Cloud Tagging Strategies

guidance on proper tagging strategies for the public cloud
It is strongly recommended that anyone operating in the cloud is suggested to develop a tagging strategy.

Tagging helps in operating cloud services by having a common identifier for a solution or parts of a solution.  So being able to find all the VMs and Databases configured for a service would be an example.  

Beyond that there are many tools in the cloud that can help you manage your work by tag.  An example use case is configuring your cloud back up to handle backup by a tag.  Say that your development systems only need to keep backups for a few weeks where production requires a year retention.  Having an environment tag that has values of Dev and Prod would help you implement that.  So that when you start up a new Dev instance it automatically starts backing up with the correct retention.

Some items to consider:
 1. Make sure you pick a multi cloud format
 2. Identify services that can't be tagged.  Record and list what you can not tag.
 3. Use just enough tags.  Look at avoiding putting in tags that you can query in other ways.  Examples are provider (AWS/Azure/GCP) or Region
 4. Try not to make tags that will require frequent update.

Some Links to help

An example table of tags:
 Key Description  Reasoning  Example
 created-by  The user, group or role that has created the resource  Identifier of who or what created the resource.  For AWS, use the automatic AWS “createdBy” cost allocation tag.  “bbadger,” “DBAdmin,” “CloudOps”
business-owner   The user, group or role that owns the resource and is accountable for the cost  Use to identify who owns the business results.  Examples include a PI or a campus HR unit or Lab.  “bbadger,” “LOB1,” “LOB2”
 operation-owner  The user, group or role that is responsible for operating the resource  Use groups or roles as values if you want to limit the updates. Use this to authorize access to resources via IAM.  “bbadger,” “DBAdmin,” “CloudOps”
 cost-center    Use the cost center ID that will be commonly recognized by employees and will integrate with financial systems.  “UDDS-A06xxx”
 department  The department that owns the resource or is accountable for the cost  Use functional departments to avoid impact of organizational changes, rather than using organizational strings aligned to programs or projects.  “DoIT,” “UW-cloud-team,” “IT,” “HR”
 project  The project that the cloud resources refer to  Use project names or identifiers that follow a naming convention.  “PROD_ERP,” “DEV_R”
 service (or application)  The application or service name that runs on the resource  Group multiple cloud resources under the same service or application name.  “CRM,” “ERP,” “datalake”
 environment  The purpose of the deployed environment  Mirror the environment names you use in your software development life cycle.  “dev,” “pre-prod,” “prod”
 stack  The technology stack installed on the resource  Group the most commonly used technology stacks in your organization. Use this to check for vulnerabilities or required technology updates.  “LAMP,” “.net,” “LAMP_php5.7
 version  The version of the deployed resource  If you deploy using infrastructure-as-code tools, use this tag to track the version of the deployment template.  “1.12,” “12.14”
 expires-on  The expiry date of the resources  Use this to automate the decommissioning of temporary resources.  Example would be a  Proof of Concept setup.  “20210331”
 compliance  The regulatory frameworks the workload has to comply with  Use this to indicate resources that may fall under a specific regulatory compliance framework. Use this to check that specific compliance framework practices are in place. Break this down into multiple tags, one for each regulatory framework, if necessary.  “HIPAA,” “FERPA”
The above table is based on Gartner document "Implementing a Tagging Strategy for Cloud IaaS and PaaS"

If you have any questions, feedback or ideas please Contact Us

Commonly Referenced Docs:

UW Madison Public Cloud Team Events
Online Learning Classes for Cloud Vendors
What Data Elements are allowed in the Public Cloud

KeywordsAWS GCP Azure Cloud Tagging   Doc ID97922
OwnerKelly R.GroupPublic Cloud
Created2020-02-13 13:50:40Updated2021-11-08 09:48:36
SitesPublic Cloud
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