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Shweta Vohra
Shweta Vohra

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AWS Well Architecture Framework - Review Guidance, Tool Usage and Trainings

Authors: Shweta Vohra, Siddhartha Sood, Balakrishnan Sreenivasan

A. Document Scope

This document gives AWS Well Architected Framework (WAF) introduction and subsequent linked articles for utilizing this framework efficiently.
Not trying to replicate vast information and documentation available for AWS WAF framework. However, this document serves as the Introduction as well as guidance for new or experienced architects to conduct Well architechted reviews efficiently and continuously.

B. Introduction - AWS WAF

Cloud based systems and solutions brings agility for organizations. With agility comes continuous changes and evolution of business capability and architecture maturity. As architecture is not one time activity on cloud and at the same time does include decisions and trade-offs that best represent the architected system and can still evolve. Therefore, AWS provides this guidance, tool & APIs in form of AWS Well Architected Framework. This framework provides a highly stable and consistent approach for customers and partners to evaluate architectures and provides prescriptive guidance to help implement designs that are scalable, secure, performant, reliable, sustainable, and optimized. Popular AWS Well Architected Framework is practical step by step guidance from AWS for creation, review, and continuous assessment of cloud-based workloads/ software

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is based on six pillars as mentioned below:

  • Operational Excellence - Infrastructure and other resources efficient operationalization. This includes IaC (Infrastructure as Code), monitoring, and ease of continuous use.
  • Security - This pillar ensures guidance in form of areas where security should be investigated and how to seal it wholistically
  • Reliability - Differentiating on cloud by proactively building and designing reliable systems with reliable components and services so that resources are always available, can scale as per demand and resilient. This pillar guides on this aspect
  • Performance Efficiency - This pillar guides on computing requirements and how to efficiently utilize them
  • Cost Optimization - Guidance on how to continuously benefit from cloud services still get optimal price point
  • Sustainability - This newly introduced pillar has been announced in 2021 AWS Re:Invent to take care of long term environmental impacts, especially energy consumption and resources efficiency

For all above pillars this framework defines following:
- Design Principles- These principles give basic sense and fundamental coverage around each of the pillars
- Best Practices - Best practices provides pillar wise questionnaire and supporting ideal state for the best practice to support and gauge the current state of client workload and
- Resources - Additional resources for each pillar to get in-depth information based on relevant domain and work area

C. How to use this framework efficiently for review?

With experience utilizing WAF reviews, we have built the systematic guidance and checklist based on our own experiences to help teams undergoing Well Architected Framework Reviews. Check out this article to know more: How to conduct AWS WAF reviews efficiently?

D. AWS Well-Architected Lenses

AWS is in process of enhancing the Well Architected Framework. As part of enhancements AWS is releasing domain specific or technology centric WAF guidance. For example for IOT type of workload there is IOT Lens, for serverless kind of workloads where resources are primarily running on a serverless approach/design there is serverless lens.
Lenses provide a way to consistently measure architectures against best practices in that domain or technology and identify areas for improvement. The AWS Well-Architected Framework Lens is automatically applied when a workload is defined in addition to additional lens that you might have included at the time of review on tool. A workload can have one or more lenses applied. Each lens has its own set of questions, best practices, notes, and improvement plan. Based on selection and applicability of review resources, reviewer should refer lens specific checklist that are available as part of documentation and mentioned in Appendix section of this document.

At the time of writing of this document 3 lenses have been integrated on tool. Please refer below image for lenses that are integrated with AWS Well Architected Tool.
WAF Lenses

E. AWS WAF Training Path

To gain insights into AWS WAF process as reviewer you can attend following trainings and follow path to become AWS Certified WAF Reviewer:

  1. Well Architect Proficient Badge
  2. Class-Room Trainings (Available to AWS Patner Connects):
  • AWS Partner: Well-Architected Best Practices
  • AWS Partner: Advanced AWS Well-Architected Best Practices

F. Appendix - Links and References

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