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AWS Well-Architected Tool: How it Helps with the Architecture Review

In this article, you will learn:

As AWS evolves, it’s increasingly necessary to adhere to best practices to help you create high performance, secure, and cost-effective workloads. But it can be difficult for normal users to achieve all this and also evolve with every new AWS service or update. We have recently published an article about AWS’s Well-Architected framework and its six pillars that should help you understand what every pillar contains and describe some examples in AWS.

This article will introduce AWS’s Well-Architected Tool that is basically directly linked to AWS’s best practices, some benefits of using it, and how to get started with it.

What is the AWS Well-Architected Tool?

This tool was introduced by AWS in 2015 and it’s still evolving. It’s built on a Well-Architected framework and its six pillars.

Well-architected six pillars

AWS Solutions Architects created the AWS Well-Architected framework Tool as a consistent way to measure and document how your architecture meets the AWS best practices. The framework itself is based on years of experience building solutions for many businesses.

AWS’s Well-Architected Tool benefits

Normally it would be much more difficult to adhere to AWS best practices and get information about your workload and how it meets all the possibilities of AWS Cloud. It’s also good to know that the tool is here to help you find risks, though it is not an auditing tool.

Well-Architected Tool helps you throughout the entire lifecycle of your product and provides consistent results:

  • Helping to document your decisions by supporting your efforts.
  • Offering recommendations for improving your workload based on best practices.
  • To help you create a more performant, secure, efficient, and cost-effective workload.

How do I get started with the AWS Well-Architected Tool?

You should first understand that this tool can be leveraged by AWS partners to bring you more information about the solutions for your issue. But you can try to take a look through the set of questions by yourself.

The easiest way to start is to go to the Well-Architected Tool console, but be sure to select the right region where you want to start.

StormIT’s AWS architects will provide you with recommendations and guidance for designing the Well-Architected infrastructure on AWS Cloud.

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AWS Management Console

The Well-Architected Tool is region-specific, so you can review some applications in one region and then create a second review in a different region for a different workload.

At the start of the review, it’s possible to fill in information about your workload and upload an architecture diagram, so you can access it when the review is ready to be completed.

AWS Well-architected tool specify properties

And there is the possibility to choose from a variety of lenses; we describe these in detail later in this article.

It’s also possible to set the pillar priority based on your decision.

AWS Well-architected tool pillar priority

You will find a set of questions that you have to answer; these questions always have some right answers in them that are based on AWS best practices. You can choose not to answer some of the questions because they don’t apply to your workload.

AWS Well-architected tool example question cost optimization

If you don’t mark some answers, it will be taken as if you want to deal with these things in the future and when you see the results, you’ll have some high-risk issues and some medium.

AWS Well-architected tool workload overview - risks

There is always information visible that will describe how to solve these risks.

AWS Well-architected tool example how to solve risks

API

The Well-Architected Tool also supports API. It can be used to build its integrations to support a broad range of use cases, including the ability to integrate AWS WA Tool data into centralized reporting tools such as CloudCheckr, and integrate identified risks with management systems.

Cloudchecker well-architected review

Well-Architected Tool integrations

Integrations with AWS Trusted Advisor and AWS Service Catalog AppRegistry help you more easily discover the information needed to answer Well-Architected review questions and shorten your review time.

Well-Architected Tool lenses


Every review and question in Well-Architected is divided by lenses. Here is a list of currently contained lenses:

AWS Well-architected tool lenses

  • AWS Well-Architected Framework Lens: this is the main lens, which is used widely and contains the questions (58) from the six pillars.
  • AWS Serverless Application Lens: as the name suggests, this can be used by customers that are leveraging serverless services in their architecture. It provides a set of additional questions that help you to understand how a serverless workload aligns with the AWS Cloud best practices.
  • AWS SaaS (software as a service) Lens: this lens provides a set of questions that are focused on how to design, deploy, and architect software as a service (SaaS) application workloads in the AWS Cloud.
  • AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR) Lens: this lens is not intended for customers, but for companies interested in a partnership with AWS. It includes best practices representing requirements necessary for membership in the AWS Partner Network.
  • Custom lenses: since November 2021, the Well-Architected Tool has included the ability to create custom lenses. Within a custom lens, it’s possible to create your pillars, questions, best practices, helpful resources, and improvement plans.

AWS’s Well-Architected Tool pricing

The pricing for this tool is very simple because it’s free to use with basically no limits, and you can leverage even its API at no charge.

At this moment it’s also not possible to start any other paid AWS service by using AWS Well-Architected Tool, so you can be fairly sure that it will not incur any costs.

Conclusion

This blog post described the very useful and free AWS Well-Architected Tool which can help you understand how your workload adheres to AWS best practices.

StormIT as an AWS Consulting partner uses AWS Well-Architected Tool to provide a comprehensive review for our customers. Contact us to schedule a quick introduction call.

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