AWS Architecture Blog

Announcing updates to the AWS Well-Architected Framework guidance

We are excited to announce the availability of an enhanced AWS Well-Architected Framework. In this update, you’ll find expanded guidance across all six pillars of the Framework: Operational ExcellenceSecurityReliabilityPerformance EfficiencyCost Optimization, and Sustainability.

In this release, we updated the implementation guidance for the new and existing best practices to be more prescriptive. This includes enhanced recommendations and steps on reusable architecture patterns focused on specific business outcomes.

A brief history

The Well-Architected Framework is a collection of best practices that allow customers to evaluate and improve the design, implementation, and operations of their workloads in the cloud.

2024 AWS Well-Architected guidance timeline

Figure 1. 2024 AWS Well-Architected guidance timeline

In 2012, we published the first version of the Framework. In 2015, we released the AWS Well-Architected Framework whitepaper. We added the Operational Excellence pillar in 2016. We released pillar-specific whitepapers and AWS Well-Architected Lenses in 2017. The following year, the AWS Well-Architected Tool was launched.

In 2020, we released the new version of the Well-Architected Framework guidance, more lenses, and an API integration with the AWS Well-Architected Tool. We added the sixth pillar, Sustainability, in 2021. In 2022, dedicated HTML pages were introduced for each consolidated best practice across all six pillars, with several best practices updated with improved prescriptive guidance. By December 2023, we improved more than 75% of the Framework’s best practices. As of June 2024, more than 95% of the Framework’s best practices have been refreshed at least once.

What’s new

The Well-Architected Framework supports customers as they mature in their cloud journey by providing guidance to help achieve accurate business, environment, and workload solutions. Well-Architected is committed to providing such information to customers by continually evolving and updating our guidance.

The content updates and prescriptive guidance improvements in this release provide more complete coverage across AWS, helping customers make informed decisions when developing implementation plans. We added or expanded on guidance for the following services in this update: Amazon Chime, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon CodeGuru Security, Amazon CodeWhisperer, Amazon Devops Guru, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon EventBridge, Amazon GuardDuty, Amazon Q, Amazon Route 53, Amazon Security Lake, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), AWS Billing and Cost Management, AWS Budgets, AWS Compute Optimizer, AWS Config, AWS Control Tower, AWS Cost Optimization Hub, AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, AWS Data Exports, AWS Data Lifecycle Manager, AWS Elastic Disaster Recovery, AWS Fault Injection Service, AWS Global Accelerator, AWS Health, AWS Local Zones, AWS Organizations, AWS Outposts, AWS Resilience Hub, AWS Security Hub, AWS Systems Manager, AWS Trusted Advisor, and AWS Wickr.

Pillar updates

Operational Excellence

In the Operational Excellence Pillar, we updated 30 best practices across six questions. This includes OPS01, OPS02, OPS03, OPS07, OPS10, and OPS11. This update includes a refreshed structure and improved prescriptive guidance with updates on observability, generative AI capabilities, operating models, and the evolution of operational practices.

As part of this update, we consolidated four best practices into two (OPS01-BP07 merged into OPS01-BP06, OPS03-BP08 merged into OPS03-BP04) and changed the titles of seven best practices. Additionally, we added one new design principal to highlight the importance of aligning operating models to business outcomes and reordered design principles according to their priority from foundational to specialized. We updated three design principles and changed the title of one design principle. We’ve also updated the operating model guidance section of the pillar to be more prescriptive, showcasing pathways to evolving operating models.

The implementation guidance in best practices includes guidance on implementing generative AI capabilities with Amazon Q (Q Developer, Q Business, Q in QuickSight), the latest capabilities from Amazon CloudWatch Network Monitor, Amazon CloudWatch Internet Monitor, Amazon CloudWatch Logs, Amazon CloudWatch best practice alarms, cross-account observability, log-based alarms, log data protection, and AWS Health.


In the Security Pillar, we updated 28 best practices across 10 questions. This includes SEC01, SEC02, SEC03, SEC04, SEC05, SEC06, SEC07, SEC08, SEC09, and SEC10. Best practice updates include removing duplication, clarifying desired outcomes, and providing robust prescriptive implementation guidance. As part of this update, we merged SEC01-BP05 into SEC01-BP04. We deleted two practices, SEC08-BP05 and SEC09-BP03, to remove the duplication of guidance covered across other existing practices. We updated the titles for 14 practices and changed the order of nine practices to improve clarity and flow.


In the Reliability Pillar, we updated 11 best practices across six questions. This includes REL02, REL04, REL05, REL06, REL07, and REL08, with three best practices changing titles including REL04-BP01, REL05-BP06, and REL06-BP05. We improved resources available in best practices to include more recent blog posts, technical talks, and presentations. We also improved the prescriptive guidance by expanding on implementation steps. New services and service features added to the best practices guidance for AWS Resilience Hub, Amazon Route 53, Amazon Route53 Application Recovery Controller, AWS Fault Injection Service, and Amazon CloudWatch Synthetics.

Performance Efficiency

In the Performance Efficiency Pillar, we updated nine best practices across three questions. This includes PERF01, PERF03, and PERF05. We improved the prescriptive guidance on these best practices and added pillar-specific guidance on services including Amazon Devops Guru and Amazon ElastiCache Serverless. We’ve updated the resources section of all best practices with new and relevant resources.

Cost Optimization

In the Cost Optimization Pillar, we updated eight best practices across five questions. This includes COST01, COST02, COST03, COST05, and COST11. One new best practice added in COST06 highlights the benefits of using shared resources for organizational cost optimization. The improved best practices include guidance on AWS services and features including the AWS Cost Optimization Hub, AWS Billing and Cost Management features, and AWS Data Exports. These updates also cover sample key performance indicators (KPIs) for tracking optimization efforts, elaborate on the use of cost allocation tags, and discuss the split cost allocation for Amazon EKS and Amazon ECS to separate costs of containerized workloads. Additionally, the updates offer improved prescriptive and clear guidance on budgeting and forecasting. Finally, you’ll find guidance on using automations to reduce costs.


In the Sustainability Pillar, we updated 18 best practices across five questions. This includes SUS01, SUS02, SUS03, SUS04, SUS05, and SUS06. We improved the prescriptive guidance on these best practices, and added Pillar-specific guidance on services, including AWS Local Zones, AWS Outposts, Amazon Chime, AWS Wickr, Amazon CodeWhisperer, and AWS Customer Carbon Footprint Tool. We’ve expanded lists of resources across all best practices with new and relevant resources.


This release includes updates and improvements to the Framework guidance totaling 105 best practices. As of this release, we’ve updated 95% of the existing Framework best practices at least once since October 2022. With this release, we have refreshed 100% of the Operational Excellence, Security, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization, and Sustainability Pillars, as well as 79% of Reliability Pillar best practices. Best practice updates in this release across Operational Excellence, Security, and Reliability (a total of 66) are first-time updates since major Framework improvements started in 2022.

The content is available in 11 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

Updates in this release are also available in the AWS Well-Architected Tool, which you can use to review your workloads, address important design considerations, and help you follow the AWS Well-Architected Framework guidance.

Ready to get started? Review the updated AWS Well-Architected Framework Pillar best practices and pillar-specific whitepapers.

Have questions about some of the new best practices or most recent updates? Join our growing community on AWS re:Post.