AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Improving Your AWS Cloud Applications with New AWS Well-Architected Best Practices

By Patrick Weightman, AWS Well-Architected Partner Marketing

AWS-Well-Architected-2Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently launched a new version of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, and updates to the AWS Well-Architected Tool.

The new changes were made in response to industry trends, as well as feedback from customers and AWS Well-Architected Partners. Updates include best practices, questions, improvement plans, and additional architectural considerations and examples.

With this release, the AWS Well-Architected Framework is available in eight additional languages. For a more in-depth summary of the changes, read Rodney Lester’s post on the AWS Architecture Blog.

This post provides a brief overview of what’s new with AWS Well-Architected and is intended for AWS Well-Architected Partners, members of the AWS Partner Network (APN) who are new to AWS Well-Architected, or AWS Cloud customers.

What’s New in the 5 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected?

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.

Operational Excellence (PDF, Kindle, Lab)

The Operational Excellence pillar focuses on running and monitoring systems to deliver business value, and continually improving processes and procedures.

This update includes additional best practices and guidance on how to structure your organization, and how company culture helps drive organizational choices. For more, check out Brian Carlson’s post on the AWS Architecture Blog.

Security (PDF, Kindle, Lab)

Ensure you are protecting your applications’ information and systems with Security pillar best practices.

The most significant changes to this pillar are related to identity and access management (IAM) and how to operate workloads securely. Read more about the updates to the Security pillar in Ben Potter’s post on the AWS Security Blog.

Reliability (PDF, Kindle, Lab)

Existing Reliability pillar best practices help organizations prevent, and quickly recover from, failures to meet business and customer demand.

With this update, a fourth area of reliability best practices has been added around workload architecture. This provides specific patterns to follow as you design and implement software architecture for distributed systems. Dive deeper into the changes to the Reliability pillar in Seth Eliot’s post on the AWS Architecture Blog.

Performance Efficiency (PDF, Kindle, Lab)

Help organizations use IT and computing resources efficiently with the Performance Efficiency pillar.

This pillar and whitepaper have been updated to help you improve performance in the cloud and take advantage of new AWS services. Our networking best practices also include performance considerations for hybrid cloud architectures. Learn about these updates in Eric Pullen’s post on the AWS Architecture blog.

Cost Optimization (PDF, Kindle, Lab)

To help customers avoid unneeded costs, the Cost Optimization pillar has introduced a new section on Cloud Financial Management (CFM), adding a new question and best practices. Read more in Nathan Besh’s post on the AWS Cost Optimization Blog.


With this major update to AWS Well-Architected Framework best practices and the AWS Well-Architected Tool, it’s a great time for APN Partners and customers to review existing applications, and to use the AWS Well-Architected Framework to guide the design and architecture of new applications.

Customers working with AWS Well-Architected Partners may qualify for funding of 5,000 USD per Well-Architected Review that meets funding requirements. Find an AWS Well-Architected Partner to team up with and ask about AWS service credits.

New to AWS Well-Architected? Learn more about the AWS Well-Architected Framework, and visit the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program website to learn about benefits and requirements.