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Why do I need an AWS Well Architected Review?

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Let’s say that Cloud Widget Enterprises, an imaginary fast-growing e-commerce company, faces challenges due to its expanding customer base and increased website traffic. During peak hours and promotional events, the e-commerce website experiences frequent slowdowns and longer load times, leading to a decrease in conversion rates and customer complaints about the sluggish user experience.

Not only that but the company's AWS bills have also surged as they struggle to effectively track and manage cloud spending, resulting in unexpected cost overruns. To address the performance issues, the internal team assigned additional cloud resources, but their lack of expertise in optimization leads to resources that are under-utilized as well as those that are overloaded.

If this scenario sounds at all familiar, you might be wondering what the next steps are and how to get your cloud under control. You might also have concerns about security, compliance or scaling up production, but you don’t know how to gain the expertise and how to become more proactive on your business goals instead of just putting out fires all the time.

Hey, Concerned Cloud Entrepreneur — meet the AWS Well-Architected Framework!

What is the AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF)?

To put it very briefly, the AWS Well-Architected Framework is a set of best practices and guidelines provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help cloud architects build secure, efficient, and resilient cloud-based solutions. It offers a structured approach to evaluate and improve architectures by focusing on six key pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization and sustainability.

For example, by prioritizing the Security pillar, businesses can implement robust encryption practices and access controls, ensuring the protection of sensitive data and compliance with industry regulations. In contrast, focusing on the Operational Excellence pillar allows organizations to automate routine tasks like server scaling, resulting in enhanced efficiency, reduced human errors, and allowing more time for innovation and strategic initiatives.

AWS Resources and the Well-Architected Review

AWS Resources constitute various computing, storage, database, and networking components and services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). These resources can include virtual machines (EC2 instances), storage buckets (S3), databases (RDS), load balancers, and more. AWS customers use these resources to build and run their applications and services in the cloud.

Photo of a cloud architecture diagram in perspective - Miracle Mill

As your cloud operation grows in both size and complexity, the practical needs of everyday business often take over the organization of these resources. In the chaos of meeting production targets, it’s easy to lose track of the best way of doing things and the Well-Architected Framework can become more a dream that a reality. This is where the AWS Well-Architected Review (WAFR) steps in.

The WAFR is a strategic tool that evaluates your use of AWS resources in alignment with best practices. It's like having a seasoned cloud architect by your side, thoroughly examining your setup, pinpointing areas for improvement, and charting a path to a more secure, efficient, and cost-effective cloud infrastructure. In an era where agility and optimization are paramount, a WAFR can be the key to unlocking your cloud's full potential.

10 Reasons to have a Well-Architected Review

While it is perfectly possible to follow the WAF guidelines by yourself, engaging qualified cloud consultants to conduct an AWS Well-Architected Review provides numerous advantages that can significantly enhance the process and outcomes. Here are 10 reasons why you should get the experts in:

  • Expertise and Experience: Certified experts and experienced engineers bring specialized knowledge and hands-on experience with various cloud architectures. Their expertise allows them to identify potential pitfalls and suggest tailored solutions for your specific business needs.
  • Unbiased Assessment: Outsiders can also offer impartial perspective on your cloud infrastructure with objective evaluation of your systems, uncovering issues that may be overlooked or ignored internally.
  • Time Efficiency: Conducting a Well-Architected Review in-house can be time-consuming, especially if your team lacks familiarity with the process. AWS engineers are well-versed in the review process, enabling them to complete it efficiently and effectively.
  • Depth of Analysis: In-depth knowledge of the AWS platform and its services ensures a comprehensive analysis of your architecture, considering factors that might not be immediately evident, leading to more thorough recommendations.
  • Customized Solutions: Review specialists can tailor their recommendations to your business objectives, ensuring that the proposed changes align with your specific requirements and budget constraints.
  • Best Practices and Trends: Up-to-date best practices and industry trends, plus cutting-edge technologies and approaches that may not be widely known within your organization.
  • Risk Mitigation: Extensive experience makes it easier to identify potential security risks and compliance gaps, helping you address vulnerabilities before they turn into major issues.
  • Cost Savings: While hiring consultants incurs a cost, their insights often lead to significant long-term cost savings by optimizing your cloud resources and improving efficiency.
  • Scalability Guidance: Cloud experts can assist in designing a scalable architecture, ensuring your infrastructure can accommodate future growth and sudden spikes in demand.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Your team can learn from their expertise, gaining valuable insights that can be applied in future projects.

Unlock Your Cloud's Full Potential

So, if you've found yourself struggling with performance, cost overruns, or unsure about the best practices for your AWS resources, it's time to consider the AWS Well-Architected Review (WAFR). Our team at PCG is here to guide you through the process, leveraging our expertise to optimize your cloud infrastructure, enhance security, and boost efficiency.

Feel free to check out the service page for our Well-Architected Review, where you’ll find details of our 3-Step system for identification and remediation of High-Risk Issues (HRI), the business benefits you can enjoy and a breakdown of our WAFR service offering, including:

  1. A review of your environment according to the AWS well-architected framework.
  2. Complete workshop and review of 1x workload* / 6x pillars
  3. Report and plan to mitigate High-Risk Issues
  4. $5,000 AWS Credits if at least 45% of the High-Risk issues are mitigated.

Further Reading

  1. What is the Well-Architected Framework? [Insight]
  2. What are the 6 pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework? [Insight]
  3. AWS Well-Architected Review [Service]
  4. AWS Well-Architected FrameworkExternal Link [External]

Services Used

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