IBM Well-Architected Framework
The image shows framework consist of six pillars, key dimensions or qualities that a hybrid cloud solution should contain

The IBM Well-Architected Framework is a structured collection of materials, recommendations and best practices to help architects create hybrid cloud solutions that are resilient, performant, and secure. The framework consist of six pillars, key dimensions or qualities that a hybrid cloud solution should contain:

  • Hybrid and portable
  • Resiliency
  • Efficient operations
  • Security and compliance
  • Performance
  • Financial operations and sustainability

Each pillar consist of three elements, principles, practices, and guidance.


Principles are the architecture tenets that underpin IBM's hybrid cloud approach. They are constant, regardless of the technologies and approaches used to realize a solution. Within the framework, principles drive the identification and selection of best practices. When the framework is applied to a solution architecture, the principles drive technology and architecture choices to best use resources and assets to deliver a hybrid cloud solution.


Practices are approaches for developing solutions that adhere to the pillar's principles.


Guidances are assets such as anti-patterns, checklists, technology reference architectures, and other items that further help architects to create well-architected solutions and to understand how to realize those solutions using specific products and technologies.

Guidance can be targeted to specific layers of the application or infrastructure stack.

IBM Architectures
Related content

IBM Hybrid Cloud Architecture Center

Contact us
Pillars Hybrid and Portable

Creating and integrating solutions that run on and span multiple computing platforms. Hybrid and portable enable solutions to run across multiple computing environments including private infrastructure and public cloud providers, enabling architects to chose the best platform for their workload and freeing them from having to accept the constraints of a single platform.


Creating solutions that continue to function in the face of business and IT disruptions. Resiliency is the ability of a solution to withstand and recover from failures in the solution components or the deployment environment. Resilient solutions continue to provide high levels of service to end-users regardless of workload demand or the state of the solution's internal components.

Efficient Operations

Practices and guidance around deploying teams, and automation and AI tooling to monitor, manage, and maintain solutions in a secure, reliable, and performant manner.

Security and Compliance

Designing and developing solutions that protect end-users, functionality, and data from unauthorized access, inadvertent disclosure, and malicious intent.


Practices and guidance around creating solutions that are highly performant in the face of shifting demand.

Financial Operations and Sustainability

Practices and guidance for creating solutions that are cost and resource efficient.

Design Principles

The Well-Architected Framework defines a set of general architecture and design principles that facilitate good design in a hybrid cloud environment and guide the practices and guidance within the framework pillars.

  • Automate operations 

    Operations is 98% of a solution's lifetime costs. Automating operational tasks reduces these costs and contributes to the solution's overall reliability, availability, and security.


  • Respect data gravity 

    Data is expensive to move once it has been collected. Implementing solutions that shift computing to the data where it resides reduces operating costs and helps to reduce solution complexity.


  • Best platform for the workload 

    Solutions deployed on a single platform are often forced to sacrifice desirable traits to gain others. Solutions that are portable across platforms can take best advantage of platform capabilities to optimize service levels and operating characteristics per workload.

Take the next step