Congratulations! You’ve finished your Well-Architected Review of a workload, giving you a better understanding of where it could be fortified along the five pillars: Security, Reliability, Operational Excellence, Performance Efficiency and Cost Optimization. You have received Microsoft’s best practices as recommendations based on your answers to questions specific to each pillar.
The report (example below) shows a Well-Architected score for each pillar, as well as prioritized recommendations that allows for you to focus on biggest areas of impact. A great example is virtual machine right sizing. You can significantly lower your costs if you know which VM is best suited for your workload type.
These recommendations also consider trade-offs among the pillars (i.e. higher forms of reliability or security could increase costs), giving you insights that you may not have thought of before or after deploying your workload.
There’s a shared responsibility between Microsoft and its customers that while Microsoft ensures reliability and security and the platform level, customers are responsible for their workloads. Microsoft also strongly believes that operating Well-Architected workloads is the ultimate goal in keeping you as a customer. Thus, we invest in free tools, programs and incentives to motivate you to optimize your workloads based on best practices developed from hundreds of thousands of interactions with other customers such as yourself. <end marketing spiel here!!> :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:
So, back to (your) reality: how do you implement these recommendations? Here are some good resources to get you started:
- Take a learning path related to your recommendations. There are several ways to take specific skills courses that can teach you ways to use Azure’s tools, interfaces and services;
- Watch the videos embedded in the Well-Architected Review;
- Leverage scripts that export your recommendations to Azure DevOps and GitHub for backlog management;
- Work with your Azure Support team to build a remediation plan using a Well-Architected Proactive Accelerators package; or
- Work with an accredited partner found in Azure Marketplace who has an Advanced Specialization.
Let’s assume you took advantage of one of these options above and successfully resolved the highest priority items. Are you done? Nope!!
Things are constantly shifting, requiring you to adjust your workload and its architecture continuously. If your audience changes or application strategy shifts or Azure services evolve, new and improved Well-Architected recommendations will be there for you. Thus, set Milestones in your saved Well-Architected Review for that specific workload. You can have a snapshot that acts as a baseline to compare against when you’re ready for another review.
So you have a list of recommendations and perhaps some enhancements for your workload. But now what? Deciding how, when and who should implement these recommendations are not easy decisions. There are many legitimate reasons to not move forward:
- Backlog prioritization and sprint planning has already been done, automatically reverting these recommendations as lower priority;
- Another team owns the subscriptions, resources or policies related to the recommendations, making it difficult to coordinate remediation;
- Your workload and environment are unique or multi-cloud, rendering the recommendations moot or not applicable; or
- You have already implemented a non-Azure based solution that takes into account these recommendations.
But if none of these reasons impact your decisions to implement recommendations from your Well-Architected Review, there are some great tools, processes and programs to help you.
It’s up to you to stay vigilant in reviewing and iterating on your workload’s architecture, but we’re there to help you along the way. Contact us at Azure Support.