Explore the Web Application

  1. Go to the AWS CloudFormation console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/cloudformation.

    • Wait until CloudFormationLab stack status is CREATE_COMPLETE before proceeding. This should take about four minutes
    • Click on the CloudFormationLab stack
    • Click on the Outputs tab
    • For the Key WebsiteURL copy the value. This is the URL of your test web service
      • Hint: it will end in <aws region>.elb.amazonaws.com
  2. Click the URL and it will bring up the website:

    • Troubleshooting: if you see an error such as 502 Bad Gateway, then wait 60 seconds and try again. It takes some time for the servers to initialize. DemoWebsite
  3. The website simulates a recommendation engine making personalized suggestions for classic television shows. You should note the following features:

    • Area A shows the personalized recommendation
      • It shows first name of the user and the show that was recommended
      • The workshop simulation is simple. On every request it chooses a user at random, and shows a recommendation statically mapped to that user. The user names, television show names, and this mapping are in a DynamoDB table, which is simulating the RecommendationService
    • Area B shows metadata which is useful to you during the lab
      • The instance_id and availability_zone enable you to see which EC2 server and Availability Zone were used for each request
  4. Use the following architectural diagram as you explore the site ArchitectureOverviewAnnotated

    • A - There is one EC2 instance deployed per Availability Zone
    • B - Refresh the website several times, note that the EC2 instance and Availability Zone change from among the three available
    • C - Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) is used here. An Application Load Balancer receives each request and distributes it among the available EC2 server instances across Availability Zones.
      • The requests are stateless, and therefore can be routed to any of the available EC2 instances
    • D - The EC2 instances are in an Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling Group. This Auto Scaling Group was configured to maintain three instances, therefore if one instance is detected as unhealthy it will be replaced to maintain three healthy instances.
      • AWS Auto Scaling can also be configured to scale up/down dynamically in response to workload considerations such as CPU utilization or request count.
Well-Architected for Reliability: Best practices
Use highly available network connectivity for your workload public endpoints: These endpoints and the routing to them must be highly available. You used Elastic Load Balancing which provides load balancing across Availability Zones, performs Layer 4 (TCP) or Layer 7 (http/https) routing, integrates with AWS WAF, and integrates with AWS Auto Scaling to help create a self-healing infrastructure and absorb increases in traffic while releasing resources when traffic decreases.
Implement loosely coupled dependencies: Dependencies such as… load balancers are loosely coupled. Loose coupling helps isolate behavior of a component from other components that depend on it, increasing resiliency and agility.
Deploy the workload to multiple locations: Distribute workload data and resources across multiple Availability Zones or, where necessary, across AWS Regions. These locations can be as diverse as required.
Automate healing on all layers: Upon detection of a failure, use automated capabilities to perform actions to remediate it

You have deployed the cloud infrastructure architecture that can support a high reliability workload

  • This an example architecture of the cloud infrastructure necessary for reliable workloads

  • Addition of dynamic auto scaling would further improve reliability

  • Reliability also depends on software architecture, network configuration, operational excellence, and testing (especially Chaos Engineering which tests resilience), which are outside the scope of this lab.

    • Without best practices for all of these, which can be found in the Reliability pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, the workload will not achieve high reliability goals.