Key AWS Tagging Strategies to Live By

AWS Tagging Strategies helps in streamlining the cloud resources across different teams and business units. A proper tagging strategy in place is pivotal in managing hundreds and thousands of cloud resources. Especially when AWS adoption continues to grow across a business. Without a proper tagging strategy in place, it becomes very challenging as well as time-consuming, leading to several problems ranging from operational issues to unexpected cloud spends.

With the help of tags, enterprises can classify their AWS resources in different ways. For example, users can categorize the AWS resources by purpose, possessor or situation and then assign the tags.

Every tag has a key and an optional value, both of which users can define. As an AWS user, a business can define a set of tags for an account’s Amazon EC2 instances. These tags help businesses to track each instance’s owner and stack level.

AWS recommends that users work out for a set of tag keys that meet their requirements for each resource kind. Using a reliable set of tag keys, it becomes easy to manage AWS resources. Users can simply search and filter the resources based on the tags they add. The following diagram explains how AWS Tagging works.

Key AWS Tagging Strategies to Live By- Botmetric

In this example, a user has assigned two tags to each of the instances, namely Owner and Stack. And both of these have associated values.

Tags don’t have any semantic significance to Amazon EC2. Also, they are inferred firmly as a string of characters. Also, they are not automatically assigned to AWS resources.

Users can work with tags using the AWS Management Console. Also, users can work with tags using the Amazon EC2 command line interface (CLI), the AWS CLI, and the Amazon EC2 API.However, there are some restrictions to tagging. If not done carefully, tagging can go wrong and bring serious impact on the business. Some of the key restrictions , as cited by Amazon, are:

Maximum key length of the tag must be limited to 128 Unicode characters

Maximum value length of the tag must be limited to 256 Unicode characters

Maximum number of tags per resource must be within ten

Reserved prefix—aws: AWS-assigned tag names and values are automatically assigned to the aws: prefix that a user cannot assign. Note that AWS-assigned tag names do not count towards the tag limit of 10.

User-assigned tag names have the prefixed user: in the Cost Allocation Report

Each key can be used only once for each resource. If any user tries to use the same key twice on the same resource, their request is rejected

A resource cannot be tagged at the time of creation. A separate action is required to perform tagging after the resource is created

It is not possible to backdate the application of a tag

Allowed characters for tagging are letters, white space, and numbers, including special characters like + – =. _ : /

The above tagging restrictions will help in trimming unnecessary cloud spend.

How to organize resources by following a AWS tagging discipline?

The public or shared resources can be tagged. But the tags assigned to them are available only to linked AWS account and not to the other accounts sharing the resource.

Not all resources can be tagged. Rather some resources can be tagged only using API actions or the command line. The following table has information about all Amazon EC2 resources and the tagging restrictions that are relevant to them if any. Resources with tagging restrictions of “None” can be tagged with API actions, the CLI, and the console.


Botmetric’s Mantra to Enforce Best Tagging Practices

Holistic cloud cost management is what businesses are looking at, today. With years of experience and acumen in AWS, we at Botmetric have come up with key AWS Tagging strategies that must be enforced by technical teams for cost allocation and tracking. Some of these key recommendations include, but not limited to:

Define Mandatory Tags

Each resource must have at least three tags, namely BUSINESS UNIT, APPLICATION NAME, and ENVIRONMENT.

Define Optional Tags

Use optional tag, “OWNER,” to recognize specific owners for the resources like BUSINESS OWNER, TECHNICAL OWNER, etc.

Monitor Resources without Tags

Ensure there is a program in place that can monitor AWS resources for compliance with mandatory tags. Why? If any resource is found without the mandatory tag, then IT team can be notified via email with a list of resources along with their metadata. This check must be done once a day for the entire AWS account.

Shutdown Resources without Tags

Deactivate resources without tags. With a plethora of resources operating in and out, manually deactivating them becomes a daunting task. Botmetric has an automated internal policy that shuts down resources without a tag if they are present in the system for more than seven days. This is a great practice, as it can save businesses unnecessary costs involved in running unused resources. Also, it ensures compliance is being followed and carries out the necessary business process.

Configure Cost Allocation Tags

Once the tags have been defined for the resources, it’s important to enable AWS cloud cost allocation tags from the billing preferences. This ensures the billing data has selected tags. Users can rule out tags like OWNER etc. from cost allocation tracking.

To know in detail, read our blog on 5 Effective Tagging Strategies For AWS Cloud Cost Allocation

The Bottom Line

For any business, an efficient tagging and monitoring method is a significant stepping stone towards ensuring budgeting and cost compliance. To achieve optimization on cloud, designing a tagging strategy on AWS Cloud is paramount. Botmetric offers cost discovery based on tagging that can help enterprises use tags for their resources and save costs. By adhering to these AWS Tagging Strategies, businesses can achieve 360-degree governance and automation on cloud

To know more about cost discovery based on AWS Tagging, get in touch with us via Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn. We would love to share our thoughts with you. And if you are looking to quickly get started with Cost Allocation and plan out your cloud costs, sign up for a 14-day trial.