What is an Amazon Web Services Well-Architected Review?

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Having undertaken over 100 Well-Architected Reviews (WAR) for our clients, you can rest assured the team here at CirrusHQ, not only understands what a WAR is, but just what is involved, why every organisation should book one and what benefits will follow.

However, the truth is, there remain a huge number of organisations across private and public sectors that utilise Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud services, yet remain unaware just what a WAR is and what it entails, with many wrongly suspecting such expert consultancy will be expensive.

Review quick deployments 

One immediate impact of the pandemic saw organisations of every size look to the Cloud and in particular on-demand, scalable Cloud models, to achieve the flexibility, continuity and cost efficiency required to remain productive with dispersed workforces.

Whilst this rush to Cloud has helped accelerate digital business transformation projects and further reinforced the use of Cloud as not just the new normal, but the future for all, it is not without its issues; and not all the issues are security related.

The current approach for the majority of organisations appears to be a Hybrid Cloud model that combines the best of public Cloud, like AWS, with private environments, with more than 90% of global enterprises expected to adopt a hybrid approach by 2022.

Cloud is here to stay and the issue is less about whether organisations use Cloud or not and more about how those choosing a Cloud future, actually deploy, manage and use their Cloud resources.

The recent urgent transition to Cloud driven by the global pandemic is now giving way to questions around whether it is the right scalable, secure, cost-effective, long-term solution expected, or if now the solution needs tweaking to deliver the best outcomes. And that is one of the key reasons where a WAR comes in.

What does a Well-Architected Review cover?

Developed to help cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient and efficient application infrastructure, AWS promotes its Well-Architected Framework to ensure architectural best practices are followed across five key areas.

  • Operational excellence  
  • Security  
  • Reliability  
  • Performance efficiency  
  • Cost optimisation  

Each of these five key pillars breakdown into a number of unique design principles that we will cover in more detail in another blog soon [link added later].

A Well-Architected Review assesses individual cloud-based workloads against one or more of these areas to understand how they compare to the continuously evolving best practice developed by the Cloud architects at AWS with their experience shaped by thousands of deployments at scale.

Once the workloads and their environment have been benchmarked in this way, any areas for improvement will be identified. In our experience, cost-optimisation was typically the focus for most organisations, but recently it is security that leads the conversation.  

Naturally we recommend all organisations that utilise AWS Cloud services undertake a WAR, which they can perform themselves with tools provided by AWS, if they have the confidence, time, resources and expertise to deliver the best results.

Of course, we would suggest as you might expect that we perform the WAR, as that would not only save you time and resources but we have all the qualities described above, along with a huge amount of experience. The team here at CirrusHQ also have a good track-record of implementing the remediation activities recommended following the review, with potential for a $5000 credit towards the cost of improvement works.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the benefits of a Well-Architected Review or believe today is the day you get yours started, talk to us today and start your journey to a better Cloud with CirrusHQ. 

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