What is the Focus of the Amazon Web Services Sustainability Pillar?

Sustainability is the sixth and newest pillar of the Amazon Web Services Well-Architected Framework, introduced in 2021 to supplement the original five; Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, and Cost Optimisation.

Learn about the role and importance of the Sustainability pillar and how to implement pillar guidelines into your business’s workload infrastructure.

Core Design Principles of Sustainability

Sustainability in the cloud is about managing the long-term impact of your business and its activities on three fronts: environmental, economic, and societal.

According to the Amazon whitepaper on AWS sustainability, a sustainable cloud business must follow six core design principles to meet the AWS guidelines for sustainable infrastructure.

1. Understand your impact
Measure the performance and impact of your business’ cloud workload and the resources needed and emissions produced to achieve this performance.

Most businesses use the data to establish and monitor the business’ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and build a data dashboard listing the most important KPIs in an easily readable format.

2. Establish sustainability goals
Based on your KPIs and business performance measurements, make long-term plans to improve sustainability. The two primary approaches are:

● Reducing the resources and emissions needed to achieve the same workload
● Improving the workload and capabilities with the same available resources

3. Maximise utilisation
Identify resources and equipment idling or running at less than optimal load. For example, consolidating two hosts, each running at less than 50% utilisation, into a single host running close to 100% helps reduce power consumption without diminishing your capabilities.

4. Anticipate and adopt
If new more efficient hardware and software become available, implement them as soon as possible. Continually research and review technological developments and model your business around frequent hardware upgrades, minimising downtime and maximising cost-efficiency with up-to-date technologies.

5. Use managed services
AWS Managed Services are sets of tools automating various infrastructure management tasks. Although the primary advantage of leveraging AWS Managed Services is to improve your operational capabilities, they are also critical for sustainability.

AWS Managed Services can help you automatically manage your equipment utilisation rate and ensure your hardware is used as efficiently as possible.

6. Reduce the downstream impact
The downstream impact is the resources and energy needed to access and use your services. Minimising your downstream impact means your customers can use your services with the least computational power possible, reducing or eliminating the need to upgrade their hardware or devices.

Trust an Experienced AWS Partner

The best way to ensure your business’s compliance with the core principles of sustainability and the other pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework is to work with an experienced AWS Partner such as the WOLK Team.

Contact us today for a Well-Architected Review of your business.