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6 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework

As corporates began embracing the cloud, they turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) because of the safety and ease of maintaining and administrating resources.

Amazon, the pioneer in cloud technology, developed the framework based on their experience to help cloud architects design, operate efficiently, and support teams to make better decisions for their applications and workloads.

What is Amazon’s Well-Architected Framework? Who can use it & how?

The Well-Architected Framework is a set of best practices provided by AWS to help architects design and build secure, efficient, and resilient systems in the cloud. It consists of six pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, sustainability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization. The framework provides guidance and recommendations for evaluating and improving existing architectures or developing new ones.

Amazon Well-Architected Framework is a set of recommendations and best practices to evaluate architectures and operate secure, cost-effective systems in the cloud.

Based on six pillars – Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization, and Sustainability essential for successful cloud architecture; WAFR is designed to improve the system’s overall performance.

Consulting solutions firm Burns & McDonnell adopted AWS Well-Architected Framework and has seen significant benefits, including cost reduction by 30 percent year over year.

For enterprises that rely on AWS cloud computing services, this framework helps them review the state of their workloads and compare them to the latest AWS architectural best practices.

Organizations using AWS benefit from the framework as it helps optimize cloud resources and reduce operational costs aligning with its goals and objectives.

We can’t do more of it if we don’t know what’s right. If we don’t know what’s wrong, we can’t do less of it. Without AWS Well-Architected Framework, we are destined for latency.

And the world’s top businesses agree:


Jason Cradit

Principal Cloud Architect, 1898 & Co., a subdivision of Burns & McDonnell


We saved about 30 percent of our overall AWS bill in the first week by taking action. We drastically reduced waste by identifying whether any instances were overprovisioned.”


David Bartlett

General Manager, The LOTE Agency


I’ve been proud to reference our AWS-powered architecture instead of saying we have an old server that we occasionally back up. We’re in a very different position than a few years ago.”

We’re reviewing the six pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework and offer a brief explanation of each. Keep reading furthermore.

What are the 6 Pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework?

Why are the six pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework important? What are the benefits of those six pillars?

Well, Understanding these six pillars can increase your business efficiency quickly. Pillars are the base on which the well-architected framework is built, and during the review, these areas are reviewed & compared with the client’s workloads.

The six pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework are:

6 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework


6 Pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework

1. Operational Excellence

The operational excellence pillar’s primary goal is to ensure that an organization’s operations are efficient, reliable, and constantly improving.

Using best practices and processes to optimize system performance and dependability, decrease risks and costs, and improve customer satisfaction is what operational excellence means.

Why Operational Excellence?

Operational excellence yields tangible results; here are some of the commonly cited benefits:

Cited Benefits 
Improved efficiency
Greater reliability
Cost savings
Improve customer satisfaction

2. Security

In AWS Well-Architected Framework Security helps organizations secure their systems and applications safe and protected against cyber attacks.

This pillar identifies and mitigates security threats, protects sensitive data, and complies with regulatory obligations that constitute security.

Additionally, Security Protects both data and Infrastructure. Here are some core values of the security pillar:

 Core Values
Protection against cyber threats
Reputation Management
Customer Trust

Achieving cloud security can be challenging, and this pillar allows you to secure the workload, respond to any threats, control user permissions, and implement data protection measures.

Read more about: AWS Well-Architected Framework Security Pillar

3. Reliability

Among the six pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, reliability is one of the most important pillars, as it focuses on guaranteeing a Company’s systems and applications are highly available, robust, and capable of recovering from faults.

Applying best practices and methods to maximize system performance and availability, reduce downtime, and reduce the effect of failures is what reliability entails.

Here are the advantages of the reliability pillar:

  • High Availability
  • Resilience
  • Improved Performance
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction

Reliability can be tricky and require significant time, money, and effort. The pillar ensures the application performs its intended functions and can recover from failure.

It implies that you should define design and architecture decisions upfront to maximize the performance and availability of systems in place.

4. Performance Efficiency

The pillar focuses on your infrastructure, like the use of computing resources, storage, and maintenance of efficiency amid changes in demand.

Performance efficiency requires putting best practices and processes into place to ensure that an organization’s systems and applications operate at peak efficiency and can handle the anticipated workload.

The core value of performance efficiency are:

Core Values
Cost savings
Improved performance

Ultimately, the AWS Well-Architected Framework’s crucial pillar helps organizations increase scalability, improve performance, and innovate by optimizing computing resources.

5. Cost Optimization

The Amazon Well-Architected Framework’s key component, cost optimization, assists businesses in reducing wasteful spending, enhancing budgeting and forecasting, boosting operational effectiveness, and better using their cloud resources.

It entails putting procedures into place to ensure a business uses its computing resources as economically as feasible. Organizations can save a large sum of money by cutting inefficient spending and infrastructure costs.

Further advantages of cost optimization include better planning, enhanced effectiveness, and better resource usage. Adopting the practices will help your business achieve the following goals:

Cost savings
Improve Budgeting
Increased efficiency
Better resource utilization

6. Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the recently introduced pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework concerned with creating and running environmentally friendly systems.

It aims to understand the environmental impact of cloud workloads and assist businesses in lowering their carbon footprints through the lifecycle and applies design principles to adopt more efficient offerings.

AWS Well-Architected framework is built based on the knowledge and experiences of Solution Architects at AWS, who have worked across various business verticals with use cases, designs, and reviews from thousands of customers’ architectures on AWS.

By doing it, AWS created the best set of practices that can improve AWS usage across different use cases.

The primary purpose of AWS Well-Architected Framework includes:

  • It is a standardized method for creating and managing dependable, secure, effective, and affordable cloud-based systems offered by Amazon Web Services.
  • Best practices honed through years of creating and running cloud-based systems are incorporated into the Amazon Well-Architected Framework. These best practices have been tried and true for enhancing cloud-based systems’ dependability, security, effectiveness, and affordability.
  • The framework considers the most recent advances in cloud computing and provides instructions for implementing cutting-edge innovations and best practices into cloud-based systems.
  • The need for a standardized way to create and run cloud-based systems is growing as more enterprises use cloud computing. This need is met by the Amazon Well-Architected Framework, which offers businesses a standardized method for developing and managing cloud-based systems.
  • The AWS Well-Architected Framework offers guidance on how to create and manage secure, dependable cloud-based systems, lowering the likelihood that performance and security anomalies may occur.

How Often Should You Run an AWS Well-Architected Framework Review?

Amazon recommends you review your existing resources every 12 to 18 months. Additionally, You may find and address any issues with your environment by using the Well-Architected Review, a systematic method for assessing Amazon infrastructures.


Indeed, the framework is not the most straightforward concept to grasp – you can evaluate and reassess your services using the Well-Architected Tool, but it can time consuming and complex. This is where the Adex team can help assist with your workload.

We’re happy to perform an AWS Well-Architected Review of your cloud architecture with you. Get in touch!

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