AWS Blog

Are You Well-Architected?

Seattle-born musical legend Jimi Hendrix started out his career with a landmark album titled Are You Experienced?

I’ve got a similar question for you: Are You Well-Architected? In other words, have you chosen a cloud architecture that is in alignment with the best practices for the use of AWS?

We want to make sure that your applications are well-architected. After working with thousands of customers, the AWS Solutions Architects have identified a set of core strategies and best practices for architecting systems in the cloud and have codified them in our new AWS Well-Architected Framework. This document contains a set of foundational questions that will allow you to measure your architecture against these best practices and to learn how to address any shortcomings.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is based around four pillars:

  • Security – The ability to protect information systems and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.
  • Reliability – The ability to recover from infrastructure or service failures, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues.
  • Performance Efficiency -The efficient use of computing resources to meet system requirements, and maintaining that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.
  • Cost Optimization – The ability to avoid or eliminate unneeded cost or suboptimal resources.

For each pillar, the guide puts forth a series of design principles, and then defines the pillar in detail. Then it outlines a set of best practices for the pillar and proffers a set of questions that will help you to understand where you are with respect to the best practices. The questions are open-ended. For example, there’s no simple answer to the question “How does your system withstand component failures?” or “How are you planning for recovery?”

As you work your way through the Framework, I would suggest that you capture and save the answers to each of the questions. This will give you a point-in-time reference and will allow you to look back later in order to measure your progress toward well-architected.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is available at no charge. If you find yourself in need of additional help along your journey to the cloud, be sure to tap in to accumulated knowledge and expertise of our team of Solutions Architects.

Jeff;

PS – If you are coming to AWS re:Invent, be sure to attend the Well-Architected Workshop at 1 PM on Wednesday, October 7th.