6 Common Cloud Tagging Pitfalls

Nov 10, 2021

Prevention is always better than cure, so when planning strategic migrations to the cloud, having a well thought-out and documented cloud tagging policy is a great start. Cloud resources offer substantial speed, scale and agile benefits to businesses but with great flexibility, the risk of losing control are never far behind.

Robust tagging policies will help you to identify / understand, manage and ultimately optimize cloud resources at scale. Here, Certero’s cloud optimization experts offer some beneficial insights from their collective experience, to help you to future-proof your cloud tagging processes as much as possible. Here are Certero’s top 6 Cloud tagging mistakes to avoid:

  1. Non-Taggable Resources

It is important to be aware that some cloud environments cannot be tagged. For example, below is a list of AWS environments and whether or not they support tagging: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/Using_Tags.html#tag-ec2-resources-table

Take note of these and find a way to manage them outside of your standard tagging practices. The first step in managing these other devices is through ensuring you have full visibility of them. It is best practice to deploy a cloud management solution, such as Certero for Cloud to ensure visibility of your full multi- cloud estate.

  1. Tag Inconsistency

Watch out for inconsistencies in your tags such as capitalizations, spacing, shorthand and abbreviations. Mistakes like these can make your tags redundant and diminish the value you are trying to bring. Some tags are case sensitive, so it is important that your cloud tagging policy covers your capitalization standard: the difference between ‘Marketing’ and ‘marketing’ for example can make for ineffective tagging. This should already be covered in your tagging policy to ensure that your environment is future proof as some environments only allow for lower case text (e.g. google cloud). It is advisable to avoid capitalization if possible. We recommend using a Cloud Management solution which has a built-in custom policy builder that can allow you to audit the tags used throughout your cloud resources.

  1. Checking and Forgetting Cloud Tags

Poorly maintained tags can quickly remove the value from your tagging policy, therefore cloud tagging management isn’t simply a one-time project. Cloud tags should be thought of as a continual management process of your new cloud resources. Audit your estate regularly to ensure all resources are compliant. The easiest way to do this is again with a cloud management solution that will proactively scan the estate and alert you to any non-conforming resources.

  1. Duplicate tags

Without effective policy and documentation in place alongside a knowledgeable team vetting new tag requests, it can be easy for a new tag to be added to the estate which is already covered by an existing one. Ensure that your governance extends to how new tags are created, so if a new tag is to be added in to the estate, the business function or individual requesting it can clearly explain the reason that the tag is needed. This process must also check existing tags to see if they are already covered by something else.

  1. Redundant Tags

As businesses change over time, tags can easily become redundant. Ensure that each tag has an owner and full documentation as to why the tag has been implemented and have regular tag-review intervals. This allows you to quickly check that tags are still useful within the organization and whether some tags need to be retired.

  1. Misspellings

A common problem is the misspelling of tags, with human error likely to occur. You therefore need to ensure your estate is monitored for tags that do not confirm to the policy. For example, ‘marketing’ could have been entered mistakenly as ‘maketing. The best way to resolve this at scale is through a Cloud Management solution which will scan the estate for tags which do not conform to your set policies, giving you the information you need to ensure governance over your cloud estate.

How Certero Can Help

Certero offer helpful cloud management services and a unified technology platform to provide the full visibility and proactive alerting to gaps in processes and standards as outlined above. To find out more about the Certero for Cloud solution, to arrange a demo or to speak to your local Certero team about any of our services, simply contact us today.


This blog is an excerpt from the Certero guide to Cloud Tagging eBook, available to download now for free here.

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