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AWS Updates the Well-Architected Framework and Lens Catalog

MMS Founder
MMS Renato Losio

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

AWS has recently announced updates to the Well-Architected Framework and Lens Catalog. With a significant focus on security and observability, the new release has expanded guidance on architectural best practices to build and maintain optimized, secure, and resilient workloads in the cloud.

The update includes enhanced recommendations and steps for reusable architecture patterns focused on specific business outcomes. One of the services that received new guidance is Amazon Q, the AWS generative AI-powered assistant. According to the cloud provider, the update reduces redundancies, enhances consistency, and allows customers to more accurately identify and address risks. Haleh Najafzadeh, senior manager at AWS, explains:

This release includes updates and improvements to the Framework guidance totaling 105 best practices. As of this release, we’ve updated 95% of the existing Framework best practices at least once since October 2022. With this release, we have refreshed 100% of the Operational Excellence, Security, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization, and Sustainability Pillars, as well as 79% of Reliability Pillar best practices.

The Well-Architected Framework is a collection of best practices that allow AWS customers to evaluate and eventually improve the design, implementation, and operations of their cloud workloads. The Lens Catalog, a central place to access expert-authored lenses from AWS, now includes the new Financial Services Industry Lens and updates to the Mergers and Acquisitions Lens, with updates to the Change Enablement in the cloud whitepaper.

The best practices and guidance are organized into six pillars, with no new ones introduced in the last two years. The six pillars are operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability.

Introduced in 2012, the framework has undergone several significant changes over the years, as previously reported on InfoQ. Two years ago, AWS added a new container lens, Last year, AWS strengthened prescriptive guidance with over 100 new best practices. A few months ago, the cloud provider published a new set of updates, with the performance efficiency and operational excellence pillars restructured and consolidated to reduce the number of best practices. Najafzadeh adds:

Best practice updates in this release across Operational Excellence, Security, and Reliability (a total of 66) are first-time updates since major Framework improvements started in 2022.

Thanks to multiple releases, more than 95% of the framework’s best practices have been refreshed at least once over the years. Using the latest updates of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, the AWS Well-Architected Tool lets developers review their workloads against current AWS best practices and obtain advice in the console on how to improve them. Jeremy Daly, CEO and founder of Ampt, comments:

One of the things that stood out to me was the new COST06-BP04 Consider using shared resources recommendation. In many situations, your choice is to either share resources, or spend an exorbitant amount on idle capacity. The problem is that you generally have to poke holes through bulkheads to make this work, and ultimately violate the other recommendations to isolate workloads in separate accounts. AWS seriously needs to figure this out and manage the multi-tenancy on shared services for you.

The content of the Well-Architected Framework is available in eleven languages, including English, Spanish, French, and German. There are no costs associated with using the framework or the Well-Architected Tool.

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