Updated AWS Well-Architected Framework


AWS recently released the new version of AWS Well-Architected Framework, I just had a quick look. The biggest change to me is that the Architecture design principles (they call it pillars of the framework) have increased from 4 to 5.

Now the 5 pillars of the framework are:

  • Operational Excellence
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Performance Efficiency
  • Cost Optimization

Operational Excellence is the newly added pillar which focuses on the ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures. The design principles are exactly the same as what DevOps is promoting nowadays – infrastructure as code, continuous delivery and continuous improvements.

  • Perform operations as code
  • Annotate documentation
  • Make frequent, small, reversible changes
  • Refine operations procedures frequently
  • Anticipate failure
  • Learn from all operational failures

Security focuses on the ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies. The design principles are:

  • Implement a strong identity foundation
  • Enable traceability
  • Apply security at all layers
  • Automate security best practices
  • Protect data in transit and at rest
  • Prepare for security events

Reliability focuses on the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues. The design principles are:

  • Test recovery procedures
  • Automatically recover from failure
  • Scale horizontally to increase aggregate system availability
  • Stop guessing capacity
  • Manage change in automation

Performance Efficiency focuses on the ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements, and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve. The design principles are:

  • Democratize advanced technologies
  • Go global in minutes
  • Use serverless architectures
  • Experiment more often
  • Mechanical sympathy

Cost Optimization focuses the ability to run systems to deliver business value at the lowest price point. The design principles are:

  • Adopt a consumption model
  • Measure overall efficiency
  • Stop spending money on data center operations
  • Analyze and attribute expenditure
  • Use managed services to reduce cost of ownership
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