The 3 Forms of Compute Resources Under AWS

Compute resources are virtual servers and storage equipment that are accessed by multiple users. There are five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, including operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimisation. The fourth pillar of performance efficiency incorporates computing resources’ effective use to meet technology’s changing demands.

Forms of Compute
In AWS (Amazon Web Service), there are three different forms of computing resources.
1. Instances
These are virtualised servers available in different sizes and types. They can offer additional capabilities like solid-state drivers (SSDs) and graphics processing units (GPUs). These resources are not fixed, so you have the flexibility to try out various types of servers.
2. Containers
A virtual operating system that allows you to run applications as isolated processes. AWS Fargate and Amazon EC2 are examples of computing used to manage containers. Additionally, there are other container platforms used for AWS: Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).
3. Functions
One example of a function is the AWS Lambda, used to extract the processors, networks, and operating systems from the code you want to write. By selecting the right Compute Resources for your needs, you can achieve more with the same number of resources, maximising efficiency.

Compute Resources and AWS
With rapidly evolving cloud technologies, it’s critical to evaluate the performance of your operating systems. Assess compute options by considering cost requirements and the demand for workload performance.

To optimise efficiency, the best compute option for your workload varies depending on several factors. Due to the ever-changing demand for cloud-based systems, it is recommended to use elasticity mechanisms where possible. Working in the cloud gives you the ability to make changes to your system with ease when necessary.

Other factors to consider in computing include storage, databases, and networks. Cloud storage holds the information in your workload and is more reliable than traditional physical server storage. Networks should be updated over time to maintain efficiency, and AWS database options continuously track your workload.

Schedule a Review
You can schedule a review with WOLK, a certified partner of the AWS Well-Architected Program. An analysis of your cloud-based system will pinpoint any weak security points or other inefficiencies to make changes for maximum results.

Free service credit applied to your account will most likely cover the cost of these changes, preventing you or your company from paying out of pocket expenses.

AWS and Designing Performance Efficiency in the Cloud

In the AWS Well-Architected Framework, five pillars include operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimisation. Performance efficiency refers to using computing resources efficiently in a cloud-based system.

Design Principles
There are five design principles for performance efficiency in the cloud.

1. Democratise advanced technology
Complex tasks assigned to your cloud vendor make adapting to technology easier on your company. Services such as machine learning and media transcoding are consumed in the cloud, rather than having a workforce team carry out these tasks.
2. Go global in minutes
Since there are various AWS regions worldwide, making your workload accessible anywhere, there is lower latency and better customer experience.
3. Use serverless architectures
As the name suggests, this technology removes the need for a physical server that must be maintained. Additionally, transaction costs are lower when services are managed in the cloud, optimising efficiency.
4. Experiment more often
With virtual and automated services, it’s easy and cost-effective to complete tests of different instances, storage, and configurations.
5. Consider mechanical sympathy
Make time to understand how cloud technology functions and choose the service that makes the most sense for your goals.

Best Practices
There are four areas of best practice when discussing performance efficiency in the cloud. These are selection, review, monitoring, and tradeoffs. Selecting the best solution for your workload is essential to maximising effectiveness and minimising your costs.

Since the AWS cloud is ever-evolving, it is a good idea to review these selections regularly. Gauging how well your solutions are working based on the data available allows you to make changes whenever objectives aren’t met.

Monitoring your workload is critical to identifying an issue before it impacts your customers. Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring service that allows you to track your workload and get a comprehensive overview of the system. Quick response times keep systems running smoothly.

When maximising your workload, consider making tradeoffs. You might trade durability or consistency for latency, depending on the target. A tradeoff increases efficiency in one area by giving a little in an area that is already performing at its best.

Work With a Leading Partner
WOLK is proud to be a leading partner of the AWS Well-Architected program and is certified to provide reviews of cloud-based systems. An appraisal is a good idea when looking to identify where your performance deficiencies lie. An inspection will get you started on making the right adjustments to get your five pillars in alignment.

Cloud Reliability: The Five AWS Design Principles

The third pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework is reliability. It deals with ensuring that your workloads and applications produce the same results every time.

Using the five design principles of the reliability pillar, you can create workloads and applications that are reliable for their entire lifecycle.

Automatically Recover From Failure
Automation is a vital element in the reliability pillar. Set up systems that monitor for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of your business values. When one of the KPIs reads too low or too high, your monitoring system should automatically notify you and continue tracking the problem.

You can also set up automatic recovery systems that your monitoring systems trigger when there’s a problem.

To prepare as much as possible for failure, you can set up systems that track trends, meaning they can predict future problems.

Test Recovery Procedures
Just as you test your workload’s operating procedures, you should also evaluate its recovery methods. While working the cloud, use automation to cause a failure in your workload and observe how well the recovery systems and procedures work.

It’s also possible to use automation to recreate past failures. If you’re unsure of exactly where a failure occurred, a recreation can help you determine causes and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Scale Horizontally
Instead of using one large workload, consider breaking it up into several smaller resources. If a failure occurs in an overarching workload, you might have to shut down your entire system for the repair.

Ensure you spread out your requests across the smaller resources so they don’t share a common failure.

Don’t Guess Capacity
Don’t just assume that your workload can handle the demands you place on it. One of the most common reasons that a workload fails is due to resource saturation.

Use AWS tools to monitor the demands placed on your workload and its saturation level. Create systems that automatically reduce demands when your workload approaches saturation.

Manage Change
Use automatic systems to change your workload. Automation removes human error, reducing your risk.

Changes made to automatic systems should be tracked and reviewed, preferably by another automated system.

Work with an AWS Well-Architected Partner
To ensure you are compliant with all five design principles of the reliability pillar, consider working with an experienced AWS Partner. The WOLK team stays up-to-date with the current design principles and best practices of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

After performing a Well-Architected Review, we can identify any non-compliance issues and mitigate them for you.