For organizations, instilling confidence in their customers regarding cloud data security is the holy grail of growth. This is true for either building new systems on the cloud or migrating existing systems on the cloud. It is important to gauge whether the architecture is capable of handling traffic spikes if and when media reports go viral. The Azure Well-Architected Framework helps organizations achieve this.

Identifying whether the architecture can cope up with failure of critical components is an important area to consider among organizations. The five pillars of Azure Well-Architected Framework help organizations design, create, and constantly make improvements for efficient, reliable, and secure application development.

Azure Well Architected Framework: Undertones of the Five Pillars

Creating a solution architecture means remaining concerned with ideating, designing, implementing and making ongoing improvements in technology systems. While there is no one-stop-shop solution for architecture design, universal concepts exist independent of cloud service providers (CSPs), technologies, or architecture types. These are not all-inclusive and are acknowledged in  the form of pillars. The implications of the five pillars of Azure Well-Architected Framework are detailed below.

Cost Optimization

Cost estimation is imperative for organizations, which includes identifying existing resources that need redevelopment or transition, selecting appropriate services, and understanding business-critical objectives. Transparency is the key and provisioning services optimized for cost reduces the work effort for organizations as a consequence. 

Organizations must leverage cost management tools for a regular review of billing statements and understand their expenditures better. Pay-as-you-go is what cloud is revered for by organizations, as expenses resulting from provisioning capacity more than required can be completely avoided. As organizations design their architecture, they must detect and erase waste across their environment.

Operational Excellence

Designing modern architectures involves continuous integration and DevOps, which is as much technical as it is cultural, widening the scope of benefits for organizations. By breaking down silos and working collaboratively, organizations must nurture a culture of transparency and sharing to realize operational excellence. Creating an effective monitoring system for a complete view of the architecture ensures organizations identify malfunctions in their system before end-users are affected.

It is essential for organizations to follow a multilayered approach, where collecting data points from each component at all layers prevents values that exceed threshold ranges. This further helps organizations track their cloud spending over time. Also, automating repetitive and common processes helps organizations eliminate any delays or human intervention.

Performance Efficiency

While optimizing their architecture for performance, organizations must look at their storage and network performance for ensuring their level to be within acceptable limits. They can add a messaging layer for enhancing their performance further. The strategy of partitioning data must be carefully devised by organizations for performance optimization and preventing adverse impacts. This further helps them in reducing contention and improving scalability.

Caching is another mechanism for improving performance, which can be used between databases and application servers to reduce data retrieval time. Also, caching between web servers and users helps in decreasing the lag introduced while switching between web pages. Performance optimization includes understanding the status of applications by looking across all layers, followed by identifying and remediating bottlenecks.

Reliability

Reliability of an architecture can be enhanced via integration of high availability into application components and terminating single points of failure. Organizations must thoroughly analyze potential capabilities of high availability relative to their service-level agreement, while ensuring proper coverage and identifying key improvement areas.

With well-defined recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO), organizations can enhance backup, replication, recovery, and restore capabilities of their architecture. Reliability mainly emphasizes maintaining uptime in conditions such as network outages and enabling data retrieval post-disasters.

Security

Organizations must follow a multilayered approach to security, with defense in depth for data, networking, policies, access, applications, perimeter, physical security, and compute resources. This increases protection against attackers. Based on services that an organization consumes, security protections are designed and implemented by the CSP, while the rest is the organization’s responsibility. This is how Shared Responsibility works. Careful evaluation of technologies and services ensures organizations that right security controls are being provisioned to the architecture.

Key Design Principles

There are a few design principles of the Azure Well-Architected Framework that organizations must consider during their architecture design. These include

  • Enabling Architectural Evolution: Every architecture is dynamic. To realize the evolution of their architecture, organizations must leverage new technologies, tools, and services according to their availability.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Organizations must focus on collecting data, analyzing it, and utilizing it for making decisions circling their architecture. From user load and performance to data cost, insights harnessed from data guides organizations to make right decisions for their cloud environment.
  • Education: Evolution is fast in the cloud computing landscape. Educating the business, operations, and development teams will ensure that they make right choices in building solutions for mitigating bottlenecks. Documentation and sharing of configurations, best practices, and decisions must be a habitual practice among organizations.
  • Automation: Organizations can reduce long-term costs through automation of manual processes. This further helps errors induced by manual steps and offers consistency between environments.

To Sum Up

Architectures are the foundation of organizations’ application design. With Azure Well-Architected Framework, organizations can ensure that their architecture meets customer requirements sustainably. Under the significance of the five pillars of the Azure Well Architected Framework will help organizations drive innovation, build high-performing solutions, and foster customer loyalty.

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