Well-Architected Review FAQs

Learn more about how we deliver Well-Architected Reviews for AWS and Azure workloads.

AWS and Azure offer best practice guidance for running systems in the cloud under their respective Well-Architected Frameworks. A Well-Architected Review involves a high-level assessment of a critical workload against the relevant framework.

The review is handled by a DevOpsGroup engineer who works through structured questions to establish alignment with best practice recommendations. We can conduct general reviews looking at all five Well-Architected pillars, or focus on one specific area.

The five Well-Architected pillars for AWS and Azure cover:

  • Operational excellence
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Performance efficiency
  • Cost management

An AWS Well-Architected Review takes two to three hours. You should allow a further two hours to discuss the results and recommendations. The entire process, including analysis and feedback, takes one day.

If we’re completing the process with you in-person onsite, we prefer to conduct the review at the start of the day and provide feedback at end of the day. We’ll spend the time between the two sessions preparing recommendations and any supporting detail. However, we can be flexible about this. We can also handle the review and feedback sessions remotely.

The Azure Well-Architected Review also takes one day. We run an initial intro session, before you trigger the review itself, which takes a few hours. After the review, we hold a workshop to gain additional context on each of the pillars under consideration, then produce a report which advises on remediation work.

To get the most value, it’s important that all parties involved with the workload join the Well-Architected Review. We recommend the presence of at least one person for each key area so we can discuss appropriate options.

For a typical workload, this would usually include:

  • Infrastructure Engineer(s)
  • DBA(s)
  • DevOps Engineer(s)
  • Developer(s)
  • Support Team representation
  • Security Team representation

Yes. We use Zoom for video calling so you’ll need a laptop with the Zoom client installed. We prefer not to run remote Well-Architected Reviews with dial-in or ‘audio-only’ conferencing so please ensure you have a headset, webcam and a good internet connection.

We hold a 30-minute preparatory call before a Well-Architected Review to confirm the scope of the workload and talk through prerequisites. For the review itself, we’ll require:

  • Any existing documentation on the design of the target workload, including architecture diagrams.
  • For AWS Well-Architected Reviews, we’ll need read-only access to the account in which the workload resides and full access to the Well-Architected Review service within the console. A template IAM policy can be provided to support this.
  • With Azure Well-Architected Reviews, we’ll need a walkthrough of the Azure account. This can be facilitated by the customer, so no access is required.
  • For onsite reviews, we require a meeting room with:
    • a projector/screen and an HDMI connection
    • a whiteboard or large wall space for mounting magic whiteboard
  • For remote reviews, we will set up a Zoom room and all attendees will require:
    • a laptop with the Zoom client installed and a good internet connection
    • a good quality headset and a functioning webcam

You can carry out as many reviews as you have distinct workloads. We recommend that the review for each workload is revisited every three to six months.

In terms of AWS-funded Well-Architected Reviews, there is no limit on how many improvement funding nominations can be requested. However, you can only request funding once for each distinct workload.

An AWS Well-Architected Review is free of charge.

Prices for Azure Well-Architected Reviews can be provided on request. These costs are refunded if you go on to use DevOpsGroup’s operate services for remediation work.

AWS and Azure are rapidly evolving platforms; new features are frequently released to improve critical factors like security, costs and efficiency. However, the volume of updates coupled with the scale of cloud infrastructures makes it difficult to keep pace. This may prevent you from unlocking the full potential of modern cloud environments. Over time, it risks compromising performance and efficiency, leading to competitive disadvantage and business vulnerability.

Evaluating your systems versus proven best practice is an effective way to address this. Well-Architected Reviews offer clarity and focus in an everchanging environment, enabling priority areas to be identified and addressed.

The main benefits of a Well-Architected Review are:

  • Optimise workloads – identify opportunities to optimise and rearchitect workloads to run more efficiently, reliably and cost-effectively.
  • Mitigate risks – control risks through better understanding as you build or optimise current architectures.
  • Accelerate & invent – discover new services to help you build and deploy workloads and respond faster to innovation opportunities.

This refers to workload improvements based on our recommendations and aligned with AWS or Azure best practice.

Following an AWS Well-Architected Review, we spend two hours reviewing the results and advising on tasks which should be prioritised for improvement.

After an Azure Well-Architected Review, we create a report containing recommendations for your Azure workloads. If you decide to proceed with the improvements, we will work with you to ascertain the priority order.

We advise running a Well-Architected Review every three to six months for each distinct workload. This allows you to monitor improvements, comparing new review outcomes with previous findings. It also enables ongoing assessment of the workload against evolving best practice.

When scheduling the review, we have to notify AWS and provide the Account ID for your nominated workload. We also need access to the Well-Architected Review service within your account console. AWS now manages the Well-Architected Review process through the account portal, so we must complete questions and submit responses here so you can qualify for remediation funding.

We can provide template IAM user credentials allowing us to securely review workloads. Further details on the required IAM role are provided by AWS here.

AWS is currently offering service credits of up to $5k where the following criteria are met:

  • The Well-Architected Review must have been performed on a production workload
  • The remediation work must address 20% of the identified High-Risk Issues (HRIs)
  • You must use an AWS Partner to address the HRIs
  • Remediation work must start within 30 days of a Well-Architected Review.

The credits will be applied to the account against which the review was completed.

DevOpsGroup needs to notify AWS that work has started and provide a statement of work that details the remediation activity; you must also complete AWS’ customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey. Use of credits needs to adhere to AWS’ terms and conditions.

You can out more about AWS’ Well-Architected Framework, including the main whitepaper and articles and videos on each of the pillars, here.

More detail on Azure’s Well-Architected Framework, including diagrams and videos, is available here.

Or get in touch by phone or email if you have any questions regarding a DevOpsGroup Well-Architected Review (0800 368 7378 or waf@devopsgroup.com).

To arrange your review just get in touch by phone or email:

AWS focussed consultants
AWS Well-Architected Review

Download our AWS Well-Architected Review datasheet

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Azure focussed consultants
Azure Well-Architected Review

Download our Azure Well-Architected Review datasheet

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