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Blog May 13, 2020

How a Well-Architected Review Helps You Do More with AWS

Are the business solutions you’ve developed or are developing taking full advantage of AWS resources? Creating a robust architecture that ensures a stable and efficient system is a critical step to ensuring you are proactively positioned to meet the changing needs of your business environment.

To help ensure you have an AWS experience that delivers on your expectations and requirements, Amazon created the Well-Architected Framework. This compilation of best practices and design principles helps customers and partners effectively evaluate system architectures. Additionally, it provides guidance to implement designs that efficiently scale with application needs over time.

The Five Pillars of the Well-Architected Framework

The Framework provides a consistent approach to the evaluation process. An assessment based on this framework results in an insightful set of recommendations for remediation of systems already running in AWS or for new system design. Change is inevitable and often unpredictable. The AWS Well-Architected Framework is a great approach to making sure you can effectively respond to whatever change comes your way.

Based on five pillars set by AWS — operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization — the Framework provides a consistent approach for evaluating your AWS architecture and implementing resilient and scalable workloads based on the latest best practices and AWS service offerings.

Well-Architected Framework

1. Operational Excellence

Firstly, operational excellence focuses on the ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures.

During a Well-Architected Review, some of the topics you’ll cover include managing and automating changes, responding to events, and defining standards to successfully manage daily operations.

2. Design for Security

While preparing to architect any system, you need to put in place practices that influence security. Essentially, you want strong control over who can do what. You want to be able to identify security incidents, protect your systems, and provide tools to resolve any potential security risks.

During a Well-Architected Review, you’ll establish a well-defined and practiced process for responding to security incidents. These practices are important because they support objectives such as complying with regulatory obligations and preventing financial loss.

3. Ensure Reliability 

This pillar focuses on the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, to acquire computing resources to meet demand, and to mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues. Reliability best practices focus on preventing and fortifying your ability to quickly recover from failures to meet business and customer demands. Reliability topics covered during a review include:

  • Recovery planning
  • The fundamentals of setup
  • Cross-project requirements

4. Deliver Performance Efficiency

Performance efficiency highlights the efficient use of computing resources to meet system requirements. Moreover, this pillar also focuses on how to maintain that efficiency with demand changes as technologies evolve. Additional key topics specific to performance efficiency include:

  • Continuously monitoring performance
  • A review process based on benchmarks
  • Selecting the right resource types and sizes
  • Using data to make fact-based decisions about your architecture

Following best practices as outlined by the Well-Architected Framework allows you to build architectures that can deliver sustained performance.

5. Cloud Cost Optimization

In the end, the ability to run systems to deliver business value at the lowest price point is key. Connectria can assist you in identifying cost savings allowing your team to deliver dollars back to the business or allow for reinvestment in the team.

Typically, cost optimization topics that are explored during a Well-Architected Review include:

  • Analyzing spend over time
  • Understanding and controlling spend
  • Cost-effectively scaling to meet business needs
  • Selecting the most appropriate and right number of resource types

AWS Well-Architected Reviews

AWS Well-Architected Review Tool

An AWS Well-Architected Review works by identifying workloads, answering questions about your architecture, and reviewing those answers against the five pillars. Connectria’s Well-Architected Reviews are conducted by AWS certified cloud architects who are trained to help you develop secure, scalable, and cost-effective environments based on the Well-Architected Framework. A Well-Architected Review by Connectria provides customers with the assurance that their workloads are cost-effective, efficient, reliable, resilient, and secure. The review delivers:

  1. Identification of items that don’t follow best practices
  2. Prioritization of risks/opportunities by criticality
  3. Estimated time and cost to resolve the identified issues
  4. Documentation of findings that can be shared with other stakeholders

Why Use Connectria to Lead Your Well-Architected Review?

An expert-guided Well-Architected Review costs $5,000 upfront. You can earn an AWS credit to cover this cost by completing a Well-Architected Review with Connectria. To qualify for this AWS credit, 25 percent of any high-risk items (HRIs) must be resolved within 30 days of the review. Once addressed, the AWS remediation credit makes the net cost $0 for qualifying accounts.

Ultimately, a Well-Architected Review is best when conducted by an AWS certified cloud architect with experience developing workloads based on the Well-Architected Framework. Our team of US-based cloud experts have performed over 2,000 cloud engagements and actively support thousands of mission-critical workloads. Essentially, we can quickly identify security and compliance vulnerabilities, cost-saving opportunities, and provide clearly defined solutions for improving your environments. With the Well-Architected Framework as the cornerstone, we can deploy a solution based on the latest best practices to ensure your success in the cloud.

Manage AWS workloads with a Well-Architected Review by Connectria

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