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AWS Well-Architected Review For Cloud Infrastructure

Implement processes and procedures to improve the efficiency and performance of AWS workloads.

Abishek Allapanda
Post by Abishek Allapanda May 22, 2019

We’re moving at an unprecedented speed in the cloud realm. To keep up with this pace, AWS is providing the building blocks for your cloud infrastructure. However, working with AWS may feel like walking into a hardware store. You might get all the things you need for managing your architecture but, it’s a struggle to put them together for effective implementation. Especially if you also need to ensure that your business decisions stand the test of time. An AWS Well-Architected Review can help resolve these concerns. Let’s take the following questions into account.

Do you realize the full value of your Cloud environment?

AWS appeals to many organizations because of its regular features that include a pay-per-use model, the ability to scale based on usage, self-service, and high resiliency. All these benefits can help deliver much lower IT costs, better service quality, and faster time to market. However, traditional enterprises run into significant issues when creating a roadmap for their cloud ecosystem. Business leaders need to understand that existing applications were created using age-old IT paradigms. Consequently, these applications are monolithic and only configured for fixed capacity. Without the proper architecture in place, applications fail to incorporate the dynamic features of the cloud.

Is the traditional “castles and moats” approach still working?

Technology teams understand building applications using the legacy IT framework. However, they often lack the knowledge of AWS best practices and the right expertise for their cloud-native environment. Most IT environments have adopted a perimeter-based “castles and moats” model to ensure security. But cloud environments need to be more like modern hotels, where you get keycard access only to specific floors and rooms. Legacy approaches can impact Cybersecurity in a big way.

Worried about unchecked costs?

By 2020, cloud spending will grow six times the rate of general IT spend. Large organizations may have adopted a cloud-first strategy, but many are still struggling with high costs. Also, over the years, cloud architectures become more complex, cumbersome, and costly. The absence of a holistic cloud-first strategy, lack of an automated operating model, and a reluctance to leverage new cloud capabilities have contributed to rising costs.

Organizations starting with AWS often worry about the performance, cost, and security implications. AWS launched the Well-Architected Framework to help businesses with their cloud decisions. A review of your existing cloud infrastructure can help compare your workloads management against AWS best practices. You can also acquire the much-needed guidance to develop scalable and flexible systems that accumulate value for your investment and allow you to focus on your customer.

It’s all about the customer

Illustration of benefits and outcomes from an AWS Well-Architected Review

The idea is to enable a relentless focus on customers. Drive value by resolving issues with performance, costs, operations, and security seamlessly. You could also interpret the flow of other/new AWS services, along with addressing issues such as optimized workflows and cloud costs.

A well-architected framework review helps improve cloud usage, thus raising customer satisfaction. How can modern architecture give customers an advantage in the marketplace, including better experience, scalability, or faster idea-to-cash?

Top four benefits of the well-architected framework review

Enable cost optimization and a better return on investment (ROI) with these steps;

  1. Build and deploy faster

    Reduce firefighting and capacity management. Through automation, you can experiment and release value more often to the business. The first thing you should consider is to right-size resources. Automation helps you decommission resources that you don’t need. You can temporarily pause resources that are not required. Right-sizing resources is an iterative process that involves selecting the cheapest instance and instance type that is available while meeting performance requirements.

  2. Lower and mitigate risks

    Understand the uncertainties in your architecture and addressing them before they distract your team and impact your business. The focus should be on recovery from infrastructure or service disruptions and acquiring the right computing resources. A review of your architecture helps test recovery procedures and leverage automation to recreate scenarios that led to previous failures. By monitoring systems for KPIs, you can trigger automation when the threshold is breached. You can monitor demand and system utilization and automate the addition or removal of resources to maintain the optimal level.

  3. Make more informed business decisions

    Ensure you’ve made effective architectural decisions that highlight how they might impact business outcomes. Establish clear goals and metrics that your organization can use to measure its progress. The metrics should not only focus on cost, but also the business value derived from your systems. When you start measuring and monitoring your users and applications, and combine the data you retrieve from AWS platform monitoring, you can significantly improve system utilization and ensure that you rely on cost-effective measures.

  4. Learn AWS Best Practices

    It’s a great mechanism to learn AWS Best Practices and make sure that your teams are aware of these best practices, which have been learned by reviewing thousands of customer architectures on AWS. Your teams should be able to leverage the elasticity of the cloud, depending on the ever-changing customer demand.

Success story

Let’s take a case of how one of our clients achieved significant business outcomes following the well-architected review process. Recently, Netenrich executed the AWS Well-Architected Framework Review for a leading Colorado-based Bank. The client was desperately looking to implement processes and procedures to improve the efficiency and performance of their AWS workloads. Furthermore, they were unsure if their AWS services aligned with current AWS best practices and design principles.

We proposed an evaluation of the client’s AWS environment against the AWS Well-Architected Framework. The client identified workloads for the review, and our cloud experts asked the appropriate questions to gauge the stability, scalability, and performance of their existing architecture to propose remediation.

Some of the significant outcomes realized by the client were:

  1. Dramatic reduction in their security pitfalls by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all local accounts.
  2. Improved system resiliency and efficiency via high availability of their workload into multiple availability zones.
  3. Minimized costs in all areas by decommissioning unaware and unused resources spread across multiple regions.

Netenrich helps partners and enterprise customers conduct AWS Well-Architected Reviews to create opportunities and manage cloud infrastructure that aligns with technical and business outcomes. Talk to our experts to learn how you can scale cloud infrastructure and manage it effectively for business growth.

Abishek Allapanda

About the Author

Abishek Allapanda

Abishek is a Marketing Manager at Netenrich and absolutely adores alliterations. He is a metal music fan who does content marketing, in that order. When he’s not writing he can be found watching football, making music, or playing with animals.

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