A well-architected cloud computing solution is essential for businesses that hope to unlock the full power of AWS in their applications

The advent of cloud computing has allowed businesses to create apps and tools that were previously inconceivable. Building in the cloud takes advantage of massive economies of scale, flexible pricing, practically unlimited storage, and unparalleled flexibility. The cloud also challenges engineers to architect solutions that make optimal use of its strengths and the characteristics of its different types of instances and other optimizable features.

For apps built on these cloud-computing edifices to be agile and dependable takes more than a collection of best practices. You must adopt an architectural philosophy that allows your apps to get the most out of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment.

At CloudHesive, we are part of the Amazon Partner Network (APN) and participate in Amazon’s Well-Architected program. This has allowed us to develop deep expertise in building apps using the optimized Well-Architected Framework and gives us access to APN tools for testing and benchmarking AWS architectures.

Here are a few key foundational ideals based on the Well-Architected best practices that will help you deploy stable, efficient, and powerful apps in the AWS environment.

Operational excellence: the guiding principles of a successful project

Operational excellence means having the capability to operate and monitor systems that deliver on the value proposition of cloud computing while making continuing upgrades and improvements. The key to great ops support is knowing what businesses or customers need and providing an infrastructure that can support their current requirements and is prepared to sustain high performance as their needs increase. Ops is always one step ahead of growing demand through unrelenting monitoring and is ready with the assets needed to support ongoing operations.

Security: Secure data in storage and in transit must be sacrosanct

Without security, there is nothing else. A sound AWS architecture project begins with the ability to protect assets, systems, and information. But security demands more. It requires ongoing vigilance to maintain, with capabilities in place to continually assess the risks and protect possible threat vectors.

You’ve got to start with strong identity controls – controlling access is where it all begins. Traceability helps identify what users are doing with their access, and who is exploiting unauthorized access. Protect your data at all costs, especially when it’s in transit, and always be prepared for an unforeseen intrusion. It’s the unanticipated threats that are always the most dangerous.

Reliability: a self-evident foundational principle

Reliability is the cornerstone of a stable AWS architecture. It depends on the ability of a system to stave off threats to uptime and, when all else fails, restoring service quickly. Recovery procedures must be devised, tested, and then tested again and again. Backup server instances must be configured to provide automatic failure recovery, and there must always be excess capacity ready to support spiking demand. There are very few applications that users won’t define as “mission critical” when they lose access to them.

Performance efficiency: Optimize your resources, with enough capacity to handle unexpected loads

Always be prepared to handle more volume than users are likely to need. Have enough space capacity instantly available to handle the unforeseen spikes, and the flexibility to quickly bring on enough computing capacity and bandwidth to manage tasks and traffic during unexpected peak periods. Performance efficiency means never letting systems or users down.

Cost optimization: Eliminate needless costs while not compromising on critical performance

What are the nominal resources you have at your disposal? How can you configure your cloud architecture to deliver performance within the required parameters during peak and off-peak periods?

Which virtual server builds, and which pricing structures, will allow delivery of additional computation capacity when unexpected growth demands it? All projects, those with conservative budgets and those with generous resource allocations, demand cost optimization to deliver the best performance for the application.

Are you making the best use of your cloud computing resources?

Building the data infrastructure that will underpin the network we’ll rely on tomorrow demands a mindset that optimizes the capabilities of today’s cloud. That future we’re all working toward will be “now” much sooner than one might imagine.

Yes, being in the cloud was and is the right move for your organization. Maintaining leading-edge performance in the cloud is always a moving target. Your organizations can rely on CloudHesive to keep you ahead of the curve, maximizing the return on your AWS cloud computing investment. See how we do it by getting in touch with CloudHesive at 800-860-2040 or through our online contact form.