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What is an AWS Well-Architected Review? | Logicworks (2)

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  • Cloud Optimization

By Jessica Cowle

Your AWS environment changes constantly. Engineers spin up and down new instances, change security groups, and experiment with new AWS services. So how do you make sure that your cloud doesn’t turn into the Wild West?

AWS recommends you conduct a Well-Architected Review every 12-18 months. The Well-Architected Review is a systematic approach to evaluating AWS architectures and can help you identify and fix potential issues with your environment. It’s based off the AWS Well-Architected Framework, which is a comprehensive set of AWS best practices (described over the course of several hundred pages of AWS whitepapers).

Don’t have time to dig through AWS whitepapers? Good news, we did. Below find out how to start a Well-Architected Review.

A Brief Overview of the Well-Architected Framework

AWS has divided the Well-Architected Framework into five distinct sections or Pillars. Each Pillar is designed to help you tackle a specific aspect of your environment.

What is an AWS Well-Architected Review? | Logicworks (5)

Operational Excellence is the ability to run and monitor systems that deliver business value and continuously improve supporting processes and procedures. AWS outlines best practices in six design principles:

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

Security is having the ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies. When implementing security on your architecture, Amazon recommends six design principles:

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

Reliability is making sure the system is capable of recovering from infrastructure or service disruptions, meeting demand for acquiring computing resources, and mitigating disruptions and network issues. To increase reliability, AWS recommends:

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

Performance efficiency is optimally using resources to meet requirements as demand changes and as technology evolves. In order to achieve performance efficiency, there are five principles of best practices:

  • Democratize advanced technologies by pushing difficult technologies into the cloud vendor’s domain
  • Go global in minutes
  • Use serverless architectures to help you quickly deploy your system in multiple regions and remove the need to traditionally run and maintain servers
  • Use the technology approach to create mechanical sympathy

Cost optimization is the ability to run systems to deliver business value at the lowest price point. To optimize for the lowest cost:

  • Adopt a consumption model
  • Measure overall efficiency by understanding the gains made from increasing output to reduce costs
  • Stop spending money on data center operations
  • Analyze and attribute expenditure
  • Use managed services to reduce the ownership cost

In this video, our CTO Jason McKay talks about the Well-Architected Framework:

What’s the Process for Conducting a Well-Architected Review?

What is an AWS Well-Architected Review? | Logicworks (6)

During the Well-Architected Review, a cloud expert will review your workload using the Well-Architected tool against the five pillars. Once the review is completed, your company will receive videos and documentation related to AWS best practices, a report summarizing your workload review, and a dashboard where you can view the results of workload reviews across the organization. You can then use the detailed findings to remediate issues and improve your infrastructure according to AWS best practices.

Why the Well-Architected Framework? Why not ISO or SOC or some other standard?

Unlike other well-established security standards, the Well-Architected Review tackles architectural best practices, cost efficiency, and other principles not traditionally evaluated in formal audits.

Logicworks recommends the Well-Architected Framework because it codifies and consolidates best practices across ITIL, Agile, and DevOps. It covers more than how to build a good AWS architecture. It shows you how you should also operate and maintain it.

How to Perform a Well-Architected Review Today

You can conduct a Well-Architected Review on your own with the Well-Architected Tool, or you can work with an approved Well-Architected partner, like Logicworks, to perform a custom evaluation. By engaging an approved partner, you can often receive funding from AWS to help offset the cost of a Well-Architected Review.

What is an AWS Well-Architected Review? | Logicworks (7)

Sample from the Well-Architected Tool

Want a free demo of the Well-Architected Review? Learn more here.

October 11, 2019

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    (Video) How to Prepare for an AWS Well Architected Review

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    Logicworks Control Tower

    AWS Control Tower is a purpose-built management utility for building, organizing, and maintaining multiple AWS Accounts. Control Tower allows you to deploy accounts programmatically by using predetermined templates that assign specific guardrails. Security, identitify management, logging, cost management, and other key business functions can be defined and executed through a successful Control Tower implementation. Control Tower operates across Organizational Units and defines rulesets through Service Control Policies. Control Tower Account Factory automates the deployment and configuration of new accounts.

    Sessions & Milestones

    Briefing & Discovery

    Logicworks will lead a workshop to introduce core concepts including use cases, management, automation, and governance. The requirements for your deployment will be identified and documented, to align our technical resources around your project goals & objectives.

    (Video) AWS Cost Optimisation Series: Well Architected Review | Amazon Web Services

    Architecture Design

    Based on your requirements, Logicworks will present the recommended architecture design. Our team will share a diagram of the proposed configuration and review the specifics points of your deployment.

    Transfer Knowledge

    When your deployment is complete, Logicworks will present the details to your team and provide a guided walkthrough of the environment.

    Scope & Details


    • Organization Units
    • Governance Requirements
    • Security Guardrails Definition
    • Service Control Policies.
    • AWS Config Rules
    • Service Control Policy Definitions
    • Guardrail Deployment


    • Default Control Tower in Desired Region
    • Administer Guardrails
    • Configure Account Factory
    • Provide Reusable IAC Template for Default VPC
    • Standardized Networking & Route Tables
    • Administer AWS SSO Configuration (can include integration with Active Directory)
    • Document Multi-Account Structure and Governance Strategy
    • Deploy Up To 2 Customizations for Control Tower (CfCT)
    • Cloud Solution Documentation detailing Control Tower Solution
    • Architecture Diagram and Technical Specifications

    Logicworks Control Tower

    Logicworks Control Tower Accelerator is ideal for AWS users who would benefit from a multi-account management strategy. It includes an out-of-the-box well-architected, secure Landing Zone, that will provide a foundation for your AWS environment.

    (Video) AWS re:Invent 2022 - The well-architected way (ARC210)

    Discovery & Requirements Workshop

    Control Tower Discovery & Requirements session covering:

    • Organization Units
    • Security Guardrails Definition (Service Control Policies, AWS Config Rules)
    • Define service control policies.
    • Define guardrails based on governance requirements.

    Architecture Design Workshop

    Presentation and Workshop for Architecture Design, discuss and sign off on recommended solution (workshop)

    Cloud Solution Documentation detailing

    Control Tower solution with architecture diagram and technical specifications

    Control Tower Deployment

    • Default Control Tower in the desired Region
    • Administering guardrails
    • Configuring Account Factory Provide
    • Reusable IAC template for a default VPC with standardized networking & route tables Administer
    • AWS SSO configuration (can include integration with Active Directory)
    • Document multi-account structure and governance strategy
    • Deploy up to 2 Customizations for Control Tower (CfCT), per the design workshop

    We architect your cloud with a deep understanding of how to enable security, resilience, scale, and efficiency.

    (Video) AWS Well Architected Framework Tool Hands on demo

      • Accelerated Migration to AWS/Azure
      • Achieve greater security and governance
      • Mitigate Cost and Maximize ROI
      • Streamline day-to-day cloud Operations
      • Modernize tools and platforms
      • Overcome staffing challenges with a stable tenured team

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    1. AWS Well-Architected Framework
    (Digital Cloud Training)
    2. What is an AWS Well-Architected Review?
    3. Use AWS Well-Architected Tool For Cloud Computing Best Practices
    (iLyas in the cloud)
    4. AWS DevOps Unplugged: Mastering Disaster Recovery Planning
    5. AWS Well Architected Framework Pillar #1 - Operational Excellence
    (Be A Better Dev)
    6. AWS Well Architected Framework Explained | How does AWS Well Architected Tool work?


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