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Exequiel Barrirero for AWS Community Builders

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at Medium

Choose the Right Architecture for your Startup on AWS as a CTO 🏗️☁️

As a CTO of a StartUp, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the right architecture for your business on AWS (Amazon Web Services). And using AWS can be a game-changer for your project. This cloud computing platform offers a wide range of services that can help StartUps scale and grow quickly. However, with any new technology, there are some very important considerations that early-stage companies should consider when getting started on AWS. Your AWS architecture can greatly impact the scalability, security, and cost efficiency of your initiative. In this article, we'll discuss the key considerations and steps a CTO should take when choosing the right architecture for their deployment on AWS.

After posting our 1st AWS StartUps related post "10 Mistakes StartUp Founders Make when Getting Started on AWS", today we would like to share a 2nd article inspired by our participation at the AWS Technical Founder Sprint: Best practices to take your startup from zero to one in the cloud and also motivated by our journey as Select Tier Services Partner at binbash helping StartUps to build, launch and scale their workloads effectively on AWS (Amazon Web Services) for years.

We're mainly sharing this list based on our experience with dozens of AWS customer projects at, specifically around binbash Leverage™ Reference Architecture for AWS.

1. Understand Your Business Requirements and Goals

Before you start designing your AWS architecture, it's important to understand your business's specific requirements and goals and how AWS can align with them. For example, your business goals may include fast time-to-market, high availability, and seamless scalability. By defining these objectives, you can choose the right AWS services and design an architecture that meets your needs.

Other important considerations that could help if you can get to know them beforehand could include understanding your traffic patterns, data storage needs, and compliance requirements. By understanding these factors, you'll be able to design an architecture that meets the needs of your business.

Figure: BUILD, MEASURE, LEARN (Source: Feedback and analysis in digital service development projects, accessed February 25th 2023)

2. Understand the Pricing and Optimize Cost Structure of AWS Services

Figure: 📚 Recommended reading (probably a must-read): How AWS pricing works: Key Principles

AWS offers a wide range of cost optimization options, and it's important to take advantage of them to keep your costs under control.

One of the most common mistakes that founders make when getting started on AWS is not understanding the pricing and cost structure of the services they are using. AWS has a wide range of services and pricing options, and it's important to understand how they work and how they will impact your costs. Make sure you understand the costs associated with each service, including any hidden costs or usage-based charges.

Figure: Amazon EC2 Purchase Options (Source: Cost optimization on AWS, AWS Initiate Public Sector Presentation, accessed February 25th 2023)

3. Evaluate the Services Available

AWS offers a wide range of services, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. As a CTO, it's important to evaluate the services available and choose the ones that are most appropriate for your specific use case. This includes fully managed services PaaS (like AWS RDS a fully managed DB engine) vs IaaS (Installing and maintaining your DB Engine inside an EC2 Instance).

Figure: What is cloud computing? (Source: Types of cloud computing, accessed April 19th 2023)

So you have plenty of different services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), AWS Lambda (Serverless Functions) and AWS EKS (Elastic Container for Kubernetes Services) among many others, w️e'll explore some of them further in the article.

4. Consider Scalability 🚀

Scalability is a critical consideration when choosing an architecture for your venture backed StartUp on AWS. It's important to design an architecture that can handle the traffic and usage that your business generates, and that can easily scale up or down as needed. The result an elastics and cost efficient cloud infrastructure. This includes using services such as Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) and Amazon Elastic Load Balancer (ALB or NLB), among many others to handle varying workloads.

Figure: AWS Managed Services responsibility matrix (Source: Choose Your Architecture on AWS, accessed April 19th 2023))

AWS fully managed services are designed to be highly available and scalable, meaning they can easily handle increases in traffic and data volume without sacrificing performance and availability.

  • ✅ With AWS fully managed services, companies can take advantage of the ability to scale up or down as needed, without having to worry about infrastructure management.
  • ✅ This can be especially beneficial for projects that are experiencing rapid growth, as they can quickly and easily scale their infrastructure without needing to invest in additional configurations, complexity or adjustments, leaving the heavy lifting to AWS.
  • ✅ Freeing up valuable time and resources for StartUps to focus on building their product and developing their core business.

A clear example is clearly illustrated in the figure below 👇

Figure: AWS Managed RDS vs EC2 DB deployment (Source: How to determine the right database for you, accessed April 19th 2023)

5. Solutions Architecture | Compute + Database Services

By leveraging AWS compute managed services with containers and /or serverless computing, StartUps can benefit from increased flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, allowing them to focus on innovation and business growth. Based on our experience architecting on AWS for years, we'll recommend carefully considering the unique requirements of your application and workload to determine the best approach for your project.

🐳 Consider using containers when:

  • You need to break apart a monolithic application into microservices
  • You have a compute-intensive application
  • You must deploy your application in a data center and/or another cloud

⏯ Consider using serverless when:

  • You want to spend as little time as possible dealing with infrastructure
  • You want to only pay for what you're using
  • You can break your code into small pieces that can be run independently

Figure: AWS Managed Services responsibility matrix (Source: When do I use Containers vs Serverless, accessed April 19th 2023)

Moreover, the Cloud Solutions Architect should consider the following factors when determining the right database for their StartUp:

  • Identify Access: Consider how the database will be accessed, whether it will be used by a single application or multiple applications, and the expected number of concurrent users. This will help determine the appropriate type of database technology, such as relational (eg: AWS RDS) or NoSQL (eg: AWS DynamoDB), and the configuration needed for optimal performance.
  • Patterns Structure of data: Understand the structure of the data that will be stored and how it will be organized. This can help determine whether a relational or NoSQL database is better suited for your software and applications needs. For instance, if your data is highly structured and requires strict data integrity, a relational database may be the better choice. On the other hand, if your data is unstructured or semi-structured, a NoSQL database may provide more flexibility.
  • Time to Execute: Consider the expected workload and query patterns for your database. This includes the type and volume of data that will be processed, as well as the time required to execute queries. Based on this analysis, you can choose a database with the appropriate features and capabilities for your workload. For example, if you have a high volume of read-heavy traffic, a database with caching capabilities or read replicas may be necessary.

Figure: AWS Managed Database Services (Source: How to determine the right database for you, accessed April 19th 2023)

By taking these factors into account, CTOs can make informed decisions when selecting a database for their initiative, ensuring optimal performance and scalability as their business grows. As an AWS Select Tier Services APN Partner, we can provide additional guidance and support in selecting the right database solution for your StartUp's unique requirements.

6. Security & Compliance Architectural Considerations

Security is a critical concern when working with any cloud service, and AWS is no exception. As a CTO, it's important to design an architecture that prioritizes security, including setting up appropriate access controls, using multi-factor authentication, and monitoring for suspicious activity.

So at list remember too properly securing access to AWS resources avoiding the following common mistakes, while you keep iteratively rising your security based on your business needs:

  • 🔒 Confusing the root account with IAM user's accounts
  • 🔒 Not Setting up MFA
  • 🔒 Using IAM Access Keys where IAM roles can be used instead

In addition to these measures, it's also important to ensure that all data is encrypted both in transit and at rest, and if possible regularly perform security audits to identify and address any potential vulnerabilities. Working with an experienced AWS security partner like binbash can be helpful in ensuring that your architecture is secure and that you're following best practices for security on the AWS platform. May be it's not going to be part of your initial priorities, but ultimately, prioritizing security in your architecture can help protect your organization's sensitive data, reputation, and bottom line.

7. Foundational Governance and Properly Configuring and Maintaining your Baseline AWS Organization, Accounts, and Network Infrastructure

As a fundamental part of your baseline AWS Architecture you'll have your organization and accounts, with their associated network infrastructure are critical components of any cloud infrastructure, and it's important to properly configure and maintain it. This includes setting up appropriate, Service Control Policies (SCP), Virtual Private Networks (VPC), Security Groups (SG), load balancers (ALB/NLB), and VPNs, as well as monitoring network performance and identifying and addressing any issues.

  • ✅ How? Cloud Infrastructure for your StartUp with binbash Leverage™. The leading, easy-to-deploy, reusable and most automated solution for defining, provisioning and managing your secure and scalable multi-account AWS infrastructure environment.

Figure: binbash Leverage™ Reference Architecture deployment workflow (Source: , accessed February 25th 2023)), accessed April 19th 2023)

Figure: binbash Leverage Reference Architecture deployment workflow (Source: Leverage official Ref Arch documentation, accessed February 25th 2023)

ℹ️ Consider reading our 1st AWS StartUps related post "10 Mistakes StartUp Founders Make when Getting Started on AWS"where we extend this topic.

 8. Data Strategy

For many modern StartUps you may be considering to develop a data strategy as part of your overall business approach. In today's digital age, data has become a valuable asset that can provide a competitive edge to companies that take advantage of data driven decisions. With the right data strategy, projects can unlock insights, improve decision-making, and drive innovation, ultimately leading to greater success.

One key component of a data strategy is the use of a data lake, which is a centralized repository that allows your company to store all their structured and unstructured data at any scale. A data lake can help StartUps to avoid silos of data and provide a single source of truth, making it easier to access and analyze data for insights. With a data lake, you can store data from various sources, including IoT sensors, social media, and clickstream data, and combine it with their existing data to derive valuable insights.

Figure: Data lake Multiple Data Sources (Source: Provide Business Value to the Data, accessed April 24th 2023)

However, building and maintaining a data lake can be complex and requires careful consideration. CTO’s must carefully plan their data strategy, including data governance, security, and access control policies. They must also consider the appropriate technology infrastructure for their data lake, such as AWS’s S3, Athena, and Glue, to ensure scalability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.

Figure: Data Lake on AWS architecture (Source: Data Lake on AWS, accessed April 25th 2023)

By leveraging a data lake and other AWS technologies, StartUps can gain valuable insights from their data, driving innovation and success.


Choosing the right architecture for your business on AWS is critical for its success. At binbash, we're proud to be AWS Select tier services partners with years of experience helping StartUps build, launch, and scale their workloads effectively on AWS and our recommendation is to prioritize and adapt your cloud solutions architecture based on your specific business needs aligned with the current phase of your company and objectives. It will be import to keep into consideration scalability, reliability, security, and cost-efficiency when designing your architecture.

Remember, the right architecture will help you achieve your business goals, such as increasing revenue, improving customer experience, delivering faster and reliably while achieving operational efficiency. As a CTO, it's your responsibility to make sure your company cloud infra is built on a solid architecture that can support your growth and success.

By following these recommendations and working with experienced AWS Cloud Solutions Architects and Partners, you can design and implement a solution that meets your unique needs and sets you up for long-term success.

Need help deploying your StartUp infra on AWS? Contact Us 🚀

Top comments (1)

indika_wimalasuriya profile image

Great write-up. Supper cool details. Thanks for sharing. It was a very interesting read.