What does it mean to be Well-Architected and why should you even consider it?
Well, let’s start from the very beginning.
What is AWS Well-Architected Framework?
The process of developing a product from scratch or migrating an existing one to the cloud can involve dozens of various services and plenty of resources, depending on your purposes. Once your company has architected the solution on AWS, your infrastructure can start getting more and more complex, causing you to overlook AWS innovations or cost-saving opportunities.
AWS Well-Architected Framework was established as a solution to this matter. This framework consists of a set of questions and principles across declared five pillars and helps clients clarify the advantages and disadvantages of different decisions made while developing their applications on AWS.
Let's talk a bit more about those core pillars that define the direction of the key design areas of all architectures. Each of the five pillars describes a set of main design principles, methodologies, and decision points for developing different solutions on AWS.
The five pillars of Well-Architected Framework
One of the first questions companies ask when considering building their infrastructure on the cloud is - “Is it secure?” That's why we put Security as a first “pillar” of AWS Well-Architected Framework.
Like all other cloud providers, AWS drives on a shared security model. That means that AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud, and at the same time users are responsible for the security of their content and applications that utilize AWS services.
In accordance with Amazon’s AWS documentation,
“The Security pillar encompasses the ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.”
If you have solid authorization and authentication management, automated responses to security events, protected infrastructure at all levels, and if you manage well-classified data with encryption, you will be provided with defense-in-depth of your infrastructure.
As one of the five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, Reliability is described as “the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues.”
One of the biggest advantages of AWS is that it has been considered to be more reliable than data centers when it comes to failure and change control. The Reliability pillar accents on the three areas of concern: Foundations, Change Management, and Failure Management.
Cost Optimization is at the core of the AWS cloud practice. Ultimately, the ability to amplify business with lower infrastructure costs – is the stated commitment of the cloud. The Cost Optimization pillar of the AWS Well-Architected provides instructions on how to design, control, and react to business and technology conditions in order to optimize your AWS infrastructure so that you pay only for the required and used resources.
Cost Optimization is aimed to avoid needless expenses by recognizing and controlling where money is spent, providing the right resources, tracking cost and making sure scaling is executed cost-effectively.
The Cost Optimization pillar focuses on four areas of concern: Cost-Effective Resources; Matching Supply and Demand; Expenditure Awareness; and Optimizing Over Time.
As described in AWS documentation,
“The Performance Efficiency pillar focuses on the efficient use of computing resources to meet requirements and the maintenance of that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.”
One of the key reasons businesses are building their products on the AWS cloud is providing a high-performance infrastructure that can easily adjust to constantly changing technology and market conditions.
You can take full advantage of the technical, financial, and business improvements the cloud offers with the Performance Efficiency pillar of the Well-Architected Framework. AWS has the entire set of tools to select, review and monitor your cloud infrastructure for ongoing development and optimization.
Operational Excellence pillar is focused on developing and maintaining AWS-based environments that are not only efficient but also scalable and effective across the board. It enables businesses to ensure that the cloud infrastructure can efficiently operate changes, react to events, and automate standard tasks and processes to successfully manage daily operations.
Operational Excellence in the cloud is composed of three areas: Prepare, Operate, Evolve.
Business operations play a significant role in how companies can transform their business due to cloud computing. The best expertise in developing robust, repeatable processes for managing your cloud infrastructure is covered in the Operational Excellence “pillar”.
Benefits of getting Well-Architected on AWS
By optimizing your architecture around these pillars, you’ll have an ability to:
- Build and deploy faster
- Avoid technology risks before they happen
- Make better-informed decisions
- Implement AWS-recommended best practices
- Represent your product on a top-notch level
- Be involved in various AWS programs
- Publish case study of your product on the AWS website.
As we know, the solidity of a whole building lies in its foundation. The same we can say about architecting technology solutions. The Well-Architected Framework is a truly beneficial resource and if you incorporate all the described pillars into your architecture, you will be able to develop a solid foundation of your environment enabling you to receive cost savings benefits while implementing AWS solutions.
TechMagic and AWS
TechMagic works closely with AWS to ensure that the framework can meet the individual requirements of our clients in accordance with their industry, as well as the company size and global reach of their businesses. In 2017 we became an AWS Certified Consulting Partner with narrow Serverless technological expertise.
Check out our case study on AWS - Elements.cloud, a process knowledge web application.
Talking about AWS solutions, it's also worth considering a new concept that allows you to focus on specific workload types from the well-architected perspective - Well-Architected Lens. We are going to carry out an in-depth overview of this topic in our further articles.
This article summarizes a more detailed AWS document “AWS Well-Architected Framework”.