The 5 Key Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework
Jennifer Fitzpatrick

The 5 Key Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework


Many companies might often say “We’re using the cloud, but we’re worried about security”. One of the greatest challenges to cloud users is the question of where to begin looking at security, or what should be changed in the current implementation?

According to SureSkills’ Senior Cloud Instructor, Calvin Riskowitz, there is no right or wrong way to approach your use of the cloud as this is unique to your specific needs, but knowing some of the cloud principals should alleviate your security concerns. 

AWS has a foundational document entitled “AWS Well-Architected Framework whitepaper”. This document was recently updated (November 2017) to contain the latest and most up to date guidelines that you should use as your foundation to deploy into the cloud. 

The AWS Well-Architected Framework has 5 key pillars:

1. Operational Excellence

Encompasses the ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures. 

2. Security

Protecting information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies. 

3. Reliability

The ability of a system (or service) to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues. 

4. Performance Efficiency

Using computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements, and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve. 

5. Cost Optimization

Eliminating unneeded cost or sub-optimal resources. 

The AWS Well-Architected Framework documents a set of foundational questions that allow you to understand if a specific architecture aligns well with cloud best practices. The framework provides a consistent approach to evaluating systems against the qualities you expect from modern cloud-based systems, and the remediation that would be required to achieve those qualities. 

For more information, download the AWS Well-Architected Framework or, you could attend one of our AWS Architecting courses where you’ll find this framework forms the basis of the course, and the design decisions that should be made.


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