fbpx Skip to content

The AWS Well-Architected Framework Checklist: 28 Key Principles for Best Performance

WAFR is a structured set for your cloud-native environment focusing on six pillars: Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization, and Sustainability. By conducting WAFR, organizations have better visibility of their infrastructure and learn best practices.

By conducting WAFR, organizations can have better visibility to address their workload by identifying areas to be improved and implementing necessary changes to improve their architecture.

Know more about definition and pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework. In this article we are going to discuss about the checklists of WAFR, so that you can easily optimize your resources and infrastructures to gain more and more benefits.

What are the The AWS Well-Architected Framework Checklist?

AWS Well architected framework checklist

1. Have you defined your business and customer needs?

To ensure the smooth operation of our business, it is crucial to define the needs of both the business itself and its customers.

This process concentrates on our business objectives and involves identifying our customers, fostering teamwork, adopting a customer-centric mindset, prioritizing tasks based on their value and alignment with our business goals, and striving for improvement.

Adhering to these practices can make our customers happier, improve our operations, and succeed in our business.

2. Have you designed your workload for efficient operation?

Workload management can address operational issues and foster innovation by establishing performance baselines and processes.

Regular evaluations encourage innovations, while feedback loops can drive ongoing improvements. These are essential to maintain the health of the workload, ensuring consistent operations.

3. Have you implemented continuous improvement?

Organizations can cut time and optimize performance by staying ahead of issues. Regular reviews will help optimize the operational metrics to ensure consistency in operations and maintain health.

This iterative approach fosters a growth culture empowering companies to thrive in a dynamic environment.

4. Have you defined and enforced strong security controls?

Security controls protect various forms of infrastructure and data, covering management, operational, and technical actions.

To improve security events, this describes how to protect systems and assets. Failing to integrate them leads to overwhelmed teams dealing with complex architecture. These guidelines enable organizations to divide resources and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of teams.

Read more about: AWS Well-Architected Framework Security Pillar

5. Have you identified and managed risks and vulnerabilities?

Organizations can reduce the impact of unfavorable events by recognizing potential risks. Additionally, organizations may safeguard sensitive information and guarantee regulatory compliance.

Firms then will be able to respond to emerging threats with appropriate controls and update security measures.

6. Have you established incident response processes?

This is a structured process to identify, respond and recover from security incidents. This streamlines communication, escalation, and recovery plans for partners with incident response.

Incident response processes involve assembling a dedicated team, creating a detailed plan, establishing communication channels, implementing monitoring systems, and developing response procedures.

Regular testing, training, and refinement, along with ongoing reviews, are essential to adapt to evolving threats. By following these processes, organizations can effectively handle security incidents and mitigate their impact on their systems and data.

7. Automating containment and recovery of the ability to recover from failures?

Testing the ability of our designed workload to recover from failures offers several benefits. By simulating failure scenarios and conducting resilience testing, we can assess the robustness of our workload’s recovery mechanisms.

This allows us to identify and address potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses before they impact production environments. Moreover, testing enhances our confidence in the workload’s resilience, ensuring it can withstand unforeseen events and continue operating without significant disruptions. 

8. Have you established processes for responding to and resolving incidents?

Having well-defined incident response processes enable organizations to react when issues arise. These involve evaluating issues and prioritizing them based on severity to become more resilient.

Establishing processes for incident response involves categorizing incidents, activating a response team, and implementing effective communication channels. The focus should be on containment, investigation, resolution, and recovery.

Continuous improvement and compliance considerations are essential for refining the processes and sharing incident information with stakeholders. Organizations can better respond to and resolve security incidents by following these processes, minimizing the impact on their systems and data.

9. Have you selected the right resources for your workload?

Choosing the appropriate resources for a workload guarantees top performance and financial effectiveness. Selecting the appropriate instance types and storage options can improve scalability and reliability. The thoughtful allocation of resources maximizes AWS service’s value.

10. Have you monitored and measured your workload's performance?

Tracking response times, resource usage, and error rates helps us diagnose issues. This helps in data-driven decisions to enhance performance in an AWS environment. Here are some key considerations for monitoring and measuring workload performance:

    1. Identify relevant performance metrics to monitor, such as response time, throughput, request rate, and error rates.
    2. Define acceptable performance thresholds based on your application’s requirements and user expectations.
    3.  Utilize application performance monitoring (APM) tools, log analysis, and real-time analytics to gather relevant performance data.
    4. Set up alerts and notifications to proactively identify performance issues and respond promptly.
    5. Conduct load testing and scalability testing to determine the performance limits of your workload.
    6. Simulate high traffic scenarios to identify bottlenecks and optimize your WAFR configuration accordingly.
    7. Establish a baseline performance measurement of your workload under normal operating conditions.
    8. Regularly compare current performance against the baseline to identify any deviations or degradation.
    9. Analyze performance data and identify areas for optimization within your workload and WAFR configuration.
    10. Optimize code, database queries, caching mechanisms, and network configurations to improve performance.
    11. Ensure your infrastructure and WAFR are adequately provisioned to handle expected workload growth.

You may find performance bottlenecks, proactively address problems, optimize your WAFR configuration, and guarantee the best user experience for your web application by tracking and measuring the performance of your workload.

11. Have you implemented scaling mechanisms to match demand?

With scaling mechanisms, the capacity of the application changes as traffic changes occur. As demand increases, more resources are allocated to meet the higher load.

During periods of low demand, the number of resources reduces, saving money. This approach significantly optimizes performance and improves fault tolerance with a workload distribution. Here are some key considerations for implementing scaling mechanisms:

    1. Utilize load balancing techniques to distribute incoming traffic across multiple servers or instances.
    2. Configure auto-scaling groups to automatically add or remove instances based on predefined scaling policies.
    3.  Implement vertical scaling by upgrading the resources (CPU, memory, etc.) of existing servers or instances.
    4. Leverage cloud services that provide automatic scaling capabilities based on predefined rules or metrics.
    5. Continuously monitor performance metrics to detect spikes in demand and trigger scaling mechanisms.
    6. Conduct load testing to simulate high traffic scenarios and evaluate the performance of your scaling mechanisms.
    7. Utilize technologies such as distributed caching, message queues, and asynchronous processing to improve scalability.
    8. Monitor and analyze the cost implications of scaling and adjust your scaling strategies accordingly.
    9. Utilize redundancy, failover mechanisms, and distributed systems to minimize service disruptions.
    10. Continuously test and optimize your scaling mechanisms to ensure they align with your application’s evolving demands.

Your web application may handle variable levels of demand successfully by using scaling techniques, assuring peak performance and availability. You can adapt to the demand and offer a seamless user experience by utilizing load balancing, horizontal and vertical scalability, flexibility, and constant monitoring.

12. Have you architected your workload to minimize costs?

This strategic approach maximizes the team’s productivity to meet business goals. Architecting your workload allows you to leverage cost optimization strategies. Right-sizing resources based on architecture can optimize the value in the AWS environment. Here are some key considerations for cost optimization in workload architecture:

  1. Analyze and optimize the utilization of compute resources such as CPU, memory, and storage.
  2. Utilize functions-as-a-service (FaaS) and event-driven architectures to execute code on-demand and pay only for actual usage.
  3. Implement auto-scaling mechanisms to dynamically adjust resources based on demand.
  4. Utilize tiered storage options, data compression, and data lifecycle management policies to reduce storage costs.
  5. Utilize in-memory caching, content delivery networks (CDNs), and edge caching to minimize the need for expensive backend operations.
  6. Optimize data transfer and bandwidth costs by minimizing unnecessary data transfer.
  7. Utilize cost monitoring tools and services provided by cloud providers to gain visibility into cost drivers and identify optimization opportunities.
  8. Leverage cloud provider cost optimization recommendations and best practices to drive continuous improvement.

You can successfully lower infrastructure costs while preserving performance and availability by architecting your workload with cost optimization in mind. To achieve cost effectiveness in your workload architecture, take into account resource optimization, serverless architectures, auto-scaling, caching methods, and data transmission optimization.

13. Have you monitored and optimized your resource usage?

Monitoring and optimizing resource usage in an AWS environment can lead to cost savings, performance bottlenecks, security vulnerabilities, and capacity constraints. Proactively addressing these issues can improve user experience and operational efficiency.

14. Have you established processes for reviewing and optimizing costs?

Rightsizing, auto-scaling, and evaluation of costs have a positive impact on an organization’s goals. Considering alternatives such as spot or reserved instances, resource provisioning, and de-provisioning automation can enhance operations’ cost-effectiveness in an AWS environment.

15. Have you established sustainability goals that align with your organization's values and mission?

Setting goals that align with the organization’s values shows its commitment to environmental impact. Organizations can increase innovation and efficiency by establishing clear sustainability goals. This can lead to cost savings through energy and resource conservation.

16. Have you identified key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress toward those goals?

KPIs offer a framework for monitoring and evaluating progress, highlighting areas for success. Additionally, they promote sustainability and ongoing growth by fostering transparency and responsibility. KPIs help firms optimize their initiatives with long-term effects on the environment and the economy.

17. Have you communicated your sustainability goals and KPIs to stakeholders?

Communicating sustainability goals and KPIs to stakeholders enhances transparency and builds trust. Communication with conscious customers, investors, and employees fosters engagement and involvement. This strengthens relationships, promotes accountability, and drives collective efforts toward a more sustainable future.

18. Have you identified the key environmental impacts of your workload, such as carbon emissions or water usage?

Organizations can identify key environmental impacts and contribute to a more sustainable future. With strategies and initiatives to mitigate primary sources of impact, they can enhance credibility and transparency. This demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility and allows stakeholders to track progress.

19. Have you established processes for measuring and reporting on your environmental impact?

Monitoring key metrics like carbon emissions and waste generation provides an understanding of environmental performance. This enhances credibility and transparency while facilitating industry benchmarks and best practices. It drives continuous improvement, engages stakeholders, and contributes to a more sustainable and responsible business operation.

20. Have you set targets for reducing your environmental impact over time?

AWS can track its progress and hold itself accountable for achieving environmental goals by setting specific and measurable targets. Allocating resources by setting targets also enhances stakeholder engagement and transparency. This helps AWS to express its commitment to environmental supervision and motivate others to take action.

21. Have you evaluated the environmental impact of different technology choices and made sustainable choices where possible?

AWS is dedicated to making sustainable choices to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the planet’s well-being. Evaluating the environmental impact of different technology choices and making sustainable choices enhances resource efficiency. Assessing the environmental impact and selecting energy-efficient technologies helps reduce emissions.

22. Have you optimized your workload for energy efficiency?

Optimizing workloads for energy efficiency can reduce environmental impact by minimizing energy consumption. This helps lower carbon emissions, contributing to a more sustainable future. Additionally, energy-efficient workloads require less power, reducing operational expenses and improving cost efficiency.

23. Have you minimized waste and disposed of it responsibly?

Minimizing waste and disposing of it responsibly can help protect the environment by reducing waste in landfills and preventing pollution of natural resources. We can conserve valuable resources and minimize our ecological footprint by implementing waste reduction strategies such as recycling and waste diversion.

24. Have you evaluated options for using renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power?

Organizations can contribute by transitioning to renewable energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate the environmental impact. These sources offer stable and predictable pricing, reducing vulnerability to fluctuating energy costs.

25. Have you made a plan to transition to renewable energy sources over time?

Organizations can lessen their carbon footprint and fight climate change by switching to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy offers affordable energy, reducing dependence on volatile fossil fuel prices.

Organizations transitioning to renewables demonstrate environmental leadership, cut costs, and promote sustainability.

26. Have you communicated your renewable energy plans to stakeholders?

Sharing plans for renewable energy with stakeholders establishes the organization’s credibility and trustworthiness. Communicating energy objectives and projects can demonstrate its dedication to sustainability.

Additionally, it attracts conscious investors, customers, and partners who value sustainable practices, fostering a sense of shared purpose and collaboration.

27. Have you engaged with suppliers and partners to encourage sustainable practices?

Partnering for sustainability promotes eco-friendly practices and protects natural resources. This practice encourages collaboration among suppliers and partners while enhancing customer trust.

AWS and stakeholders can bring a positive environmental impact and sustainable development by working collectively.

28. Have you shared knowledge and best practices with other organizations to drive sustainability improvements?

Organizations can benefit by sharing their experiences and collaborating on sustainable initiatives. Collaboration helps develop innovative solutions and pool resources to address sustainability challenges.

Sharing sustainability best practices can speed progress by exchanging insights. This can drive change, creating a better future by benchmarking against industry leaders.

29. Have you engaged with customers to promote sustainable practices and reduce environmental impact?

Engaging with customers to promote sustainable practices and reduce environmental impact creates awareness and educates customers about the importance of sustainability, empowering them to make informed choices.

By highlighting the environmental impact of their actions and providing sustainable alternatives, organizations can inspire customers to adopt more eco-friendly behaviors. It builds customer loyalty and trust, as customers appreciate businesses prioritizing sustainability. This can increase customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, and positive recommendations.


The framework is not the most straightforward concept to grasp. If you’d like to perform an AWS Well-Architected Review of your cloud architecture, Adex can help you start your journey.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more!

Other Related Resources: