AWS Architecture Best Practices: Are You Well Architected?

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As an AWS Well-Architected Partner, Onica is excited to announce an update to our Well Architected Review and Framework. Released by AWS in 2012, the Well Architected Framework (WAF) was created to help customers understand the thinking needed to properly leverage AWS capabilities. A comprehensive guide created from 11 years of collected AWS knowledge on how to best operate, AWS’ WAF whitepaper and documentation outlines best practices for architecting your cloud presence. However, it’s ultimately up to individual businesses to align these best practices with their own business requirements.

For businesses just getting started on AWS, the WAF is a good place to start the planning process and build a strong foundation for a scalable, flexible cloud presence that will meet technical and business needs. For businesses already on the cloud, you may have to work backwards to achieve a well-architected implementation.

What are the pillars of the AWS well architected framework?

The five “pillars” of the AWS WAF are:

By optimizing your architecture around these pillars, you gain the benefits of a well-architected design in the cloud, which include:

  • Removing guesswork around capacity needs
  • Ability to test systems at production scale
  • Automation for easier architectural experimentation
  • Allow for evolutionary architectures
  • Data-driven architectures
  • Improve through game days

What is an AWS well architected review?

Cloud architects should review their architecture regularly to identify any critical issues needing attention or opportunities for improvement. The outcome of an AWS well architected review is a set of actions aiming to improve the experience of a customer using the workload. The AWS Well-Architected Tool (AWS WA Tool) is a service that provides a consistent process to review and measure your architecture using AWS best practices. The tool gives you specific suggestions to improve workloads, making them more reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective.

How Onica’s WAF Works

The Onica WAF was built around the AWS WAF; we ask a series of open-ended questions and use your answers to assess how well your architecture is aligned to AWS tools and best practices. The design process requires companies to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches to meeting business goals, prioritizing objectives and assessing tradeoffs among and between the five pillars. For example, you may decide to postpone cost optimization because time-to-market is a higher priority; or you could trade consistency, durability, and space versus time or latency, to deliver higher performance.

Assessing AWS Architecture Wellness

How do you assess the wellness of an existing AWS architecture?

A Well-Architected Review has a Solution Architect assess your cloud architecture against AWS best practices and your own business needs and give recommendations for improvement. If you’re moving to AWS for the first time, this will include guidance to help you design reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective systems in the cloud.

Here at Onica, we offer Well-Architected Framework reviews for businesses of any size. The Onica Well-Architected Review is designed to educate customers on architectural best practices for building and operating reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective systems in the cloud, and to assess their current workloads.

Onica’s process uses the AWS WAF principles and tools to deliver a comprehensive review of one workload. A workload is defined as a set of machines, instances, or servers that together enable the delivery of a service or application to internal or external customers. Examples include an ecommerce website, business application, web application, etc. Through this review and guidance from the AWS Well-Architected Framework, Onica will provide the customer an analysis of the workload through the lens of the WAF pillars, as well as a plan to address areas that do not comply with framework recommendations.

Onica’s Well-Architected review includes:

  • A one day on-site, in-person review and architecture deep-dive with your stakeholders to gather data on your workloads in your business/IT context
  • Up to three days of analysis of the collected data, cross-analysis of the workload via the guidance offered by the framework, and formulation of any recommended remediation, if applicable
  • A review and analysis document, outlining all findings and recommendations

To better understand how a Well-Architected Framework can impact your business, try these blogs:

AWS Operational Excellence Tools & Best Practices


Ready for your own well architected review?

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