Getting Started with Amazon’s new Well-Architected Tool

On the 29th November 2018, Amazon introduced the Well-Architected tool. With the help of this tool, AWS users can access their planned architectures vis-a-vis the latest AWS architecture best practices. In addition, AWS users can get guidance on improving their present application architectures. This tool is based on the increasingly popular Well-Architected framework which helps users build secure, high performance, resilient, and efficient AWS based solutions. This tool provides a consistent approach for users to evaluate planned and existing architectures and provides guidance to help implement designs that scale in accordance with application needs.

Importantly with the help of this tool users get insights on potential security risks and identify steps to address these risks via the Well-Architected framework. The tool guides the user through a series of question and answers covering different aspects of the five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected framework (namely, operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization) and at the end gives you a set of recommendations for the architecture. The Well-Architected tool is freely available to all users but is only available in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland).

In this blog, we aim to help familiarize you with the AWS Well-Architected tool and help you get you up and running with it as quickly as possible. It takes 16 simple steps to work through this getting started guide and get recommendations on your architecture. Here goes …

1.       Open the AWS Well-Architected homepage using this link.


2.       Click on “Define a workload” to get started with the process. A workload is a collection of resources or code that delivers business value. A workload can span over multiple AWS accounts as well.

3.       Enter the name and description of the workload.

4.       Choose an industry type and industry from the drop down menus.

5.       From the regions drop down menu, choose the regions in which your workloads are hosted. For this blog, we have chosen three regions.

6.       Choose the environment type and enter account IDs if your workloads span across multiple AWS accounts.

7.       Click on “Define Workload”.

8.       Click on the “Start review” button to start reviewing your workload. This will open up a screen where you answer a series of questions which are based on the Well-Architected framework.

9.       Answer all the questions related to the five pillars and click on “Save and exit” once done.

Note: Make sure to click on the info next to each option in the review to learn more about it or hover over the underlined text to the right side of the screen or click on it to go to the service page.

10.   You will be redirected to the workload main page as can be seen below.

11.   On the dashboard page, you can see all your workloads and check which ones have medium and high risks associated with them.

12.   We select the workload we just reviewed and click on “Improvement plan”.

13.   Click on the number written against high/ medium risk to view the improvement plans.

14.   Click on the recommended improvement items to study and analyze each improvement item one by one and start your journey towards a risk free workload based on the Well-Architected framework and AWS best practices.

15.   In order to re-arrange the priorities of the five pillars go to the improvement plan tab and click on edit next to improvement plan configuration.

16.   You can save milestones along the way in order to record and track the progress you have made overtime. Creating multiple milestones helps you visualize how your workload evolves over time. You can save a milestone after answering all the questions or after significant changes have been made to your workload.

We hope that this blog will help you get started with using Amazon’s new Well-Architected Tool and understanding the best practices and start improving your workloads.

Moiz Arif
Bluestack IT Solutions

Muhammad Ali