AWS Cloud Operations & Migrations Blog

Expand the depth of Well-Architected Reviews with the new Lens Catalog Feature

The AWS Well-Architected Tool (WA Tool) helps you define and review workloads based on the latest AWS architectural best practices. This allows you to consistently identify areas of strength and improvement in your workloads. During a Well-Architected review, you answer questions to evaluate your architecture and receive an improvement plan detailing any high or medium risk issues discovered, along with a corresponding set of remediation steps to remove risks and optimize the workload.

In 2021, Custom Lenses were introduced as a new feature in the AWS WA Tool. Custom Lenses allow customers to bring their own best practices to complement the existing WA Framework based on their industry, operational plans, and internal processes. Custom Lenses provide customers with a consolidated view and a consistent way to measure and improve their workloads on AWS without relying on external spreadsheets or third-party systems.

However, as technology and best practices keep evolving, customers are now seeking best practice guidance on broader industry and technology topics as they continue to drive the improvements of their workloads.

The Lens Catalog feature in the AWS WA Tool allows customers to explore and implement AWS best practices specific to industries and new technologies . We will show how you can access broader industry and technology lenses, so you can easily customize your reviews based on the topics most important to your business. AWS will continue to add lenses to the Lens Catalog as new technologies emerge, ensuring customers can always stay up to date with the latest trends.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the Lens Catalog feature and show you how it works in the AWS WA Tool.

Lens Catalog Walkthrough

In this walkthrough, we will show you how to apply lenses from the new Lens Catalog to your workloads, review workloads with lenses, and apply lenses to existing workloads.

Applying Lenses from the Lens Catalog to new Workloads

1. To begin, navigate to the AWS Management Console and open the AWS Well-Architected Tool Console and choose Define workload.

AWS Well-Architected Tool Console, and the Define Workload button.

2. Follow the instructions in Defining a workload to specify the workload properties. Then, choose Next:

Step 1 in the Define Workload, fill in the required information for this workload.

3. As an optional step, you can leverage the Profiles Feature which allows you to tailor your Well-Architected Framework Reviews (WAFRs) based on your organization’s specific priorities. For now, let’s choose Next.

Step 2 in the Define Workload, profile feature is optional, so click Next,

4. On the Apply lenses page, you can see Custom Lenses and Lens Catalog. You can use the Search by lens name or browse the catalog to find and select lenses. Then, choose Define Workload.

Step 3 in the Define Workload, select lenses to apply to workload. In Lens Catalog you can browse or search.

In the Lens Catalog, you can find a collection of expert AWS-authored lenses to apply to your workload. For example, an organization that is building a healthcare service might choose to select the Healthcare Industry Lens from the catalog to review specific best practices for healthcare workloads in the AWS Cloud.

Step 3 in the Define Workload, Lens Catalog, select target lens and click "Define Workload'

5. After your workload is created, you can navigate to the workload overview page to see which lenses are applied to it. Scroll down to see the Lenses in the workload overview page.

In the lens overview page under workload, in the Lenses list now we have AWS Well-Architected Framework and Healthcare Industry Lens.

Reviewing Workloads with Lenses in the Lens Catalog

1. Now that we defined the workload, let’s start reviewing it using the Healthcare Industry Lens. In the workload page, drag down Start reviewing and select Healthcare Industry Lens.

In the workload overview page, you can start reviewing through drag down menu.

2. Use the Review workload to go through each pillar and questions of the lens.

In the lens review page, you will see pillars, questions, and the choices to measure the workload healthiness.

3. Choose Info next to the best practices to show the help text to provide users with additional context regarding the best practice.

In the lens review page, you can see the info and reference link.

4. You can measure the workload against the Lens and select best practices in each question. After you finish answering the questions in your selected lens, you can navigate to the lens overview page to view any risks identified.

In the lens overview page under workload, you can see all the detail for lens review.

5. After the review, the improvement plans will be generated from the Well-Architected Tool to provide guidance for how to implement those missing best practices. Choose Improvement plan.

In the lens overview page under workload, you will able to see the improvement plan.

After you scroll down, you will see the Next risk to address and Recommended improvement items, which gives you guidance on remediating the risks.

In the lens overview page under workload, in the improvement plan tab, you will see Next risk to address.

Applying Lenses from the Lens Catalog to Existing Workloads

For existing workloads, you can apply Lenses from Lens Catalog.

1. Find the workload details page from Workloads, scroll down to Lenses section, then choose Edit.

In the lens overview page under workload, in the overview tab, click the "EDIT" in Lenses section. It will take you back to Lens Catalog.

2. On the Apply lenses page, select any additional lenses from the lens catalog that you would like to apply to this workload. Then, choose Save.

In Lens Catalog, click Machine Learning Lens to append to workload, then Save.

For example, your organization might have a workload to process financial documents automatically. In this case, you can leverage the Amazon Machine Learning Lens to ensure the workload is following AWS best practices.

3. Once updated, you will see all the selected lenses have been applied to your workload.

In the lens overview page under workload, in the Lenses list now we have Machine Learning Lens been applied.

In this example, with different lenses from Custom Lens and Lens Catalog, you will be able to expand the review depth in industrial requirement, technology characteristic, and specific services components.


In this blog post, we covered the new AWS Well-Architected Lens Catalog feature within the AWS Well-Architected Tool. The Lens Catalog expands the depth of industry-specific and technology-focused lenses, so customers can better tailor their reviews to focus on the topics most important to their business. You can use this knowledge to evaluate the health of your workloads by using the AWS Well-Architected Tool and the AWS Well-Architected Custom Lens Catalog in the AWS Management Console. For follow up questions or comments, become a part of our growing community of cloud architects and technology professionals on AWS re:Post.

About the Authors:

Jun-Tin Yeh (Bob)

Jun-Tin (Bob) Yeh is a Geo Solutions Architect on the AWS Well-Architected team in APAC. He enjoys working with customers to quickly evolve their architecture and diving deep into any Well-Architected-related subject to improve cloud user experiences.

Phong Le

Phong Le is a Solutions Architect on the AWS Well-Architected team. As part of the AWS Well-Architected team, Phong’s focus is to work with AWS customers and AWS Partner Network (APN) partners to drive the AWS best practices adoption within their organizations.