5 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework

Cloud providers give frameworks which help cloud architects and customers to build the most secure, high performance, resilient, scalable and efficient infrastructures for their applications and it provides a way to consistently measure and identify areas for improvement. Each framework has some pillars around which users can evaluate their existing architectures and implement scalable solutions. 

Today we look more in detail about AWS well-architected framework, its pillars and best practices around it and its features etc.  

What is AWS Well-architected Framework? 

Cloud computing is rapidly making space in organizations’ IT landscape. Creating a robust cloud solution requires a strong architecture and a solid foundation. AWS has five pillars which helps cloud architects to create a secure, highly scalable, resilient and efficient infrastructure. In this article we will discuss five pillars of the AWS well-architected framework in more detail.

Five pillars of AWS well-architected Framework

I. Operational Excellence

This pillar is a combination of processes, continuous improvement, and monitoring system which delivers business value and continued improvements in supporting processes and procedures. Let’s look at its design principles. 

  • Perform operations as code – define engineering discipline same as which is used for application code, workload and infrastructure. 
  • Annotate documentation – automation of documentation at every build which is used by systems and humans.
  • Make frequent, small, reversible changes – apply changes in small size increments at regular intervals.
  • Refine operational procedures often – Keep checking and evaluating operational procedures. 
  • Anticipate failures – perform tests with pre-defined failure scenarios so as to understand impact.
  • Learnings from all operational failures – Ensuring tracking of all operational failures and issues.

II. Security

This pillar focuses on information protection, systems and assets along with business need delivery in focus. Let’s look at its design principles.

  • Strong identity foundation building – Centralized privilege management and implement least privileges to reduce long term credentials with restricted access
  • Enable traceability and security events – monitor, alert, audit, incident response of actions and real time alert mechanism for changes in environment. 
  • Security application at all levels – Application of security at all layer’s network , database, Operating system , applications . Prevention of attacks on applications by machines and humans
  • Data safeguard in transit and rest – data categorization into sensitivity levels such as encryption, tokenization and access control
  • Data away from people – reduce and eliminate need for people direct or manual access to data processing to eliminate human errors.

III. Reliability

This pillar will ensure that the system is architecture in a manner to meet operational thresholds during a specific time , meet increased workload demands and recovery from failures without or minimal disruptions. Let’s look at its design principles.

  • Testing recovery processes – use automation to simulate failures and recreate scenarios which lead to failures.
  • Automated recovery from failures – enable KPIs based system monitoring, automatic triggering of an action when threshold is breached, auto notification and tracking of failures and automated recovery processes to repair failures.
  • Scaling horizontally to increase system availability – replace one large source with smaller sources to reduce the impact of a failure on systems.
  • No guessing capacity – monitor usage and demand so as to automate addition or removal of resources as per demand.
  • Change management in automation – automated infrastructure changes.

IV. Performance Efficiency

This pillar focuses on ensuring a system/ workload delivers maximum performance for AWS utilized resources such as instances, storage , database and locality. Let’s look at its design principles.

  • Democratize advanced technologies – use of managed services like SQL/NoSQL, databases, media transcoding , storage and machine learning to optimize team efforts and save time and monitoring hassles.
  • Global on click – systems deployment in multiple AWS regions globally to have lower latency and uniform service to its customers at low costs.
  • Use of server less architecture – reduction in overhead of running and maintaining servers and use the available AWS options to host and monitor infrastructures.
  • Do not hesitate to experiment – virtual and automated systems deployment , it is easier to test systems and infrastructure in varied types of instances, storage or configurations.

V. Cost Optimization

Achieve low costs for systems or workloads without ignoring need for security, reliability and performance. Let’s look at its design principles.

  • Adoption of consumption model – pay as you go and use only computing resources you consume and increase or decrease consumption based on business needs.
  • Overall efficiency management – measurement of business output of system and workloads. And calculate gains from increased output and cost reduction.
  • Stop spending money on data centres and adopt managed services – managed services lessen or remove burden of managing in house infrastructure and routine operational tasks such as sending the mail or management of databases, so team can focus on business productivity enhancement tasks.
  • Attribute and analyse infrastructure – identification of usage and cost of systems to allow transparent attribution of IT costs to revenue streams and personal business owners.


Using AWS well-architected framework helps to design stable, reliable and efficient cloud solutions to fulfil business needs and bring value. 

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