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AWS Tagging Best Practices

Amazon Web Services offer its customers a unique way of understanding and controlling cloud costs through AWS tags. A tag is nothing but a label that assigns a metadata to your AWS resources. These tags contain user-defined keys and values that enable you to identify, search, organize and manage resources to facilitate resource categorization by purpose, environment, owner or any other criteria.

No single strategy is adequate as every organization is different and may need  discrete strategies to implement tagging. In this informational piece, we will be looking at some of the best practices of AWS Tagging that will help organizations implement the most appropriate set of guidelines while defining a tagging strategy for their AWS resources.

  1. Determine the AWS tags that are most essential

Identify the tags that are required and set rules about their usage to ensure how they can be utilized to their best potential. Separate out the ones that are mandatory and decide who will be creating them. In case of multiple resources, tag assignment can be delegated to concerned teams.

  • Apprehend the usage of every AWS tag created

The four categories for cost allocation tags are technical, business, security, and automation. AWS tagging strategy is created from one of these based on the requirements.

Technical Tags help engineers identify and work with the resources. This may include an environment, a service name or application, or a version number.

  • Business Tags analyse costs and the teams responsible for each resource. It keeps the stakeholders informed on the AWS spends to calculate effort costs and improve ROI.
  • Security Tags ensure security and compliance standards are met with throughout the organization. The tags also help in limiting access or signifying precise data security requirements for HIPAA or SOC regulatory.
  • Automation Tags can automate clean up, usage and shut down rules for each AWS resource. For instance, you could tag specific servers and run a script to delete them once it is inactive.
  • AWS tag naming convention to remain consistent

The AWS tag naming conventions are complex with diverse rules on the length and characters that can be used for AWS tag keys and values. It is necessary to know all about tag restrictions before selecting a naming convention. A common tag naming convention pattern is to use lowercase letters with hyphens between words and colons.

  • Restrict the number of AWS Tags

There is a 50-tag limit on each resource by AWS and it is important to keep the count to a minimum for easy tracking. Strategize the usage of AWS tags in such a way that engineers can certainly keep track of multiple tags while being error-free in the process.

  • Automation of AWS Tag management

With an increment in your AWS resources, it may become difficult to monitor or update tags and enforce conventions. AWS offers tagging policies or tagging by resource group to assign and govern tags in bulk. Automating the tag management process helps improve the quality and durability of tags in the long run.

  • Audit periodically to maintain AWS tags

Revisiting AWS tags through periodic checks and audits is a must to ensure tags are still functional and fault-free. It is best to set the audit frequency based on the number of resources being engaged. A dedicated committee to review or update tags must also be set up to ensure AWS tag maintenance.

Organizations using AWS need to ensure tagging strategies are in place at all times. Revising and updating the strategies at frequent intervals will not just help them keep abreast with the best practices but also warrant controlled AWS spends and better cloud cost management. Autonomous multi-cloud governance platforms like CloudEnsure enable users to select and map recommended tags w.r.t the resources.

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