How to automate your tags

scripts to automate your tags

Good advice for automatically deploying instances

Is your tagging strategy starting to bear fruit?
If so, you have read our previous articles on the value of tags and their good practices and you have coherent dashboards to share with the rest of the company.

But one question remains in your mind!
You have spent a lot of time on this subject and you tell yourself that you will have to go back to it in a few months. In the tech world, when you have this kind of problem, you quickly try to automate. Stay tuned, that's exactly what we're going to explain in this article.

Don't miss a moment of it, it's time to be 100% focused!

Table of contents

Implementing your automation strategy

Why automate your tags?

But then you'll tell us... automating your tags, what's the point?

That's a good question!

Automating your tags consists of inserting tags during the deployment of an instance or a Cloud product. By doing this, you ensure that the deployed instance is properly identified by FinOps throughout its lifecycle.
Deployment is the best time to do this, as coming back to it afterwards is more tedious. You would be forced to use vendor APIs and devise another automation workflow.

Automate your tags to

  • Facilitate deployment on resources from inception
  • Maximise the taggingsurface effortlessly
  • Staying calm about your reporting
  • Avoid wasting time on retagging

How to automate your tags? 

Before knowing the technique and tools, take the time to think about the choices to be made to ensure consistency in tagging.

Ask yourself beforehand what types of tags you want to automate:

  • Which values should be imposed by default?
  • Should alerts be set for untagged resources?
  • Which tags are to be defined as mandatory?
  • Should non-compliant components be destroyed by default?
  • Should resources be attached to a Business Unit by default if not specified?

Automation over time

Once you have automated your tags, the trick is to make this strategy sustainable in the long term.

To ensure governance, follow these recommendations:

  • Tagging by resource group
  • Periodicallyupdate the consistency and convention of tags and automation
  • Check the conformity of existing resources / correct anomalies / remove non-essential resources
  • Consult regularly with the architects to find out about the evolution of the platform

To optimise this governance, the best solution remains the implementation of dashboards on the hygiene of the tags to be sure that its automation strategy lasts.

Use tag automation tools

Table of tag automation tools in AWS, Azure and GCP

Deployment tools

Infrastructure as-a-code (IaC) infrastructure is the most efficient way to automate your tags.
It is a mechanical package to automate the deployment of Cloud products according to a script written in advance. In particular, you can include a notion for a tag to follow the deployed product through its lifecycle.

So, provide each team with the tags to put in their deployment script to track their spend.
Do it once, you can replicate it as many times as there are deployments to be done. 

Terraform being the most famous, there are also tools specific to Cloud providers.

  • AWS with Cloudformation is known and accessible even to non-technical people.
  • GCP with Google Deployment Manager is similar to Cloudformation, but it also integrates the notion of metadata.
  • Azure with Resource Manager offers this service only to server instances. This can be a bit limiting in terms of usage.

Tools in the Cloud

Vendors also understand that their customers need tags for governance and expense tracking and AWS understands this.
By offering Tag Tamer, Amazon gives users the ability to track, allocate costs, control access and most importantly automate the implementation of tags in the infrastructure.

The other providers are not yet at the same level of their tagging tool but it will not be long before AWS follows.

A CMP like

You don't know yet? 

It's the all-in-one FinOps tool for managing and optimising your cloud spend. With this solution, take advantage of governance over your costs through tools such as tags, budgets, alerts, the explorer

Try and quickly meet your instance tagging needs, while taking advantage of the following features Multicloud.

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