Automating the Well-Architected Review Process

The AWS Well-Architected Review is one of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your best practices and address critical issues in your architecture promptly. It pits your architecture against AWS (Amazon Web Services) best practices and helps you determine potential pain points. But is there a way to automate the Well-Architected Review process so that your organization does not have to do it manually now and then?

Amazon has released a plethora of partner solutions, known as PartnerCast, such as Cloudlytics and Turbot, to help organizations automate their review, procurement, and other processes. This article discusses how you can use Cloudlytics, an AWS PartnerCast solution, to automate parts of the AWS Well-Architected Framework Review process, enabling real-time and prescriptive insights to ensure an optimized infrastructure for all your needs. 

A Brief Overview of AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF)

The AWS Well-Architected Framework helps cloud architects build a resilient and secure infrastructure for managing administrative workloads and applications. It includes a myriad of domain-specific lenses, hands-on labs, the AWS Well-Architected Tool, and access to an ecosystem of members within the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program to help review and analyze your applications. 

It is based on six architectural pillars, each with its design principles and pillar-aligned questions. Amazon has also created sets of best practices for each of them. Here are its six pillars:

  • Operational excellence
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Performance efficiency
  • Cost optimization
  • Sustainability

What is the Well-Architected Review, and why is it valuable for you?

AWS offers Well-Architected Reviews to its clients. For this, it uses a slew of Framework principles to provide an assessment and solutions for critical issues, with most customers happy to accept the suggested remediations. These are staffed by AWS Well-Architected Partners or AWS Solutions Architects and help manage high-priority workloads. Here is how Well-Architected Reviews are valuable for clients:

  • Optimizing operational excellence and cost and getting help in interpreting and managing the flow of AWS services
  • Getting rid of issues surrounding performance, cost, reliability, operations, and security timely
  • Helping improve cloud usage by optimizing architectural implementation

How can Cloudlytics help you automate the AWS Well-Architected Reviews?

As mentioned above, Amazon has introduced a series of AWS Well-Architected Partners to help automate business processes and resolve issues based on its Well-Architected best practices. 

For those looking to automate the Review process, Cloudlytics is the way to go. It is capable of providing instant visibility in your infrastructure. With its help, clients can undertake change management, workflow, review automation, and optimize compliance and security audits. 

Cloudlytics is a part of the Well-Architected Tools APIs launched by Amazon with the intent to allow customers and partners to develop flexible integrations for a range of use cases. For this, a user would require an AWS account and access to Cloudlytics and have to follow the below steps to automate the Review process.

Initial setup for initiating automation

As you start, you need to provide Cloudlytics read-only access to your customer’s metadata. It would help define a role for the software in the environment and furnish the necessary data for evaluating the architectural configuration. For this, you would require no agents and merely follow a simple Cloudlytics installation process. Create an ID and set up a password on the portal with your AWS account details. It would provide the necessary AWS IAM (Identity and Access Management) role and associated billing bucket to AWS Lambda code and allow it to automate the configuration process. 

Get insights within 24 hours of initial setup

Once the setup is complete, you will have to wait 24 hours before the software is ready to churn out insights. Cloudlytics dashboard provides a single pane through which you can monitor your AWS Well-Architected Framework and check for infrastructure-based compliance. The platform is also capable of auto-discovering architectural risks. 

Tools and API integrations

A large part of automation is API-based integration. Through Cloudlytics, customers can integrate the AWS Well-Architected Tools directly via APIs, enabling them to conduct all reviews and other tasks in a single place. Cloudlytics also can attach supporting documentation for each best practice, enabling the reviewer to access all the necessary resources and conduct a data-driven review with ease. Users can further use the grouping feature of Cloudlytics to group AWS resources based on specific criteria. This feature allows customers to take automation a step further and create subsets for particular workloads. 

Set of pre-configured rules for automated discovery and continuous compliance

Cloudlytics is also equipped with a set of pre-configured rules capable of automating the detection of high-risk issues directly in alignment with AWS WAF. The tool can also provide near real-time feedback about workload configuration. With many users running into workload issues, timely precautionary measures via Cloudlytics are a lifesaver. Cloudlytics also supports auto-discovery, which can churn out recommendations and point out areas that do not comply with specific best practices. 

Customized templates for higher efficiency

With the help of the Cloudlytics Templates Generator feature, users can generate reusable, highly personalized recommendations for a slew of architectural scenarios. These can be plugged into the remediation plan, WAF Report, and its associated proposal. Further, if the user wants to add their questions or best practices over and above the existing AWS WAF features, Cloudlytics supports that. 

Wrap Up

Cloudlytics is a SaaS cloud management platform for AWS, which helps automate the AWS Well-Architected Review process. With its help, customers can undertake automated discovery of areas for remediation and help automate the process to ensure continuous compliance in line with the AWS WAF guidelines. It helps organizations to be proactive in their approach and maintain architectural consistency with optimum ease. 

If you are finding it challenging to understand where and how to start automating the well-architected review, you can consider getting in touch with an expert like Cloudlytics. We are an expert in setting up and managing compliance in the cloud, asset monitoring, and conducting security analytics to ensure you have a robust cloud architecture for all your business needs. 

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