fbpx

10 Cloud Tagging Best Practices

Oct 21, 2021

Introduction 

Cloud tagging is an essential part of the process that enables Cloud / FinOps teams manage the relationships that cloud resources have to the underlying business need, ownership, cost and accountability. Therefore, it’s always best to define those best practices early on and limit change in tagging policy as much as possible.

Whether you’re in the planning stages or further down the line and have already begun to migrate workloads to the Cloud, here are Certero’s top-10 tips to help you refine best practices and avoid potential headaches in future.

 

1. Audit Your Tags Regularly 

With the ease at which cloud resources can be deployed, environments can sprawl out of control – especially if you are struggling with poor visibility of your resources. As tags can be removed at any point it is best to audit your tags regularly rather than checking them once and moving on. Manually auditing each and every tag can be an overwhelming manual task and therefore we advise that you look to invest in a Cloud Management solution such as Certero for Cloud, which will allow you to create tagging policies and automate laborious and complex processes, such as continually scanning your estate to identify any non-conforming resources.

2. Stay Alert 

With new cloud resources being regularly created, it is best to invest in a solution that can make you aware of non-conforming resources as quickly as possible to resolve any issues. If tags that inform the security team are missing for a prolonged period of time and go unnoticed for example, you could be opening the company up to a potential security breach. You should look to deploy a solution that will not only discover non-compliant resources but also proactively alert you. A good way to do this is through daily email notifications or intelligent dashboard views within your Cloud optimization solution.

3. Ensure Accountability

No organization is perfect and untagged, non-confirming resources are going to occasionally happen. When they do arise, it is important to alert the users who have created them and find out what happened. It could be a simple human error or it could be a new member of staff who isn’t aware of the companies cloud policies. If this is the case you can them educate them, and make them aware of the companies’ cloud policies and reasons as to why tagging is important. 

4. Periodically Review Tags 

No organization is perfect and untagged, non-confirming resources are going to occasionally happen. When they do arise, it is important to alert the users who have created them and find out what happened. It could be a simple human error or it could be a new member of staff who isn’t aware of the companies cloud policies. If this is the case you can them educate them, and make them aware of the companies’ cloud policies and reasons as to why tagging is important. 

5. Terminate Non-Conforming Resources 

Larger companies often chose to terminate non-conforming resources, which as you can imagine quickly adjusts user behavior. You should decide whether this approach is appropriate for your organization. 

6. Education

It is important to keep up-to-date on the changes in cloud tags. Tagging rules and recommendations change over time. For example, Azure previously only allowed a maximum of 15 tags per cloud resource. Ensure that your team have the time and resources to be able to keep up with these landscape changes and best practices. 

7. Ensure your Policies Work for People and Platforms 

Your tagging policies must work for each and every stakeholder to ensure buy-in, so be aware of global differences, multi-cloud limitations etc. This can be done by ensuring all key stakeholders are involved in the cloud policy creation and ensure you are aware of the limitations of each of the cloud platforms.

 Here are examples of the differences in policy of three major Cloud providers at the time of writing (August 2021). We would recommend ensuring that your understanding of these dynamics is kept up to date.

 

AWS

Azure

Google (GCP)

Tags per resource

50

50

64

Length of key

127

512

63

Length of value

256

256

63

Case sensitive

Yes (keys and values)

No

Lowercase only

Allowed characters

Letters, spaces, numbers, and + – = . _ : / @

Alphanumeric

Lowercase letters, numeric characters, underscores, and dashes. International characters are allowed.

8. Enforce Standardization 

It is important to use a standard naming convention whether that’s for dates, times, countries, capitalization or usernames. Your standardization should be outlined within your cloud policy. The best way to monitor whether there is any non-conformance is through a cloud management solution which can monitor cloud governance and highlight discrepancies automatically.

9. Start Early 

Tags are not retroactive, you can only report on a tag from the date which the tag was added so the sooner you start to add these in, the better. So, if you are currently putting off your cloud tagging, it may be time to start planning. We suggest that you start with a small number of core tags and get these implemented throughout your estate and then go back and add more later.

10. Future-Proof Your Tags

You cloud tagging strategy should be future proof, if today you are only using Azure but you have a plan to use Google Cloud in the future then you need to consider this when building your tags. Each platform has its own tagging standards and limitations for example tags within google cloud must be in lower case so be aware of your future platforms when creating your tags or you could end up with a fragmented tagging approach.

How Certero can Help

If you would like to discuss any plans or challenges with an expert then simply contact your local Certero team who will be happy to help. Certero are an independent specialist in IT asset management and optimization, helping businesses globally with innovative technology solutions and services, to provide clarity over IT resources and the resources and expertise to optimize cost and value to the business.

Certero’s unified technology platform brings the management of IT assets from desktop to datacenter, mobile to Cloud together on to one ideal platform – eliminating the need to manually export data from multiple toolsets to create reports and instead providing a ‘single source of the truth’ to streamline the management of all IT’s assets.

That means better information is more freely available, faster, clearer and it revolutionizes the way IT teams can communicate and act with agility.

Certero for Cloud is the latest addition to the Certero platform, providing a unified view of multi-cloud environments and a way to streamline and automate cloud resource reporting, governance and tagging. 

 

Follow us on Linkedin for more Cloud
updates

i

Read more like this from
Certero

Ready to learn how Certero can securely support your business’ transformation?
Speak to our experts today!

Certero's [software-as-a-service] Solution

Certero help organizations transform their outdated operations and technologies in days and weeks not years. All of Certero’s solutions can be delivered as SaaS with no loss of functionality. 

Certero Unified Platform
Learn more about Certero’s truly unique ‘unified’ platform.

Digital Transformation Edition
Transform in days and weeks, not months and years, start your journey now.

Verified Oracle LMS/GLAS Solution
Verified LMS (License Management Services), now GLAS (Global Licensing & Advisory Services) solution.

Cloud Management
Manage Visibility, Cost and Governance of your Cloud Resources 

Enterprise Standard Edition - ITAM / SAM for Wintel
Default solution to manage ITAM/SAM for a Wintel environment. 

Enterprise Premium Edition - ITAM / SAM for Wintel
All you need in one place to manage your ITAM/SAM for a Wintel & Citrix environment. 

Datacenter
Stand-a-lone or holistic solutions for IBM, SAP and Oracle.

Software License Compliance
One Stop Shop, products and services for any solution – all in one

Business Intelligence Solution
See how to turn DATA into INFORMATION then transform into KNOWLEDGE, all in a few clicks. 

IT Asset Visibility
Find out: What do I own? Where is it located? Who is using it?

ITSM & CMDB Integration 
Populating the CMDB with ‘Quality’ asset information is more critical than ever

SaaS Subscription Management
Discover, manage and optimize your SaaS investments.

Everything in One place, True Unification
IT Hardware, Software, SaaS and Cloud Asset Management products that can run ‘stand-a-lone’ or ‘holistically’ and optimally together as a single solution, no dependencies. True unification across all asset and platforms and all delivered as SaaS. All of Certero’s products have the best TTV (Time to Value) by some distance.

Certero for Enterprise ITAM
Networks, printers, routers, Wintel, Mac, Linux, zLinux, Unix, all virtualizations and much more....

Certero for Enterprise SAM
Focused on Wintel software vendors, including automated solutions for Microsoft, Adobe and much more...

Certero App Centre 
Enterprise ‘Application Portal’ for Self-Service application provisioning.

Certero for Mobile
Go beyond standard MDM and deliver full management and security for your mobile workforce.

Certero SRDB (Software Recognition)
Transform raw software inventory data into actionable intelligence about application usage and licensing.

Certero for Oracle 
Optimize your Oracle Database, Middleware and E-Business Suite applications.

Certero for IBM
Discover and manage all IBM software & entitlements across the network. Dual Inventory, ILMT and Certero.

Certero for SAP Applications
Managing and automating the analysis of complex SAP named user and engine licenses across your estate. 

Passworks
An intuitive self-service password reset solution that can reduce service desk calls by 30%. 

PowerStudio
PC Power Management solution. Save money and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Certero for Cloud Visibility, governance, reporting and control to IaaS and PaaS environments.
Certero for SaaS See, Manage and Eliminate Over-Spending with your SaaS Subscriptions.

Certero [Do IT] Differently - Technology Led Professional Services

Certero are pioneering the new way that ITAM & SAM services can be delivered.

SAM Managed Services
Expertise and technology to realize your license management & technology governance goals.

Discovery and Inventory
Achieve full visibility of all computers, servers and other IT assets across all platforms and locations. 

ELP and Optimization
Build and deliver ELPs & optimization reports for key software publishers.

SAM Maturity Assessment
Enhance your SAM program with the insight of focused & relevant improvement recommendations. 

Training and Education
Quick & effective knowledge transfer from Certero's licensing and vendor experts. 

Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice

Rated #1 for SAM Customer Satisfaction year after year, after year

Blog
For the latest in ITAM, SAM, Cloud and SaaS Asset Management

White Papers and eBooks 
Download the latest white papers and eBooks for key insights and guides.

News
Read the latest news from Certero and the industry.

Events and Webinars
Keep up to date with Certero's latest webinars and events.

 

Videos
View our range of product videos, webinars and customer case studies. 

Data Sheets
Download our datasheets which highlight the key benefits and features of our world class products and services. 

Case Studies 
See how organization around the globe change they way they [Do IT].

We think [and do] IT Differently

We don’t believe in claiming to be something we’re not. We will not do mediocre, average, indifferent, or outdated. We are different and will do it differently.

About Us
Get to know us more

Our Story
See how our approach is different

Our Journey
A timeline of events

Our Vision, Mission and Purpose
Mission, Purpose and Values

Careers
Browse our current roles

Locations
Find our nearest location