AWS Well-Architected

Learn, measure, and build using architectural best practices

AWS Well-Architected helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications and workloads. Based on five pillars — operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization — AWS Well-Architected provides a consistent approach for customers and partners to evaluate architectures, and implement designs that can scale over time.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework started as a single whitepaper but has expanded to include domain-specific lenses, hands-on labs, and the AWS Well-Architected Tool. The AWS WA Tool, available at no cost in the AWS Management Console, provides a mechanism for regularly evaluating your workloads, identifying high risk issues, and recording your improvements.  

AWS has an ecosystem of hundreds of members of the Well-Architected Partner Program. Engage a partner in your area to help you analyze and review your applications.

Reliance Steel and Aluminum Uses AWS Well-Architected Framework to Build Better in the Cloud (4:02)

AWS Well-Architected and the Five Pillars

Framework Overview

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


Operational Excellence Pillar

The operational excellence pillar focuses on running and monitoring systems to deliver business value, and continually improving processes and procedures. Key topics include automating changes, responding to events, and defining standards to manage daily operations.

Security Pillar

The security pillar focuses on protecting information and systems. Key topics include confidentiality and integrity of data, identifying and managing who can do what with privilege management, protecting systems, and establishing controls to detect security events.

Reliability Pillar

The reliability pillar focuses on ensuring a workload performs its intended function correctly and consistently when it’s expected to. A resilient workload quickly recovers from failures to meet business and customer demand. Key topics include distributed system design, recovery planning, and how to handle change.

Performance Efficiency Pillar

The performance efficiency pillar focuses on using IT and computing resources efficiently. Key topics include selecting the right resource types and sizes based on workload requirements, monitoring performance, and making informed decisions to maintain efficiency as business needs evolve.

Cost Optimization Pillar

The cost optimization pillar focuses on avoiding unnecessary costs. Key topics include understanding and controlling where money is being spent, selecting the most appropriate and right number of resource types, analyzing spend over time, and scaling to meet business needs without overspending.

AWS Well-Architected Lenses

Lenses extend the guidance offered by AWS Well-Architected to specific industry and technology domains, such as machine learning, analytics, serverless, high performance computing (HPC), IoT (Internet of Things), and financial services. To fully evaluate your workloads, use applicable lenses together with the AWS Well-Architected Framework and the five pillars.

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AWS Well-Architected References

CyberAgent logo

CyberAgent, Inc.

“CyberAgent, Inc. has been able to rapidly learn about AWS and visualize potential business risks by adopting the AWS Well Architected Framework. In addition, we were able to use the knowledge we accumulated from AWS Well-Architected best practices to implement architectural changes and successfully resolve risks.”

Shota Tsuge, Senior Organizational Reliability Engineer - CyberAgent, Inc.

NEC Corporation

NEC Corporation

“NEC has conducted AWS Well-Architected Framework Reviews on various projects to improve the quality of integration. In the development of Water Counter Cloud Service, we conducted a review at an early stage of the design process. This enabled us to identify design issues early and resolve them quickly, allowing us to deliver services to Sakai City Waterworks and Sewerage Bureau as quickly as possible. The AWS Well-Architected Framework is also very useful for training engineers, and is indispensable for improving our technical capabilities as a system integrator.”

Nobuaki Iijima, General Manager - NEC Corporation

AWS Well-Architected Partners

AWS Well-Architected Partner Program members have in-depth training on the Well-Architected Framework and can help you implement best practices, measure the state of your workloads, and make improvements where assistance is required.

Customers who have engaged with these partners have realized significant cost savings, improved the performance of their applications, and eliminated security risks and other high risk issues. Engage a Well-Architected partner and ask about AWS service credits.

Architect Learning Path

If you’re new to the AWS Cloud, use this path to learn how to design applications and systems on AWS. Build technical skills as you progress along the path toward AWS Certification.

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Learn more about the AWS WA Tool

The AWS Well-Architected Tool, available at no cost in the AWS Management Console, helps you review the state of your workloads, compares them to the latest AWS architectural best practices, and offers suggestions to improve them.

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Register for training
Register for training

Take our self-paced training that provides pillar-specific design principles and examples of AWS Well-Architected best practices.

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Become a partner
Become a partner

Learn more about what it takes to become an AWS Well-Architected Partner and how to run a successful engagement.

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