Constructing a software system in the cloud is much like constructing a building. You want it to be strong, have a good foundation, be efficient, and function well as per the intended use. If anything is wrong in your construction, it could lead to disastrous results. In other words, having inefficient cloud solutions could waste time and affect your bottom line.

A WAR (Well Architected Review) is a systematic approach to evaluating your operations and workflows in Amazon Web Services (or, AWS). Amazon offers over 200 fully featured on-demand cloud-computing services from data centers around the world. They are available to individuals, companies, and governments on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. A WAR can help you identify and fix potential issues with your environment based on the five pillars of AWS. 

Those five pillars are designed to be the guiding principles for the structure of your cloud construction. They are:

Operational Excellence

Does your software run workloads effectively? Does it support change over time? This pillar helps give insight into your operation and continuously improves supporting processes and procedures to deliver business value. 

Security

This pillar includes the ability to protect data, systems, and assets to take advantage of cloud technologies to improve your security. Who has access to your data? How is your data protected? Can you not only identify security incidents, but respond to them effectively?

Reliability

Does a workload perform its intended function correctly and consistently when it’s expected to? The architecture must be designed to prevent and mitigate failures, it must handle changes in demand or requirements, and it must be designed to detect failure and automatically heal itself.

Performance Efficiency

This pillar includes the ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve. Well-Architected workloads use multiple solutions and enable different features to improve performance.

Cost Optimization

Last but not least, this pillar includes the ability to run systems to deliver business value at the lowest price point, while leveraging AWS’ economies of scale The goal here is to stop spending money on undifferentiated heavy lifting by using the appropriate scaling, services, resources, and configurations for your workloads.

“The goal is to design and operate reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective solutions in the cloud.”

Taking the first step

Before you build anything, you need to make sure that you have the right framework or blueprints in place. That’s where a WAR comes in. A WAR will review your current solutions against  AWS best practices across all five pillars. The goal is to design and operate reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective solutions in the cloud. 

Cloud migration involves moving data, applications, and IT processes from one data center to another data center. Most times, a migration entails a move from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. However, migration can also apply to a move from one cloud to another cloud.

A migration assessment should be completed before you move to the cloud to get a look at your current setup. It will create the path for you and EmergenceTek to move forward with your migration and optimize your solutions. 

If you’re already set up in the cloud, A WAR can also be completed to assess your current solutions. Unlike a standard audit, a WAR tackles architectural best practices, cost efficiency, and other principles which aren’t traditionally evaluated. 

“If your data is unorganized, that severely limits your ability to grow, optimize, and save money. Our goal is to develop this blueprint and come up with a plan together that sets you up for success.”

What kind of commitment is expected?

We understand how valuable your time is, so we do the heavy lifting when it comes to a WAR. This assessment usually takes two to five hours of your time; through interviews with us and self-assessments that you complete on your own. 

Once the WAR is completed, your company will receive documentation related to AWS best practices, a report summarizing your workload review, and a dashboard where you can view the results of workload reviews across the organization. You can expect those results back in about a week or two. EmergenceTek will take that time to analyze your solutions, the interviews, and your self-assessments. Keep in mind, this timeframe can also vary based on the size of your AWS environment: Is it 8 servers or 800? 

A WAR also does not require much (if any) financial commitment. It is a free or low-cost option for ETG to be able to analyze your current set up and find a way to optimize it. You can take your WAR and use it with EmergenceTek or anyone else. If you decide to move forward with any suggestions identified in the WAR within 30 days, AWS will generally provide credits to your account.

What’s in it for you?

We are committed to finding the right solutions for your workloads. EmergenceTek won’t just throw your information up on the cloud and leave you hanging. We take the time to architect and organize your data for you, thereby allowing growth potential.

If your data is unorganized, that severely limits your ability to grow, optimize, and save money. Our goal is to develop this blueprint and come up with a plan together that sets you up for success. We’ll go the extra mile and continue to follow up with you to make sure everything is still working to the best of its ability.

The first WAR we complete with you can help deal with the immediate, pressing issues that are plaguing your company, such as cost, performance, reliability, or security. EmergenceTek is also here to help interpret the flow of new AWS services for you.

Going through a WAR allows for collaborative work sessions that are truly substantive. Throughout our process, we’ll be able to work with key stakeholders who, in many cases, do not sit together at the same table on a regular basis. It is also an opportunity to align technical and business objectives. 

Being able to achieve business outcomes while optimizing cost is essentially about how to drive return on investment (ROI), which is extremely valuable to your business.

An exercise you’ll come back to

AWS recommends you conduct a WAR every 12-18 months. Why?

Businesses grow, shift, and change. EmergenceTek wants to continue to walk with you every step of the way to make sure the five pillars we optimized for are continuing to work as intended. We’ll work with you to keep everything maintained and getting the most you can out of AWS.

The reviews also serve as a tune-up to help keep pace with the velocity of AWS innovation. New AWS services come at a high volume and speed, and the Review ensures you’re introduced to the most modern services.

A smart, strategic move

Moving your business applications and data to the cloud can be a daunting task, but a great strategic move that gives you a competitive edge. Cloud migration can reduce IT costs, enable application scalability and much more.

By going through the WAR process, EmergenceTek, along with your key stakeholders, will be able to identify key areas of improvement in your current cloud architecture. Together, we can create a roadmap to success.

For very little time or money required on your part, this roadmap can be used to optimize, scale, secure, make your business more reliable, and improve your bottom line. While it’s true you can take this blueprint anywhere, we’re confident that you’ll want us behind your cloud construction. EmergenceTek is here to build better with an experienced team behind you.

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