Wipro’s Best Practices for Conducting AWS Well-Architected Reviews Using the SAP Lens
By Abhinivesh Jain, Chief Architect – Wipro
By Senaka Ariyasinghe, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect – AWS
The AWS Well-Architected Framework helps organizations design, build, and operate systems on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environments. The framework consists of six pillars—operational excellence, security reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability—providing a consistent approach to architecting systems on the AWS Cloud.
Wipro is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner with nine AWS Competencies, including SAP Consulting, Industrial Software Consulting, and Data and Analytics Consulting. Wipro is also a member of the AWS Managed Services Provider (MSP) and Well-Architected Partner Programs.
Wipro has helped multiple SAP customers running their SAP applications on AWS to achieve agility, innovation at high speed, and improved resilience. This post highlights best practices and learnings from Well-Architected Framework Reviews conducted by Wipro using the SAP Lens.
Why Perform a Well-Architected Framework Review?
As workloads continue to evolve and accommodate demanding business needs, it’s important to ensure they remain secure, reliable, and performant to serve business users. The AWS Well-Architected Framework provides a consistent way for cloud architects to evaluate systems designs and architectures against AWS best practices, and to identify and remediate any issues related to cost, security, reliability, and operations.
What is the SAP Lens?
AWS Well-Architected Lenses further extends the capabilities of the Well-Architected Framework to specific technology domains such as SAP, Internet of Things (IoT), and industry verticals such as financial services.
The SAP Lens is used to evaluate “SAP on AWS” workloads against proven best practices. SAP Well-Architected Reviews can be performed prior to migrating SAP workloads onto AWS, during the migration process, and post-migration.
Figure 1 – SAP Lens at a glance.
The SAP Lens is available as a custom lens in the AWS Well-Architected Tool. Before you can use it from the AWS Management Console, you need to first add the lens. Download the SAP Lens JSON file and import it in the Well-Architected Tool, as shown in Figure 2.
Go to the AWS console >AWS Well-Architected Tool > Custom Lens > Create Custom Lens. Then, select the JSON file you downloaded earlier and click Submit.
Figure 2 – Importing the SAP Lens.
After this, the SAP Lens will show in draft state, so go ahead and publish it. After publishing the SAP Lens, you can use it for Well-Architected Reviews.
Figure 3 – Publishing the SAP Lens.
To use the SAP Lens for a Well-Architected Review, you should select the SAP Lens in Step 2 of “defining the workload.”
Figure 4 – Associating the SAP Lens with a workload.
The SAP Lens is now associated with your workload. When you do the workload review, remember to select the SAP Lens, as shown below.
Figure 5 – AWS Well-Architected Review using the SAP Lens.
With the above selection, you’ll see the SAP Lens review screen and are all set to use it.
Figure 6 – SAP Lens Review main page.
Best Practices for Using the SAP Lens
Based on Wipro’s experiences performing SAP workload and landscape reviews for customers, here are some recommended best practices.
#1 – Involve All Relevant Stakeholders During Entire Review
There are several stakeholders in an SAP workload review, including infrastructure architects and teams from SAP administrator, SAP development, security, Cloud Center of Excellence, and FinOps. The best outcomes are accomplished when all stakeholders participate in the review to provide inputs and align on remediation steps.
#2 – Use the SAP Lens in the AWS Well-Architected Tool
The SAP Lens can be imported in a JSON file-based import into the Well-Architected Tool. This makes the review easier than a document-based review, and it’s recommended to perform the review using the Well-Architected Tool
#3 – Apply Customer Context
Best practices covered in the SAP Lens may not address everything an experienced SAP subject matter expert knows based on given customer context. This includes using specific licensing options to save costs, which can be discussed during the Well-Architected Review. It’s recommended to cover all best practices present in the SAP Lens and apply customer context to each of the best practices.
#4 – Split the Reviews by Pillars and Prioritize Based on Team Availability
Many times, Wipro’s Well-Architected Review team doesn’t get full-day availability of a customer’s team. In these situations, certain Well-Architected pillars can be prioritized based on team availability and you can split the review over several days.
To set the pillar priority, go to the AWS Well-Architected Tool > Workloads > workload-name > Pillar priority > Edit.
Figure 7 – Pillar prioritization.
#5 – Take Action Items and Cover Those Gaps Before the Next Meeting
During a review, it’s possible that available team members may not know the answer to given question(s). In such cases, it’s recommended to capture the action item, along with owner and expected date, to get the required information at the next Well-Architected review section.
#6 – Review Entire Report Once Before Sharing it with Customer
During a review, you tend to capture notes, comments, feedback, and action items so you don’t miss anything. Before sending the final report to a customer, do a quality check to ensure all concerns and issues have been addressed per the captured notes.
#7 – Select the Pillars and Do a Partial Review
In cases where you’re looking for best practice alignment for key areas—for example, Security and Cost Optimization—then it’s possible to do a partial review only for the given pillars. The Well-Architected Tool doesn’t mandate that you review all of the pillars.
#8 – Focus on Closing the Gaps Identified During the Review
Identifying the gaps in terms of high/medium risk issues and fixing those risks should be the top priority of any Well-Architected Review. To bring this into your overall program, a plan for remediating these risks should be included along with effort and time requirements.
#9 – Do Milestone-Based Incremental Changes After Fixing the Gaps
The AWS Well-Architected Tool allows you to create milestones to track incremental progress. These can be created based on business needs; for example, a milestone could be created just after completing the first review, and a second milestone could be created after closing the identified risks.
#10 – Create Well-Architected Review Opportunity in AWS Partner Central
This best practice is applicable only if your company is part of the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program. Per the program requirements, AWS Partners should register Well-Architected Review opportunities in AWS Partner Central so these are counted towards your program goal.
The AWS Well-Architected Framework and SAP Lens extensions help you consistently measure your SAP implementation architectures against best practices and identify areas for improvement as business needs evolve.
Drawing on Wipro’s experiences, we have discussed best practices that organizations can adopt to streamline and efficiently run their Well-Architected Reviews using the SAP Lens.
These recommendations cover people, process, and technology/tool aspects that are essential for a successful review. They can be used by end customers for a self-service SAP Lens review, or by AWS Partners conducting reviews for customers.
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