AWS Well-Architected Review

Within the scope of AWS Enterprise Support which we have discussed before, AWS offers the so-called Well-Architected Reviews. As the name suggests, this review is intended to verify that your AWS infrastructure can be described as a Well-Architected Framework.

Amazon Web Services is a huge and complex system with dozens of services, instance types, processes, rules and standards. Projects working in AWS choose resources and services, set up flows and practices according to the project purposes. As the infrastructure gets more complicated, some issues may be overlooked or not addressed properly. The WA Review is intended is identify such issues and provide recommendations on their resolution.

According to AWS, a Well-Architected Framework rests on five pillars – security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization and operational excellence:

Source: AWS Well-Architected Framework

During the review, the AWS architect analyzes the AWS infrastructure of your project in these five aspects determining whether any issues exist, and whether there is room for improvement.

How is the review organized?

All EPAM Systems projects hosting their infrastructure in AWS can request a Well-Architected Review to get an expert opinion about the way they use AWS resources, implement security measures, optimize costs and overall performance. To apply for a WA Review, contact the Cloud Consulting Team to have your review scheduled.

For EPAM Systems, AWS schedules WA reviews on Wednesdays, at 13:00 UTC. Normally, a review of a project takes about 1.5 hours.

How is the review conducted?

The review is in the form of questions and answers. No special preparations are necessary. Usually the Solution Architect and the Lead DevOps engineer are invited to participate in the review, however, any project member having the knowledge of infrastructure implementation can participate.

During the review, the AWS expert asks a series of questions related to each of the five pillars. For example, within the scope of reviewing the infrastructure security, the following question is asked:

- How are you defining roles and responsibilities of system users to control human access to the AWS Management Console and API?

One of the questions helping to evaluate the infrastructure performance efficiency is as follows:

- How did you select your storage solution?

You are free to choose which data to disclose during the WA Review. If you feel that a question touches upon information which you consider to be sensitive, you can skip it.

What happens after the review?

On the basis of the information received from the project representatives, the expert generates a report which is provided to the project as a password-protected PDF file. The report lists all questions discussed during the review together with the expert’s rating of the corresponding issue. For any critical issues or issues which the export believes need improvement, recommendations are provided.

The AWS Solution Architect can assist the project in optimizing their infrastructure and clearing any issues identified during the review. As the result of the Well-Architected Review and the recommended optimization measures, your infrastructure should become:

  • - More cost-effective
  • - More secure
  • - More reliable

For more details on Well-Architected Reviews as well as for scheduling a Review for your project, contact the Cloud Consulting Team.