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AWS Well Architected Review: Failures are no longer the pillars of success


AWS Well-Architected Review (WAR): What’s all the buzz about?

AWS Well-Architected Review (WAR) is the latest tech buzzword reverberating in the Cloud Computing domain. More and more organizations are migrating to Cloud Platform, and they want to know if they are using Cloud infrastructure in the right way, so as to leverage efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability. The Cloud gurus often harp on about WAR, and with AWS globally leading the Cloud usage, WAR can provide a way for customers to consistently measure cloud architectures against best practices, and, at the same time gauge the constant changes in the AWS environment.

Know yourself

As a Cloud customer, AWS WAR can help you apprehend the pros and cons of the decisions you take while building systems on AWS. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to have a systematic understanding about Cloud architecture and learn architectural best practices. The review framework is based on AWS’s prior experiences from tens of thousands of well-architected reviews and focuses on identifying areas of improvements. In most of the cases, the client uses WAR for the first time to review the system and architecture. Without WAR, they would have not spent time on going through all the design details and decisions they make. In addition to the lead architect and the DevOps team, WAR gives the opportunity to the entire team at the client’s end to comprehend the overall setup, risk and prioritization of remediation based on criticality. To quote Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Measuring against Best Practices

How do you analyze and measure your architecture and system? Do you even have the analytics or metrics in place? System vulnerability, compliance or the stakeholders’ demanding requirements – problems could be multifaceted in a Cloud infrastructure. Based on years of experience working with customer across the world, AWS solutions architects have created and defined this Well-Architected Framework which summarizes tens of thousands of reviews they have done with AWS customers. These best practices provide a consistent approach and guidance for measuring and implementing designs that scale with the customer’s requirements. Every time you perform the review to identify areas of improvement following AWS best practices, you apply the remediation to make your workload better. This consistent effort leads to more efficient architecture over time.

Learn the best Cloud practices

Cloud computing is a relatively new concept and there is a general lack of knowledge about how to best implement Cloud infrastructure and applications. WAR is a great way for the team to learn the best practices and improve their architecting skills for building a highly secure, efficient, reliable, high-performance and cost-effective system on Cloud. Furthermore, AWS partners can help clients review and conduct remediation, in situations where they have no relevant resource or expertise. As they say, ‘standing on the shoulders of giants,’ AWS WAR, based on numerous case studies done earlier, helps your team learn the best practices of building and operating on Cloud.

Enhancing user experience, team confidence and business success

AWS WAR delivers the best user experience and improves the teams’ confidence, as they know what they built is secure, reliable, resilient and cost-efficient. At the end of day, it increases the chance of success for the business. Reviews can be performed infrequently, but to ensure better outcomes, a quarterly review is advisable. With a set of 46 questions based on the five pillars (operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization), most cloud customers proceed with the recommended remediation that emerge from the structured review and guidelines.

More than just AWS and Cloud

WAR is pretty generic and flexible. It is suitable for any hosting environment. Doesn’t matter if your workload is running on AWS or Microsoft Azure. You can also use it to review your multi-Cloud or hybrid-Cloud system, even your on-premise. What’s more, WAR is not just about Cloud architecture, it combines business focus with technical evaluation at the same time, to emphasize on business priority and governance.

AWS WAR and Capgemini

A global leader in technology consulting, Capgemini is a strategic partner of the AWS Well-Architected Partner Programme. Having experienced solution architects and cloud consultants on board, we help clients conduct WAR, and, at the same time provide short term and long term remediation to improve workload. Your cloud architecture could be good, but we can help you make it better! Visit Capgemini – AWS APN partner to know more.

The way forward

In a ‘customer first’ ecosystem, AWS WAR is helping customers understand the risk and identify opportunities for architectural evolution. Eventually the chance for the business to succeed is greatly enhanced if the system is well-architected. Are you ready to scale up your Cloud architecture against AWS best practices? Track changes to your workload whenever you want. Initiate a new WAR to ensure your architecture continues to improve over time.

Click here to explore more about AWS WAR.

Published by: Rui Deng

Rui Deng helps clients migrate to and build on Public Cloud by contributing to areas such as Cloud architecture, DevOps and Well-Architected Review. His experiences range from startup to large enterprise and product companies to consultancies which enable better understanding and support in the clients’ Cloud journey. He is an AWS certified Solution Architect and Developer with strong belief in knowledge sharing and lifelong learning.