The AWS Sustainability Pillar: An Overview of Best Practices

Although Sustainability is the newest of the six AWS Well-Architected pillars, it is equally as important as the other five. Properly incorporating sustainability into your cloud-based business requires following the best sustainability practices. Here’s an overview of the best practices for compliance with AWS Sustainability.

The Six Types of Best Practices

The recommendations and best practices for implementing sustainability fall into six broad topics:

● Region selection
● User behaviour patterns
● Software and architecture patterns
● Data patterns
● Hardware patterns
● Development and deployment process

1. Region selection

Amazon operates an array of AWS data centers worldwide in 26 different regions and 84 availability zones.

One of the best first steps to implement sustainability with your cloud business is to select one of the AWS regions closest to renewable energy projects, such as on-site solar power or wind farms.

2. User behaviour patterns

Tracking and monitoring your users’ workloads and resource consumption habits is one of the best ways to monitor your business’s energy consumption and determine whether you are meeting your sustainability goals.

Adapting to user behaviour patterns includes identifying and assessing your underused or unused assets, scaling your infrastructure to match your users’ needs precisely, and optimising your users’ hardware and resources.

3. Software and architecture patterns

The way your software is built plays a prominent role in its sustainability. Optimisation plans such as load smoothing, component refactoring, and identifying and optimising the most resource-intensive codebases help reduce resource consumption.

4. Data patterns

Data management and storage protocols are also essential for compliance with Sustainability standards. It isn’t enough to optimise your software; your data lifecycle is equally essential.

Sustainable policies and good practices include the following:

● Data classification and prioritisation
● Periodic removal of unneeded, redundant, and obsolete data
● Utilising shared file systems like Amazon Elastic File System
● Minimisation of data movement between networks

5. Hardware patterns

Good hardware management practices help consume less energy and increase compliance with the Sustainability pillar. One of the most common guidelines is to use no more than the minimum hardware for your needs.

Other good practices include prioritising instance types with the least impact and GPU usage optimisation. For example, you should only use GPU power for tasks that need it, such as rendering.

6. Development and deployment process

Sustainable product development practices range from adopting DevOps philosophies to more practical measures, such as keeping all of your workload elements up to date (operating systems, programming libraries, applications, etc.) or using device farms to test the sustainability of your development processes.

Develop Sustainably With an AWS Partner

WOLK Technology is a team of Amazon Web Services experts that can help you migrate to the cloud and ensure your business complies with AWS sustainability standards. Contact us today for more information.