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What is a Well-Architected Review?

A Well-Architected Review is an evaluation that provides a clear picture of the state of your infrastructure. It helps to ensure that the architecture and implementation of your infrastructure meet all your requirements. Best practices and a structured approach help you to build a secure, performant, flexible and cost-effective application infrastructure.

Gaining insight into your cloud infrastructure's present state

It is often a good time to carry out a Well-Architected Review when an application is going into production. For example, you may be concerned about information security and want to ensure everything has been done correctly before you go into production. A Well-Architected Review can ensure that the system can withstand potential disruption from external sources with sufficient preparation. Many organisations have a policy of carrying out a Well-Architected Review before anything goes into production.   

Others conduct Well-Architected Reviews regularly, even if their assets have been in production for some time. There may be a perfectly justified concern that, over time, we become blind to our actions. Best practices may have been supplanted without us realising it. An evaluation is necessary if, for example, your cloud costs feel unnecessarily high in relation to usage, if customers have negative feedback about the quality, performance or availability of your service, if the service feels inefficient when you use it, or if there are availability problems. 

How often a Well-Architected Review should be carried out depends on the technical solutions you use, the pace of development, and the business environment. It is a good idea to review evolving environments more frequently, whether the changes occur in applications or, for example, data processing legislation. The interval between reviews should not become too long, as best practices can change and new features are introduced all the time. As the cloud develops, services can be optimised or replaced by new ones, thereby also controlling costs. A Well-Architected Review is, therefore, not a one-off event – it is a regular procedure.

The review takes only a day

Customers who order a Well-Architected Review from Knowit receive a welcome packaging explaining the background information required and who should attend the review. Before the review date, Knowit needs the cloud documentation and access to the cloud accounts to familiarise itself with the environment in advance. The personnel with knowledge of the cloud and its applications should attend the review. These may be, for example, service owners, architects, developers, service provision personnel, web admins, and information security architects. In general, 6–10 employees from the customer company attend the review.

The review can take place remotely and on-site. The session takes one day – typically from 9 am to 4 pm with the normal breaks. The day is also an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn new things, so it is worth participating fully. There is no need to be nervous about a Well-Architected Review. It is an evaluation, not an audit, and the intention is not to assess anyone’s work.

On the review day, the attendees cover all the pillars of the Well-Architected Review, approaching them from different perspectives. Within one week of the review, the customer receives a report presenting the findings and observations, an analysis of the workload, and proposed fixes. These are discussed jointly at a summary session. In addition to the technical report, Knowit provides its holistic analysis based on its expertise, experience and a thorough understanding of the background factors.

Holistic analysis without any obligations

The Well-Architected Review does not include rectifications of any shortcomings identified during the review. Thanks to the detailed report, any shortcomings can be rectified with the help of a competent partner. In other words, the Well-Architected Review does not obligate the customer to take any follow-up measures with us. However, the review provides us with a strong understanding of your business’s environment and core challenges.

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