Baseline Your Cloud Operations

Baseline Your Cloud Operations

Cloud migration and transformation projects are inherently complex and very often challenged with tight deadlines and limited resources. This often leads to weak implementation or even de-prioritization of activities like automation, DevOps processes and end-to-end monitoring and more.

Operational Excellence is key to ensure workloads deployed in the cloud can be operated efficiently and effectively with minimal maintenance and management overhead. After all, we want our teams to focus on business problems and not get stuck into reactive firefighting with hosting or application issues that could have been avoided altogether.

You may ask, what do I have to do to reach nirvana and I am glad if you did!

Operational excellence is a continuous process to measure as-is state against desired, act to mitigate identified gaps and automate to free yourself, your teams to do something even bigger!

Measure & Act

Microsoft has built a self-assessments (Select Azure Well-Architected Review) tool to help you review and baseline your Operational Excellence posture and offers guidelines on creating a sustainable application environment.

If you plan to take this survey,

1. Take a survey as one team  

Do consider this as a group activity for your DevOps team - the questions help you discover gaps and align on issues to address. Although the tool says 30 mins to take the survey, schedule 2 hrs and actively promote discussions for each question and options

2. Capture workload name & sign in

Assessments are always focused on a specific workload i.e. resource or collection of related resources that provide end-to-end functionality to one or multiple clients (humans or systems). Hence naming it right will help you in future to revisit when you wish to re-take the assessment to track progress.

Although a sign in is optional, Azure Advisor recommendations provide you with a holistic view of issues to be addressed.

Screenshot of a self-assessments tool
3. You Results

You will now see your operational excellence score; the report also highlights provides a list of recommendations to help you improve your score.

Pro tip:  there is a share option on the top of the report you can use it to share this view with your colleagues and management.

Screenshot of a Sample Survey Result
4. Act, Automate and Repeat

As the saying goes "there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time" similarly prioritise recommendations that this tool highlights, discard ones that are not relevant for your situation. The goal is not to have a perfect 100 score but rather a well-architected solution with just the right operational excellence score to meet your business needs.

Further Reading

  1. MS Learn Module Well-Architected Framework - Operational excellence
  2. Overview of the operational excellence pillar - Azure Architecture Center
  3. Introducing the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework

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