With AWS Well-Architected Reviews You Can Actually Put Your Customers First
In today’s blog, I’ll discuss a very important aspect of cloud expenditure & for that questions come-
- How often you are doing meetings with the key stakeholders in your organization (or your client’s organization) to strategize on AWS modern infrastructure to enable your business objectives?
- And when was the last time your CFO sat in on your architecture review meeting?
- And do you understand the full economic benefits of Amazon Web Services (AWS) aligned with your business?
Basically, can you tell if your cloud infrastructure is “well-architected” to produce the technical and business results you want while minimizing costs?
After Brain Station 23 become a certified AWS Well-Architected Partner this year, we started performing AWS Well-Architected Reviews & best practices extensively. My learning from the completed reviews hence prompts my questions above.
So what does Well-Architected mean?
AWS Solutions Architects developed a collection of best practices for designing systems in the cloud using their extensive expertise in developing solutions across almost all business sectors and use cases, as well as designing and reviewing the architectures of thousands of clients on AWS.
The end result is the — operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.
Let me elaborate a bit on these pillars.
1. Operational Excellence
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
To support company outcomes, operations teams must comprehend their business and customers’ needs. Ops develop, implement, and evaluate procedures to respond to operational events and to support business needs. Ops also gather metrics that are used to assess if expected business goals have been achieved.
Your company’s context, business priorities, and client needs are all constantly changing. It’s crucial to incorporate lessons learned from their performance into operations’ architecture in order to support evolution over time in response to change.
There are seven design principles for security in the cloud:
- 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
You must set up security-related procedures before architecting any task. You’ll want to limit who is able to perform what. Additionally, you want to be able to recognize security events, safeguard your services and systems, and uphold data protection to keep information private and accurate.
Your procedure for handling security events should be clear and well-tested. These methods and instruments are crucial because they help achieve goals like stopping financial loss or fulfilling legal requirements.
With the help of the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, businesses that use the cloud may meet their security and compliance objectives. You can concentrate on using services as an AWS customer because AWS physically secures the infrastructure that underpins our cloud services. Additionally, the AWS Cloud offers greater access to security data, and an automated method of handling security situations.
There are five design principles for reliability in the cloud:
- Automatically recover from failure
- Test recovery procedures
- Scale horizontally to increase aggregate workload availability
- Stop guessing capacity
- Manage change in automation
Foundational requirements that affect dependability should be in place before developing any system. For instance, your data center has to have enough network bandwidth. Because they are outside the purview of a particular project, these criteria are occasionally overlooked. But with AWS, most of the fundamental requirements have already been taken into account or can be addressed as needed.
Since the cloud is intended to be virtually endless, AWS is responsible for meeting the need for sufficient networking and computation capacity, giving you the freedom to modify resource size and allocations as needed.
Early software and infrastructure design choices form the foundation of a reliable workload. Your workload behavior will be impacted by your design decisions across all six AWS Well-Architected pillars. There are specific standards you must adhere to for reliability, such as gentle degradation, loosely coupled dependencies, and a cap on retries.
To ensure the workload operates dependably, changes to the environment or your task must be foreseen and accommodated. Changes might come from without, like feature releases and security patches, or they can be forced on your workload, like demand surges.
In an on-premises data center, low-level hardware component failures are a daily occurrence. However, these are frequently abstracted away in the cloud. Failures could potentially affect your workload irrespective of your cloud provider. Thus, you must take action to establish workload resilience using techniques like fault isolation, automated failover to healthy resources, and disaster recovery planning.
4. Performance Efficiency
There are five design principles for performance efficiency in the cloud:
- Democratize advanced technologies
- Go global in minutes
- Use serverless architectures
- Experiment more often
- Consider mechanical sympathy
Create a high-performance design using a data-driven methodology. Assemble information on every component of the architecture, including the choice and configuration of resource types as well as the high-level design.
You can take advantage of the always-changing AWS Cloud by regularly reviewing your decisions. Monitoring makes sure you’re aware of any deviation from the performance you expect. Make compromises in your architecture to increase performance, for as by reducing the consistency requirements or employing caching or compression.
The best way varies depending on the workload, and solutions frequently incorporate many methods. Performance is increased by a variety of solutions and features enabled by AWS Well-Architected workloads.
5. Cost Optimization
There are five design principles for cost optimization in the cloud:
- Implement cloud financial management
- Adopt a consumption model
- Measure overall efficiency
- Stop spending money on undifferentiated heavy lifting
- Analyze and attribute expenditure
The tendency to overcompensate rather than taking the time to benchmark for the most cost-effective deployment might lead to design decisions being made in haste, rather than with data. Under- and over-optimized deployments could result from this.
Cost savings mostly depend on using the right services, resources, and configurations for your workloads.
In order to keep up with the rate of AWS innovation, the Reviews also act as a tune-up. The Review makes sure you’ve get introduced to the most recent AWS services, which are added at a high volume and speed with cost optimization.
Value of Well-Architected Review
Approximately 40% of clients, in our experience, carry out the remediations that are suggested by the structured review and related guidelines. Since it can sometimes add an extra cost in security & other areas but overall it gives the edge of efficiency and performance. Hence, the remediation is done by the customers who can realize the worth of WAR.
A Well-Architected Review has the following benefits for customers:
- Rapid resolution is provided for pressing problems with cost, performance, reliability, operations, and security. Receive assistance in understanding the tremendous flow of new AWS services, some of which address challenges like cost and operational excellence right away.
- When AWS or a Well-Architected Partner is present to assist you in enhancing your cloud utilization, satisfaction increases.
- AWS adds incentives by offering billing credits. If you commit to spending a Well-Architected Review. AWS compensates your account with credits to implement any remediation recommended by the Review within 30 days.
How Does WAR Support Your Business?
Technical and business goals can now be more closely aligned due to AWS Well-Architected Reviews. My experience indicates that the right discussion takes place, even though the scope of the Review often begins with a focus on a high-priority workload. The Review develops precisely into the conversation on how modern infrastructure will give you a competitive advantage, such as a better customer experience, a quicker idea-to-cash cycle, or scalability.
Well-designed reviews aid in achieving corporate goals while reducing costs. Hence, you make your customers win & you win too with the process.
Reach out to me to discuss an overarching theme that appears in the majority of the Reviews we’ve conducted across domains and workloads. Cost reduction and, more specifically, how to increase return on investment are the main topics.
- Right-Size Your Resources
- Use Reserved Instances
- Increase Elasticity
- Measure, Monitor, and Improve
To get the benefit out of WAR.
I’ll be sharing frequent content for cloud computing & different cloud platforms & use cases from now on. I have a pool of 100+ cloud professionals who are working with Cloud Architecture, Migration, DevOps, Data Engineering, etc. for Startups to Enterprises in the USA, UK, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Japan & Bangladesh.
Feel free to share your insights & comments based on your expertise.
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