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October 22, 2018
AWS: Well Architected Framework—What it is and why it matters
By: Jon Holt

Every business running workloads in AWS—and increasingly today that’s most businesses—wants to make sure that they are achieving the highest levels of performance and the greatest possible value. AWS recognizes that need. That’s why it’s created the concept of the Well Architected Framework (WAF) to provide a benchmark for best practice.

The WAF was developed by AWS as a set of five core pillars that address key design areas of all workloads and architectures. Those pillars are derived from AWS’s experience built up over numerous years and millions of deployments. Each of the five pillars represents a set of key design principles, key decision points and methodologies for running workloads on AWS. And at Accenture we’re committed to helping our clients to use the WAF to ensure that they derive the maximum benefit and value from operating in-line with these best practice standards.

The five pillars comprising WAF are:

  • Security – focused on protecting information and systems, with the right controls, data confidentiality and ensuring system and data integrity.

  • Reliability – focused on optimizing the ability to recover from failures in order to meet business and customer demand.

  • Cost optimization – focused on avoiding unnecessary costs by understanding and controlling where money is spent and ensuring the right resources, tracking cost over time and making sure scaling to meet business demand is achieved cost-effectively.

  • Performance efficiency – focused on using the optimal IT and computing resources to meet demand, monitoring performance and maintaining efficiency as business needs evolve.

  • Operational excellence – focused on running and monitoring systems to drive business value and continuous improvement.

With the pace and extent of technology development that AWS is driving, keeping up to date is essential. The WAF offers a way to assess any and every workload- whether brand new or up and running—to keep pace with innovation and optimize the value of AWS.

At Accenture, we’re fully committed to integrating the WAF into our work with clients (and into the services that we’re building and developing for ourselves on AWS). That commitment is demonstrated by the development of a global center of excellence that will support all our clients to take advantage of the principles and methodologies inherent in the framework.


At Accenture, we’re fully committed to integrating the WAF into our work with clients to drive maximum value and benefits.

 
 

What’s more, we’re working closely with AWS to ensure that the framework can meet the specific requirements of our clients according to the industry they’re in, as well as the size and global reach of their organization.

One of the first services that we will be offering is a Well Architected Review. As a key partner with AWS we’re officially recognized by AWS to deliver reviews, and have an unrivalled group of specialized, certified staff available around the world—with more in development. We’ve also developed three tiers of Well Architected Review resources dedicated to helping clients maximize the benefits from the WAF: Ambassadors who lead our Well Architected initiatives, Specialists who are able to draw on considerable experience and professionally certified Practitioners.

A Well Architected Review assesses a workload against the five pillars. We then deliver tangible next steps that can help clients improve and innovate. It’s a very flexible approach. What’s not flexible is our commitment to integrating WAF into all our work with clients using AWS. We believe that WAF is critical to drive the maximum value and performance from the cloud.

In future blogs, I’ll be looking at each of the five pillars in more detail, as well as expanding on the activities that our WAF team can deliver. Stay tuned.

For more information about Accenture’s WAF capabilities and services, please contact Jon Holt.