Jan. 02, 2019
Tagging one’s resources on AWS is a topic that isn’t given the attention it deserves. Although it is something that might not seem like the most direct means of saving money on AWS, it helps generate the visibility necessary to effectively identify and manage resources on AWS which in turn helps users get rid of unwanted expenses and optimize their ROI on AWS.
Tags are basically metadata that users can assign to their resources on AWS. Each tag is a simple label that consists of a user-defined key and an optional value that allows users to better manage, filter and search for their resources. Tagging resources on AWS is something that is usually done by most companies but not as consistently or as strategically as it should be in order to provide the level of detail required to zoom-in on specific problems.
For those of you who are curious to learn more about tags in detail, AWS already has a wonderful and comprehensive article that talks about tagging strategies. Here’s the link to the article: https://aws.amazon.com/answers/account-management/aws-tagging-strategies/
There are basically 4 major tagging categories (Technical Tags, Tags for Automation, Business Tags, Security Tags) which can all be useful based on how each company chooses to filter and analyze its data. However, from a technical standpoint, there are three major Technical tags – Name, Environment, and Version – which, if implemented correctly, can help companies get an extremely accurate idea of the spending and overall efficacy of their workflows.
Name tags, used to identify individual resources, are usually employed effectively by most users in their AWS efforts. However, Environment tags which are used to distinguish between development, test, production infrastructure, are often not used adequately by the majority of AWS users. The primary use of Environment tags is that they allow you to segment your resources based on the environment they belong to (production, test, etc). Environment tags provide you with a simple means of evaluating the efficacy of each of these specific sub-divisions, and they simplify the process of pinpointing areas where too much money is being spent.
Finally, Version tags, though not as crucial as the Name and Environment tags, can be quite useful from a technical perspective, for they help distinguish between different versions of resources or applications.
Users using AWS often start off by tagging their resources pretty well at the beginning, but a combination of lack of discipline, lack of planning, and a lack of strategy, often leads to a majority of the resources not being tagged. And once the chaos builds, regaining structure and orderliness starts to become an impossible task. So the solution we prescribe is quite simple and straightforward: Make it a point to tag your resources right from the very beginning, and stick to it. Discipline and consistency in your tagging will definitely help you save quite a lot of money in the long run.