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 a variety of applications and workloads. Built around six pillars—operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability—AWS Well-Architected provides a consistent approach for customers and partners to evaluate architectures and implement scalable designs.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework includes domain-specific lenses, hands-on labs, and the AWS Well-Architected Tool. The AWS Well-Architected Tool, available at no cost in the AWS Management Console, provides a mechanism for regularly evaluating workloads, identifying high-risk issues, and recording improvements.

AWS also provides access to an ecosystem of hundreds of members in the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program. Engage a partner in your area to help 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 Six Pillars

Framework Overview

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.

Operational Excellence Pillar

The operational excellence pillar focuses on running and monitoring systems, 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, managing user permissions, and establishing controls to detect security events.

Reliability Pillar

The reliability pillar focuses on workloads performing their intended functions and how to recover quickly from failure to meet demands. Key topics include distributed system design, recovery planning, and adapting to changing requirements.

Performance Efficiency Pillar

The performance efficiency pillar focuses on structured and streamlined allocation of IT and computing resources. Key topics include selecting resource types and sizes optimized for workload requirements, monitoring performance, and maintaining efficiency as business needs evolve.

Cost Optimization Pillar

The cost optimization pillar focuses on avoiding unnecessary costs. Key topics include understanding spending over time and controlling fund allocation, selecting resources of the right type and quantity, and scaling to meet business needs without overspending.

Sustainability Pillar

The sustainability pillar focuses on minimizing the environmental impacts of running cloud workloads. Key topics include a shared responsibility model for sustainability, understanding impact, and maximizing utilization to minimize required resources and reduce downstream impacts. 

AWS Well-Architected Lenses

AWS Well-Architected Lenses extend the guidance offered by AWS Well-Architected to specific industry and technology domains, such as machine learning (ML), data analytics, serverless, high performance computing (HPC), IoT, SAP, streaming media, the games industry, hybrid networking, and financial services. To fully evaluate workloads, use applicable lenses together with the AWS Well-Architected Framework and its six pillars.

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AWS Well-Architected Guidance

Unlike the Framework and Lenses, which are aligned with all six pillars of the Well-Architected Framework, AWS Well-Architected Guidance focuses on a specific use case, technology, or implementation scenario.

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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 AWS Well-Architected Framework, and are empowered to implement best practices, measure workload states, and make improvements where required. 

Customers engaged with these partners see significant cost savings, improved application performance, and reduced security risks. Engage an AWS Well-Architected Partner and ask about AWS service credits.

Architect Learning Path

If you’re new to AWS, 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.

Learn more about AWS Well Architected Tool
Learn about the AWS Well-Architected 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.

Learn more 
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.

Register now 
Become a partner

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

Sign up