How AWS Helps with Designing Operational Excellence

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is a system that helps build secure and efficient infrastructure in your company’s applications and workloads. It uses five pillars, operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimisation, to streamline your workloads in the cloud.

By completing an AWS Well-Architected Review using WOLK, a Well-Architected Partner, you can ensure your application and workloads are working at their highest potential.

Operational Excellence: The First Pillar

Operational excellence is the first of five pillars in the AWS Well-Architected Framework. In this pillar, the Framework focuses on supporting business objectives, effectively running workloads, learning more about specific operations, and the ability to continue to improve procedures.

Within the pillar are five design principles: Perform operations as code, make frequent, small, reversible changes, refine operations procedures frequently, anticipate failure, and learn from all operational errors. With the AWS Well-Architected Tool, you can discover which of these principles need to be improved.

1. Perform Operations as Code

Performing all operations as code lowers the likelihood of human error from the entire workload. It creates a more streamlined system that can be easily updated and allows a faster response time.

2. Make Frequent, Small, Reversible Changes

Instead of making sweeping changes to fix a problem, the AWS Well-Architected Framework suggests beginning with small, reversible changes. If there is a problem, a small change is easily correctable and costs less time and money to address.

3. Refine Operations Procedures Frequently

Every time your business evolves, so should your operations procedures. Schedule regular meetings to ensure your workload is operating as efficiently as possible.

4. Anticipate Failure

Before starting, plan alternative options. Even after a system is in place, it can fail for many reasons. If your business has backup plans and a response plan in place, you can minimise any negative effects of a failure.

5. Learn from all Operational Failures

Just like a company should anticipate failure, a company should learn from it. Analyse the failure, and create new procedures to protect against it in the future.

Working with a Well-Architected Partner

WOLK is a leading partner of the AWS Well-Architected Program and is fully certified to provide AWS Well-Architected Reviews. After the review, which will highlight high-risk items, WOLK will begin the remediation stage. Typically, most high-risk items can be remediated using your AWS service credit, so your company will not be out of pocket.

The Best 6 Ways to Secure Your Business Information

AWS’s Well-Architected Framework offers comprehensive cloud computing services to businesses through its five pillars.

The second pillar, Security, contains methods for protecting company data, operational systems, and assets through cloud technologies. By utilising the Security pillar’s design principles and best practices, businesses can effectively secure their information with minimal risk.

Security Pillar Design Principles

AWS developed seven design principles to help shape the framework:

1. Create a clear identity foundation
2. Enable traceability across all systems
3. Apply security measures at all system layers (e.g. on all systems, applications, codes etc.)
4. Automate security where possible
5. Protect data in storage and during transfers
6. Eliminate the human role in processing data where possible
7. Prepare for security incidents

Ways to Secure Business Information Through AWS

1. Employ the Best in Practice Security Services

Use AWS services to ensure all aspects of your business information is protected as much as possible. Staying up to date with the latest technologies and recommendations helps keep your intelligence threat level low. Automation, testing, and evaluation provide opportunities to scale.

2. Identity and Access Management

Identity and access management are critical in securing important business information. It makes sure that only authenticated employees can gain access to certain data. This can be managed through an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service.

3. Detection Technology

AWS detection technology, such as CloudTrail logs, allows for processing and auditing various systems, meaning you can detect security breaches or information security threats early.

Log management is key in maintaining a Well-Architected workload, particularly if a security incident occurs. Logs can be analysed and acted on in such scenarios.

4. Infrastructure Protection

Infrastructure protection refers to information security on the cloud and on-premises. It involves AWS native or AWS integrated services that protect, monitor, and log information from points of ingress and egress linked to sensitive business information.

5. Data Protection

Before you can develop any architectural system, fundamental data protection measures should be in place. AWS services can then be used to make data encryption easier, adding further protection.

6. Incident Response

No matter how comprehensive your security systems may be, you should always have an incident response plan in place in case of a security issue. Your company can implement AWS systems to create a fast and effective incident response function.

Tools such as AWS CloudFormation allow you to write or change AWS resources in a safe environment, keeping your information safe.

Act Early to Protect Your Information

As a partner of the AWS Well-Architected Review Program, WOLK can help your business to implement a strong security plan. As a credited reviewer, we can advise you on best practices and services to suit your specific business. Contact us today to arrange a review.