Overview of Ensuring Systems Reliability under AWS

Reliability is an essential component of a well-functioning workload. A reliable system or workload performs its duties correctly and at the right time, meaning you can turn your focus to other business matters.

The third pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework has techniques, design principles, and best practices to help you create an enduring, reliable workload.

The pillar consists of five design principles and four best practices. The design principles focus on using automation to increase reliability, while the best practices deal with creating and maintaining reliable infrastructure.

The central theme throughout the five design principles is automation. You can use automated systems to monitor your workload, alert you when a failure occurs, fix a problem, and make changes to your workload.

Automation reduces the risk that human error will cause failure and makes it easier to track changes.

The Four Best Practices of Reliability
To increase your workload’s reliability, follow the practices of Foundations, Workload Architecture, Change Management, and Failure Management. You can also work with an AWS Partner like WOLK to ensure you are compliant with all the guidelines.

1. Foundations
Before you build your workload, you must ensure you have met all your foundational requirements. These requirements affect more than one workload, and if they fail, they could derail more than one workload.

Examples of foundational requirements include sufficient data network bandwidth and computing capacity. AWS addresses many of these requirements for you, making it easy to set up your foundation as reliably as possible.

2. Workload Architecture
Your choice of architecture affects your workload’s behaviour across all five pillars. Take advantage of the flexibility that AWS allows you to choose your company’s best coding language and technologies.

AWS Software Development Kits (SDKs) also remove coding from the equation, making it straightforward to create a reliable workload.

When building your workload, be sure to segment it to ensure reliability. Have each segment and service focus on a specific business domain or functionality. If you use APIs, set up individual service agreements.

3. Change Management
Your workload will change and grow with your company. Anticipate changes and prepare your team and workload for them. Create automatic systems to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), and test any changes before implementing them.

You can also set up automated services that will update your workload as it nears its limits. For example, an automatic service could introduce a new server to help it cope with an increase in demands.

4. Failure Management
Every system encounters failures, but reliable systems can quickly and efficiently return to standard operating capacity.

An automated monitoring system can immediately notify you in case of failure, fix the problem, or suggest a replacement.