Quality Tips to Improve Operational Excellence & Performance of Applications Centered on AWS Well-Architected Framework

AWS lays down the Well-Architected Framework, a critical enabler in helping cloud engineers develop resilient and agile applications. It is a secure, efficient, high-performing infrastructure, initially developed as a white paper. It primarily consists of six pillars that lay down the best practices relating to different aspects of app development.

Here are the six key pillars –

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

The Operational Excellence pillar primarily focuses on support development, insight generation pertaining to operations, running workloads effectively, and improving ancillary processes and procedures to continually achieve the necessary value quotient. This article discusses the top 10 tips suggested by AWS Well-Architected Framework that would help app developers achieve operational excellence and improve application performance.

Well-Architected Framework – Operational Excellence Pillar?

The Operational Excellence Pillar and the Security Pillar are the core of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. It comprises four key areas –

  • Organization
  • Prepare
  • Operate
  • Evolve

These key areas focus on organizing the workflow pertaining to the app development, and the best practices ensure continuous monitoring for improved workflow by implementing beneficial changes and automating repetitive processes.

The 6 pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework are critical enablers in helping architects develop a consistent approach to evaluate architectures and implement scalable designs with ease. In addition to describing key concepts, design principles, and architectural best practices for designing apps in the cloud, here are a few tips that can help you establish operational excellence and supercharge your performance.

Tips that can help improve operational excellence and application performance based on Well-Architected Framework –

Evaluating and Understand internal Customer Needs

The road to improving application performance involves vital internal stakeholders with diverse needs, such as operations, development, and business teams. So, it is imperative for your application developers to understand the key points to focus on when it comes to internal customer needs.

It will enable you to have a thorough understanding of the support the application will need to achieve business outcomes, such as improving workload performance, automating tasks, improving monitoring, and more. Understand that these priorities change, and you will have to update your efforts to remain in sync continually.

Evaluate Governance Requirements

For the execution to excel, your workforce must be aware of the obligations and guidelines mandated by the organization. The organization also emphasizes specific areas and evaluates internal factors that would enable the team to ensure they adhere to organization policy, standards, and requirements. In addition, there is a need to validate mechanisms continually to identify and understand changes to compliance requirements.

Evaluate Compliance Requirements

Operational excellence can only be achieved when the entire team is aware of guidelines or obligations requiring specific focus. These compliances can often be burdened by external factors, such as prevailing industry standards and more. The development team must validate these mechanisms to identify changes to governance. In case governance is missing, ensure that the team practices due diligence to determine the compliances to be met.

Ensure that Team Members Understand their Responsibility

For the team to work cohesively, it is crucial for each member to understand their roles. It would allow them to contribute to business outcomes with greater efficiency and understand the priority of the tasks assigned to them. In addition, it would also enable them to recognize the importance of their role and respond to each task accordingly.

Ensure Timely and Actionable Communication

Every organization has set mechanisms to prepare the team for known risks and planned events. Every manager has the responsibility to provide the much-needed context, details, and other details to their workforce to help them decide if they need to undertake any action, what action is necessary, and when to execute them.

Implement Application Telemetry

If you want your application to achieve operational excellence, you have to push its code to imbibe the ability to push out regular information about its internal state, status, and the business achievements to achieve. Information like queue depth and response times will enable the team to determine if they need to respond to the incoming decision.

Implement Dependency Telemetry

To optimize application performance, design and configure your workload to emit dependency information status. It will include internal information like response time, which it depends on. In addition, there can be several external dependencies, such as network connectivity and DNS, which can help the team determine when a response is required.

Implement Transaction Traceability

Another vital tip for improving application performance is implementing and configuring a series of components that would keep track of the flow of transactions. It would enable the team to determine the instances when a response is required and identify the factors contributing to a persisting issue.

Undertake Frequent Reversible Changes

It is crucial for an app ecosystem to not remain idle in a place for too long. For this, the team must make frequent, small, and reversible changes that give the team a glimpse into the app dynamics and enable them to resolve issues faster.

Use Parallel Environments

Instead of directly deploying newer changes to the main app, the team must develop a parallel app to implement changes and then transition to the main environment. It would help figure out potential issues before rolling out the changes to the world and also make rollback easier, thereby reducing recovery time.

Wrapping Up

With Well-Architected Framework, Amazon has tried and provided a framework for the world to develop apps for the future. This framework offers an exciting reference point enabling the engineers to work on improving the operational excellence and performance of their applications. If you have issues attaining the same for your app, Cloudlytics is here to help.

With Cloudlytics, you can develop superior compliance, asset monitoring, and security analytics for your application. It would enable you to create versatile frameworks capable of catering to the changing demands of the current ecosystem. 

Click here to see how Cloudlytics can support your security and compliance objectives

Recommended Read:

  1. Quality Tips for Application Reliability
  2. Quality Tips for Cost Optimization of Applications
  3. Quality Tips for Application Security

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Varoon Rajani

Varoon Rajani

Varoon Rajani is the co-founder & CEO at Blazeclan and Cloudlytics. Varoon spotted the cloud opportunity early on and since then, built a born-in-the-cloud, global organization that delivers full-stack cloud solutions. He is excited by the dynamism offered by cloud technologies, is obsessed with customer success, and is deeply passionate about innovation.


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