Community Blog The Three Pillars of Alibaba Cloud’s Well-Architectured Framework

The Three Pillars of Alibaba Cloud’s Well-Architectured Framework

This article describes the three Pillars of Alibaba Cloud’s Well-Architectured Framework

By Alain Francois

The best cloud providers offer Well Architecture Frameworks to help you implement your solutions, conforming to a large set of best practices across a wide range of topic areas. Well-Architected Framework comes with a number of design principles for building good systems on the cloud and includes questions and answers on each pillar on which it is built, providing guidance on how to deal with practical topics. This is how Alibaba Cloud promotes its Three Pillars Well-Architectured Framework.

What Are the Three Pillars of Alibaba Cloud’s Well-Architectured Framework?

Alibaba Cloud offers a set of guidelines and questions that allow you to follow best practices from reliability, security, and performance consistently. The three pillars of architecture on Alibaba Cloud will help you review, evaluate, and improve the quality of your workload.


The reliability pillar focuses on Alibaba Cloud's capabilities of ensuring business continuity from failures. It explains how to maintain the high availability of your environment and recover from disasters and failures, meeting resourcing demands put upon your infrastructure dynamically and automatically. The reliability best practices are foundations, change management, and failure management. Alibaba Cloud offers the high-availability services listed below:

  • Public Cloud-Based Remote Disaster Recovery: This is important for enterprises that want to create a remote disaster recovery architecture involving multiple Alibaba Cloud regions. It can also be used for public clouds that may experience a fault in specific regions.
  • Hybrid Disaster Recovery (HDR): This is important for enterprises that want to use a cloud platform in a hybrid cloud architecture as its remote disaster recovery center for local data. It can also be used to back up all the applications for disaster recovery instead of a single database or storage system. This is helpful if you want an RTO/RPO within hours for application disaster recovery.
  • Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR): HBR can back up data and applications on Alibaba Cloud through a hybrid cloud.
  • Hybrid Cloud-Based Database Disaster Recovery: This solution helps enterprises back up their databases to a hybrid cloud to form a remote database disaster recovery architecture.
  • Hybrid Cloud-Based Multi-Active: This solution provides a multi-active disaster recovery architecture based on a hybrid cloud, consisting of an on-premises data center (IDC) and a cloud platform.


The security pillar focuses on information security related to shared security responsibilities, security compliance and privacy, Alibaba Cloud infrastructure, and security architecture. Alibaba Cloud strives to provide customers with consistent, reliable, secure, and compliant cloud computing services, providing confidentiality, integrity, and availability for their systems and data.

  • Shared Security Responsibilities: The security of applications built on Alibaba Cloud is the joint responsibility of Alibaba Cloud and its customers. Alibaba Cloud is responsible for the security of the underlying cloud service platform and providing security services and capabilities to customers, while customers are responsible for the security of applications built based on Alibaba Cloud services.
  • Security and Compliance: Alibaba Cloud provides security protection for the cloud platform and implements various compliance requirements into the internal control program and product design of the cloud platform.
  • Alibaba Cloud Infrastructure and Security Architecture: Alibaba Cloud set up cloud data centers across multiple regions and zones globally and provides a security architecture that offers protection in five horizontal dimensions and two vertical dimensions.


The performance efficiency pillar focuses on the efficient use of computing resources to meet various requirements and maintain efficiency as requirements change and technologies evolve. It recommends some principles to follow to achieve the desired performance efficiency:

  • Prioritize advanced services and technologies native to the cloud, as it is more efficient to use the technical solutions that Alibaba Cloud offers. This allows you to focus on developing your business and applications without worries.
  • Use serverless architectures compliant with cloud-native standards. You can host your applications on the service stack easily, making access more efficient and offering a unified architectural abstraction.
  • Achieve efficient global deployment using the Alibaba Cloud console to deploy resources and applications in multiple regions worldwide.
  • Make full use of the elasticity and performance stability of cloud computing resources
  • Improve experiment efficiency using virtualized and automated ways to configure and deploy resources

Why Design Your Architecture Based on Alibaba Cloud's Three Pillars?

Different cloud architects can create completely different architectures for the same business requirement. There is no definite and consistent way to confirm if the architecture meets the needs of modern business applications, such as security, reliability, and performance. As the business grows or changes over time, the workloads also need to scale and adapt to the new business requirements, adding considerable overhead and complexity to the technology architecture. Alibaba Cloud’s Well-Architecture Framework helps cloud architects build the most secure, resilient, and efficient infrastructure possible for their applications through the three pillars. The three pillars show a consistent approach for customers and partners to evaluate architectures and provide guidance to implement designs that scale with the needs of the application over time.


Many different best practices cover the complete scope of deployment and operations of how to deploy new applications and solutions effectively within Alibaba Cloud.

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