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Why You Should Use Tags in Your Cloud Infrastructure and How?

AUTHOR

Louis-Philippe Joly

READING TIME

3 min

Platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure offer many services and features to help you better control your Cloud environment. As an IT professional, it is important to adopt tagging within your company’s Cloud infrastructure.

Let’s first define the notion of tags and then understand why and how to apply them within your Cloud environment.

What Are Tags and Why Integrate Them Into Your Cloud Platform?

A tag is simply a label that you assign to a resource or a group of resources. The label is represented in the form of a key-value pair and will make it possible to add an attribute to a resource in order to categorize it. This becomes particularly important when it comes to sorting your resources according to certain common criteria. For example:

    • Deployment environment: Allows you to assign a label for each environment
    • Team: Allows you to view by which team a resource is used
    • Cost: Allows you to monitor the cost of a project on the business side, to determine its ROI or several other KPIs, etc.
    • Automation: For a DevOps, this makes it possible to assign an automatic action on all the resources containing this same key-value by executing a script, for example, a weekly stop-restart
    • Compliance requirement: Allows sorting according to compliance rules, according to the level of confidentiality of the data or its location
    • Security: Establish a policy of permissions and access rights to resources

Thus, this practice will make it possible to coordinate resources and thus optimize the organization of these in your Cloud platform.

How to Set up a Tag System in Your Cloud Infrastructure?

Before setting up tags on your various resources, it is important to define a tagging policy and apply certain best practices for logical and productive management of your Cloud environment. In fact, the larger your infrastructure, the more careful your organization needs to be.

First, it will be a question of defining a tag policy by setting up your naming convention such as spelling or even prefixing. Secondly, it will be good to integrate global tags such as:

Type de tagExamplesFonction
Environnementenv:dev | env:test | env:prodIdentify the type of environment
Billingregion:us | owner:umaknowEstimate the cost of the resources
Applicationapp:carapp | service:azureDefine the applications or services
Compliancedatalocation:australia | compliance:gdprDefine compliance rules
Optimizationschedule:24/7Automate actions on certain resources

Following the implementation of global tags, you can quickly introduce more detailed tags according to your personal preferences or internal specificities of your company or team.

Depending on the platform you use, the tag naming constraints differ according to their respective documentation:

PlatformNo. of tags per resourceTag key lengthTag value lengthCase sensitivityRestrictions/accepted characters
AWS50128256YesPrefix « aws: » is reserved | Letters, numbers, spaces and: + - = . _ : / @ are accepted
Azure50512256NoNot accepted: <, >, %, &, \, ?, /
GCP646363YesLowercase, numbers, underscore and dashes are accepted

Note: if you use more than one of these platforms (multi-cloud architecture, or hybrid cloud architecture) it is advisable to assign key-values ​​of 63 characters and write them in lowercase, with numbers, letters, and underscores.

Warning: if you use a similar tag from one platform to another, be sure to respect its value and its letter case for better management of resources across the board.

 

In order to make the tags applicable to all members of your organization, there are two ways of doing so in Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS. They are fully described in their respective documentation which you will find at the end of the article. You will then have the choice between:

    • Adding, deleting, or editing by command line
    • Addition, deletion, or edition by a graphical interface

Leverage the Power of Your Tags With Cloudockit

For visualization and management of your tags, Cloudockit allows you to generate your Cloud documentation as well as your Cloud architecture diagrams by including the tags you will have assigned to your various resources in order to draw even more relevant information.

Now, through the use of tags, following best practices coupled with the use of Cloudockit, take full control of your Cloud infrastructure and get the most out of it.

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