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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Updates the Well-Architected Framework

AWS Updates the Well-Architected Framework

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AWS recently released an update to the Well-Architected Framework. The new version strengthens prescriptive guidance with over 100 best practices updated across all six pillars of the framework.

According to the cloud provider, the enhanced prescriptive guidance offers new and updated best practices, implementation steps, and architectural patterns that help customers better identify and mitigate risks in cloud deployments.

The updates and improvements focus on providing better coverage across the available services, almost all for the ones released in the last couple of years. Services that were added or expanded in coverage include Elastic Disaster Recovery, Trusted Advisor, Resilience Hub, Config, Security Hub, GuardDuty, Organizations, Control Tower, Compute Optimizer, Budgets, CodeWhisperer, and CodeGuru. Announcing the updates to the framework, Haleh Najafzadeh, senior solutions architecture manager at AWS, writes:

From a total of 127 new/updated best practices, 78% include explicit implementation steps as part of making them more prescriptive. The remaining 22% have been updated by improving their existing implementation steps. These changes are in addition to the 51 improved best practices released in 2022 (18 in Q3 2022, and 33 in Q4 2022), resulting in more than 50% of the existing Framework best practices having been updated recently.

The Well-Architected Framework is a collection of best practices that allow customers to evaluate and improve the design, implementation, and operations of workloads on AWS. The framework is focused on six pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability. As reported separately on InfoQ, AWS recently added as well a new container lens.

AWS is not the only cloud provider offering a set of guiding tenets for cloud architects: the Google Cloud Architecture Framework describes best practices and provides recommendations on Google Cloud, while Microsoft offers the Azure Well-Architected Framework (WAF), with the recently added sustainability guidance.

Jess Alvarez, AWS training architect at A Cloud Guru, writes about the benefits of the framework and highlights the main differences between the providers:

There are some key differences between AWS and Azure’s take on the Well-Architected Framework. You’ll notice a difference in pillars and a difference in depth. AWS includes best practices for each pillar both for your environment AND your organization (...) Azure has a hard focus on best practices for your environment and does NOT go into the business side of each pillar. Some businesses don’t need that level of support and may prefer a framework that cuts to the chase.

The new version of the AWS framework is available within the AWS Well-Architected whitepapers and in the AWS Well-Architected tool in a subset of AWS regions.

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