud workloads. It includes using a shared responsibility model for sustainability, understanding impact, and maximizing utilization to minimize required resources and reduce downstream impacts. These design principles help maximize sustainability and minimize impact:

  • Understand your impact: Measure the impact of your cloud workload and model the future impact of your workload. Include all sources of impact, compare the productive output with the total impact of your cloud workloads and use this data to establish
  • Establish sustainability goals: For each cloud workload, establish long-term sustainability goals. Plan for growth, and architect your workloads so that growth results in reduced impact intensity measured against an appropriate unit, such as per user or per transaction.
  • Maximize utilization: Right-size workloads and implement efficient design to ensure high utilization and maximize the energy efficiency of the underlying hardware
  • Anticipate and adopt new, more efficient hardware and software offerings: Continually monitor and evaluate new, more efficient hardware and software offerings. Design for flexibility to allow for the rapid adoption of new efficient technologies.
  • Use managed services: Maximize resource utilization by sharing services across a broad customer base. Use managed services that can help minimize your impact and adjust capacity to meet demand.
  • Reduce the downstream impact of your cloud workloads: Reduce the amount of energy or resources required to use your services. Reduce or eliminate the need for customers to upgrade their devices to use your services. Test expected impact and test with customers to understand actual impact.

Ready to check off that list to get the most business value while making a positive impact? It’s quite a task! Of course, it’s impossible to do it all. It’s about making the choices that best suit your business. To identify what that is exactly, you can hire an expert partner like Cloudar.

Want to evaluate your company’s needs and design for the future? Reach out to us!



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