Effective Azure Architecture

Effective Azure Architecture

We help teams design and build great Azure solutions.

The Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework has five pillars for delivering a high-quality solution.

Cloud workloads should maximise each of the five areas up to the level that delivers the required business value but not so far beyond that costs or timescales exceed requirements.

Design for reliability

A key difference between cloud and on-premises development is to expect failure. Infrastructure and applications should anticipate problems. Architects should plan how to mitigate the impact of different points of failure. Monitoring helps detect issues and take action.

Optimise costs

Getting started with Azure is possible with minimal cost. Some services are free. However, spending large amounts of money is definitely possible. Different methods of implementing very similar features can have widely varying charges.

Choose the right infrastructure and understand the implications of early design choices. Make informed trade-offs in design. Monitor ongoing costs after going live.

Read more about managing Azure cloud costs.

Operational excellence

Efficient and reliable processes are essential to successful projects. Changes to cloud resources must be reliable. Automate your code deployments. Good dev-ops processes help to deliver good governance.

Monitor application health to respond to issues and help resolve them quickly.

Efficient performance

Cloud-based solutions can react to sudden and difficult to predict demand. On-premises solutions often require impossible planning choices. Cloud infrastructure can scale up to meet demand and scale back down when no longer needed.

Choosing good design patterns at an early stage will help keep options open. There are usually trade-offs to make between performance, cost and operational viability.


Building secure cloud solutions is critical. At an early design stage, consider different threats to help avoid projects hitting a roadblock towards the end of the development phase. Careful choices help to reduce the chance of attacks once the solution is live.

Often, the perception is that cloud solutions are more vulnerable to attack than on-premises deployments. Azure provides many options to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of solutions.

In addition to these five pillars, Microsoft has added sustainability guidance to the framework. Efficiency in the cloud is about minimising the resource costs, the carbon emissions and the energy used.

Microsoft provides an emissions impact dashboard built with Power BI. The dashboard estimates the energy efficiency and carbon emissions. It also gives estimated savings from migrating on-premises workloads to the Azure cloud.

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