What Is The AWS Well-Architected Framework

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The AWS Well-Architected Framework describes key concepts, design principles, and architectural best practices for designing and running workloads in the cloud. By answering a few foundational questions, learn how well your architecture aligns with cloud best practices and gain guidance for making improvements.

Six Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework

Amazon’s Well-Architected Framework comprises Six Pillars (Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization, and Sustainability), which help provide a stable and consistent base from which to design your infrastructure initially and to keep referring back to as the infrastructure evolves.

  • Operational Excellence. The Operational Excellence pillar includes effectively supporting the development and running of computing programs, gaining insight into their operations, and continuously improving supporting processes and procedures to deliver business value. A company has Operational excellence when its AWS Cloud infrastructure runs its workloads effectively and also has protocols in place to continuously improve supporting processes.
  • Security. The Security pillar includes the ability to protect data, systems, and assets to leverage the advantage of cloud technologies to improve your safety. The security pillar provides an overview of design principles, best practices, and questions.
  • Reliability. The Reliability pillar includes the ability of a workload to perform its intended function correctly and consistently when expected. This includes operating and testing the workload through its total lifecycle. Refers to the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions and dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand.
  • Performance Efficiency. The performance efficiency pillar focuses on using computing resources to meet requirements and how to maintain efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve. Performance efficiency helps a company when planning to replace its physical on-premises compute servers with AWS serverless compute services to be able to take advantage of advanced technologies quickly after the migration.
  • Cost Optimization. Provides guidance to help customers apply best practices in the design, delivery, and maintenance of AWS environments. A cost-optimized workload fully utilizes all resources, achieves an outcome at the lowest possible price point, and meets your functional requirements.
  • Sustainability. The Sustainability pillar focuses on environmental impacts, especially energy consumption and efficiency, since they are essential levers for architects to inform direct action to reduce resource usage.

A company does not want to rely on elaborate forecasting to determine its usage of compute resources. Instead, the company wants to pay only for the resources that it uses. The company also needs the ability to increase or decrease its resource usage to meet business requirements. Cost optimization, a pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework aligns with these requirements. Reliability is key when a company wants to launch its workload on AWS and requires the system to automatically recover from failure.

A company implements an Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling policy along with an Application Load Balancer to automatically recover unhealthy applications that run on Amazon EC2 instances thanks to the Reliability pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Avoid monolithic architecture by segmenting workloads is a recommended design principle for AWS Cloud architecture. A company using Operational excellence designs its AWS workloads so that components can be updated regularly and so that changes can be made in small, reversible increments. Make frequent, small, reversible changes since this is an AWS Well-Architected Framework design principle for operational excellence in the AWS Cloud.

Using AWS Config to record, audit, and evaluate changes to AWS resources to enable traceability is an example of Security in the AWS Well-Architected Framework pillar.

To Anticipate failure is a design principle included in the operational excellence pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. An AWS Well-Architected review is a critical part of the cloud design process since a Well-Architected review helps identify design gaps and helps evaluate design decisions and related documents.

Testing recovery procedures is a design principle achieved by following the reliability pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. A company that wants to increase its ability to recover its infrastructure in the case of a natural disaster can leverage the Reliability pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Purpose Of AWS Well-Architected Framework

AWS developed the Well-Architected Framework to help teams build high-performing cloud infrastructures that are reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective. The AWS Well-Architected Framework enables you to understand the pros and cons of your decisions while building systems on AWS. Using the Framework helps you learn architectural best practices for designing and operating secure, reliable, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable workloads in the AWS Cloud.

Learn More About AWS Well-Architected Framework

Operational excellence, reliability, performance efficiency, security, and cost optimization used to be the five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework but now there are six including Sustainability.

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