AWS Revamps the Well-Architected Framework

News > Cloud

April 24, 2023

Recently, Amazon Web Services unveiled an updated version of the Well-Architected Framework. This latest edition bolsters the prescriptive advice by updating over 100 best practices throughout the framework’s six pillars. The cloud provider states that the enriched prescriptive guidance presents new and revised best practices, execution steps, and architectural designs that aid customers in better detecting and reducing risks in cloud deployments.

The enhancements and refinements concentrate on delivering superior coverage for the available services, with a particular focus on those introduced in the past few years. Services with added or broadened coverage encompass Elastic Disaster Recovery, Trusted Advisor, Resilience Hub, Config, Security Hub, GuardDuty, Organizations, Control Tower, Compute Optimizer, Budgets, CodeWhisperer, and CodeGuru.

Haleh Najafzadeh, Senior Solutions Architecture Manager at AWS, announced the framework updates, stating:

From a total of 127 new/updated best practices, 78% include explicit implementation steps as part of making them more prescriptive. The remaining 22% have been updated by improving their existing implementation steps. These changes are in addition to the 51 improved best practices released in 2022 (18 in Q3 2022, and 33 in Q4 2022), resulting in more than 50% of the existing Framework best practices having been updated recently.


The Well-Architected Framework comprises a series of best practices that enable customers to assess and enhance the design, implementation, and management of workloads on AWS. The framework revolves around six pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, cost optimization, and sustainability.

AWS is not the only cloud provider presenting a set of guiding principles for cloud architects. The Google Cloud Architecture Framework outlines best practices and offers recommendations for Google Cloud, while Microsoft provides the Azure Well-Architected Framework (WAF), which now includes newly added sustainability guidance.

Jess Alvarez, an AWS training architect at A Cloud Guru, discusses the advantages of the framework and emphasizes the primary distinctions among the providers:

There are some key differences between AWS and Azure’s take on the Well-Architected Framework. You’ll notice a difference in pillars and a difference in depth. AWS includes best practices for each pillar both for your environment AND your organization (…) Azure has a hard focus on best practices for your environment and does NOT go into the business side of each pillar. Some businesses don’t need that level of support and may prefer a framework that cuts to the chase.


The updated AWS framework can be found in the AWS Well-Architected whitepapers and within the AWS Well-Architected tool in select AWS regions.

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