Are You Well-Architected?

Are you using Amazon Web Services (AWS) or thinking about moving into the cloud?  If you answer ‘Yes’ to either of these questions then you need to know what the AWS Well-Architected program is and how to use it in every aspect of your operations!
AWS created the Well-Architected Framework (WAF) in 2012. The Well-Architected program is a structured approach of best practices to help leaders build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications.

Why Well-Architected?

Using a structured approach and leveraging best practices can save you from costly challenges down the road.  AWS developed the Well-Architected Framework to help customers accelerate cloud adoption and optimize business value!  Here is a high-level summary of the benefits of applying a systematic, best practices approach to your critical workloads.

Do We Qualify for a Well-Architected Review?

Everyone qualifies for an architected review. We can do a review of their on-premise environment too.
And if we end up creating an AWS environment for them as part of the engagement, they are still eligible for the $5K in credits.

Get Started – How It Works

Well-Architected Review (2-4 hour meeting)

To get started, simply complete the form to get started.  We’ll reach out to you and collect a little info and get a call set up to walk you through all the Well-Architected Review program details and steps.  We will also answer any questions that you may have about AWS and how the Well-Architected Review works.

Review Results and Plan Remediation

Next we will schedule two to four hours (most of the time we are done in under two hours) to complete the review!  This is the part where we ask you a bunch of questions about your critical workload(s). We’ll take all your answers and compile a detailed report of where your architecture is well-architected, needs improvement, or where critical remediation is recommended.  This normally takes us a couple of days to analyze your answers and pull together a detailed report.

Implement Priorities $5k

Along with the detailed report, we will also present you with a comprehensive plan to remediate any critical items identified.  Some of these items may be really simple to resolve and you want to resolve them yourself. While other items may be a lot more complicated, or you don’t have the staff capacity to resolve these issues quickly so we will include a $5,000 Statement Of Work (SOW) to help you resolve these issues quickly!

Review Results and AWS $5,000 Credits

Up to this point, all of this if completely free!  If you decide to partner with us and have us remediate these critical issues AWS will compensate you with $5,000 worth of credits to your account once the remediation is complete.  So basically it’s a wash for you! You pay us $5,000 and AWS gives you $5,000 in credits. It’s pretty simple and fast!

How Zuggand Can Help

As an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Zuggand provides packaged architecture reviews to ensure your environment is following AWS best practices.  As part of a review, we will compare a specific workload to the AWS framework and, if necessary, provide a remediation plan. We recommend that architecture reviews be part of your standard operations and engage with us at least one-to-two times per year. Zuggand is an AWS Well-Architected Partner which means:

OPTIMIZED WORKLOAD

Identify and re-architect workloads to run more efficiently and cost-effectively.

MITIGATE RISKS

Lower or mitigate risks by understanding risks as you build or optimize your current architectures.

FIND NEW AWS SERVICES

Discover new services that help you build and deploy workloads and respond faster to opportunities to invent.

Executive IT Leadership Experience

We Understand the Challenges & Benefits

We Get Security & Compliance

We Know Finance & Budget Processes

8 Years of AWS Experience as a Customer & a Partner

We Have the Resources To Make It Happen

Well-Architected Framework

PILLARS

The Well-Architected is organized around 5 best practice pillars: Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimization and Operational Excellence.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Each pillar includes key Design Principles, Best Practices and maps to AWS Capabilities.

QUESTIONS

Reviews contain targeted questions to quickly assess and identify areas that need to be remediated to ensure that you are optimizing your architecture.

Werner Vogels, Amazon & AWS Chief Technology Officer (CTO) (and one Zuggand’s mentors & heros!)

“Make sure you understand that the system you are building now, is not going to be the same system you are going to be running six months, one year, or two years from now. Business requirements may change. Scale may change. Reliability and security requirements may change. So make sure you evolve your systems over time.”

– Werner Vogels

Free WAF Review and $5,000 in AWS Credits!

Zuggand, in partnership with AWS, is offering a free Well-Architected Review for qualified customers and usage credits of up to $5,000 towards further AWS services highlighted in the review’s remediation plan. The Well-Architected Review consists of assessing a specific, business-critical workload against the five pillars of the WAF, including operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization.

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The Five Pillars of WAF

Operational Excellence

Run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures.

Design Principles:

  • Perform operations as code
  • Annotate documentation
  • Make frequent, small, reversible changes
  • Refine operations procedures frequently
  • Anticipate failure
  • Learn from all operational failures

Security

Protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.

Design Principles:

  • Implement a strong identity foundation
  • Enable traceability
  • Apply security at all layers
  • Automate security best practices
  • Protect data in transit and at rest
  • Prepare for security events

Reliability

Recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues.

Design Principles:

  • Test recovery procedures
  • Automatically recover from failure
  • Scale horizontally to increase aggregate system availability
  • Stop guessing capacity
  • Manage change in automation

Performance Efficiency

Use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.

Design Principles:

  • Democratize advanced technologies
  • Go global in minutes
  • Use serverless architectures
  • Experiment more often
  • Mechanical sympathy

Cost Optimization

Eliminate unneeded cost or suboptimal resources.

Design Principles:

  • Adopt a consumption model
  • Measure overall efficiency
  • Stop spending money on data center operations
  • Analyze and attribute expenditure
  • Use managed services to reduce cost of ownership

AWS Wants You To Be Well-Architected!

It’s in AWS’s best interest for you to be Well-Architected!  AWS has been keeping track of the review completed and the results of the reviews.  Out of the thousands of reviews that have been completed over the years 96% of the reviews have identified critical security issues!

AWS wants all their customers to be:

Efficient

Secure

Successful

Save Money

Well-Architected Benefits

BUILD AND DEPLOY FASTER

The business always wants to go faster (as long as it doesn’t break anything)!  Having a solid infrastructure and processes is foundational to speed!

THINK CLOUD-NATIVELY

What used to take months and millions of dollars can now be done in minutes and for pennies on the dollar.  Agile and cloud-first organizations are developing niche competitive advantages over their competition.

LOWER AND MITIGATE RISKS

Everyone wants to know if their systems are secure.  The Well-Architected program allows you to systematically assess each area of your critical workloads to identify potential risks and define remediation plans.

CONSISTENT APPROACH

 To scale your business your organization has to take a consistent approach.  Whether it’s a brand new product or a change to an existing one, everyone in your organization should be using the same framework.

UNDERSTAND POTENTIAL IMPACT

Every time you change something it has the potential for positive & negative impact.  This process help you systematically assess these impacts prior to change.

VISIBILITY OF RISK

Completing Well-Architected Reviews periodically increases the visibility & transparency of your current risks & issues.  This transparency is an excellent communication tool to increase accountability.

Bottom line, the Well-Architected program is all about developing a practice of increasing business value!  Reviewing and acting on Well-Architected findings periodically allows you to reduce your organization’s risks. At the same time, you are improving the skills and capabilities of your organization more effectively for operation and execution.

AWS Well-Architected Framework & Reviews

The AWS Well-Architected Framework (WAF) was released by AWS in 2012 and is a comprehensive guide created from years of knowledge collected by AWS on how to best operate on their own platform. The WAF was designed to provide high-level guidance on best practices and to help customers understand the thinking needed to properly leverage AWS capabilities.

The world is changing faster than ever before.  There has been more data created in the past two years than all the other years combined.  With the constant pace of innovation and all the changes in technology, sometimes just keeping up is a challenge! AWS now has more than 175 Capabilities and continues to increase their pace of innovation!  Most of us have questions like how do we know if we are secure? How do we know if we picked the right capabilities to optimize our solution for reliability and performance efficiency?

Three Lenses

SERVERLESS APPLICATION

The AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) is an open-source framework that you can use to build serverless applications on AWS.

HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTER

HPC system owners can innovate beyond the limitations of on-premises HPC infrastructure with AWS’s virtually unlimited capacity, engineers, and researchers.

INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)

AWS IOT provides broad and deep functionality, spanning the edge to the cloud, so you can build IoT solutions for virtually any use case across a wide range of devices.

WAF Review Process & FAQ

Where can I learn more about the AWS Well-Architected Framework?

Click here to find more information on the AWS WAF including benefits, white papers, and training.

Why do I need to sign a Master Service Agreement?

A Master Service Agreement (MSA) is a required in order for Zuggand to provide any services to a customer.  An MSA is necessary to ensure both organizations agree on the terms and conditions of the relationship.

Why do I need to give Zuggand resources read-only access to my environment?

As part of the review process, your assigned AWS Architect will log in to your environment to validate many of the findings as part of the initial review meeting.

Why do I need to give Zuggand resources read-only access to my environment?

As part of the review process, your assigned AWS Architect will log in to your environment to validate many of the findings as part of the initial review meeting.

How do I give Zuggand resources read-only access to my AWS account?

To learn how to give someone read-only access to your environment, start by watching this video.

What does remediation mean?

Remediation refers to adding capabilities or making changes in your AWS environment based on recommendation provided as part of the review process.

How will the remediation recommendations be prioritized?

We will make an initial list of recommended remediations and review them with you.  If you decid you want to add, remove or replace specific items on the list, you may do so and we will adjust the remediation SOW accordingly.

What do I have to do to be eligible for the $5K in AWS credits?

If you engage with Zuggand to execute on the recommended remediations, you will be eligible for the $5K in credits.  Per the AWS Well-Architected Partner Program, in order to receive the credits, you must have a certified AWS partner perform the remediations to receive the credits.

Why do you need my AWS account ID?

If you do decide to engage with us to execute on the recommended remediations, we need your AWS account ID so AWS can create a $5K voucher associated with your account.

Here’s What Some of Our Great Customers Say!

“The folks at Zuggand were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful with our AWS Well-Architected Review. It’s clear that they are passionate about what they do and are motivated to ensure that their clients are successful. The communication was excellent; it was prompt and professional. Their public sector focus and level of experience proved to be valuable for this (albeit small) project. I would recommend them without hesitation.”

– Geoffrey from the University of Alberta

“Zuggand help migration my hosting platform to a new server and made several security updates. The whole process was made very easy and seamless. Zuggand mapped out exactly what they would be doing for us and carried everything out in a timely matter. Communication was also great; they communicated well with me and my old developer and were always available when I had questions. Perfect experience.”

– George from Reputelligent

“These guys are not only smart, but responsive. They get things done when they say they will and exceed all expectations. It’s nice to know there are AWS specialists who can promptly attend to the details and get things done in a professional, competent manner. Hire them!”

– Dorine from Precision Digit

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