Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become very popular as a cloud solution for many organizations. Pay-per-use model, the ability to scale based on usage, self-service, and high resiliency are all attractive benefits to AWS. As a result, organizations see lower IT costs, better quality and quicker time to market, but this is not always the case. AWS noticed that many technology teams were building systems for their applications with legacy practices instead of AWS best practices. AWS’s best practices are built on five pillars – operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization. When a technology team builds with legacy practices, they are actually building against the AWS framework, causing their AWS environment to produce high costs, lower quality and slower time to market. This means an organization could be spending 1,000s more a month than necessary. When performance is slow, it keeps their team from working efficiently and troubleshooting preventable issues and the organization could be losing profitable opportunities.
The Well-Architected Framework Review was created by AWS as a way to test the system against their five pillars. The goal of the review is to see what has been done right and what needs to be addressed immediately. AWS empowers their Advanced Consulting Partners to conduct the Well-Architected Framework Review and remediate any architectural concerns.
Does a Well-Architected review really make that much difference? Let’s look at each pillar to answer this question with a few self-assessing questions.
Operational Excellence – As your business and technology continue to evolve, can your operations support the change? Can your procedures support your business needs and respond effectively as your business grows?
Security – Did you put into place the necessary security practices before you launched your system? Do you have a well-defined process for security incidents to prevent catastrophic financial losses? Is your environment architected in a way to meet changing compliance regulations?
Reliability – Do you have monitoring and mechanisms in place for changes in demand (such as bandwidth) or requirements? Can your system detect an issue and resolve it? Can your system stand the test of time?
Performance Excellence – Can your system make tradeoffs to improve performance, such as using compression or caching, or relaxing consistency requirements? Can your system enable different features or solutions to improve performance?
Cost Optimization – Can your system use appropriate instances or resources to have the most cost-efficient impact? Are you overcompensating to be safe or taking the time to benchmark for the best possible cost outcome?
If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of the questions, it would be a good idea to do a Well-Architected Framework Review. On average, it takes less than a week to complete and requires only a few hours of your time. It is possible that you could be wasting money and production time and losing profitable opportunities. If your AWS system is not built on the strong foundation of the AWS pillars, you may experience several costly issues that take months to fix.
To learn more about the AWS Well-Architecture Framework Review, contact us.