Tags: what are the benefits for FinOps?

Tags FinOps, issues and interests

You are a FinOps user and are currently in the monitoring and analysis phase of our FinOps cycle ? If so, then you are currently facing new challenges such as identifying your cloud resources. We talk to you aboutDo you know what tags are? So important for but the subject is complex because it is so vast. In this article, we decided to explain the properties and usefulness of tags. Continue reading to find out more...


Table of contents

What is a tag?

The representation of a tag 

By adding tags, we assign metadata to resources, which can be classified under two categories:

The resources allocated :

By users 

By Cloud providers

  • Customised
  • Tailored to the business strategy
  • Instantly generated 
  • Universally applied 
  • Enabled in account management controls 

Knowing that a resource can have several tags, resources can therefore be part of several entities. The difficulty in reporting comes at the moment of counting. An error would distort the analysis.

Decomposed, a tag is often represented as a label consisting of a key and an optional value. The key represents the identity of the resource, while the value corresponds to the purpose of the resource.

Managing your FinOps tags

The interest of the tag for FinOps

At the FinOps level, a tag is a label on an instance or product. This feature allows resources to be identified and grouped together in a common entity for better cost allocation. FinOps tags are proving their effectiveness in other areas as well, such as in the context of security, to more quickly identify a problem or the origin of a vulnerability.

Indispensable for governance and developer use, tags are used to manage, organise and filter resources upstream and to facilitate searches downstream. But theuse of tags is not the only alternative for ensuring control of one's Cloud resources. An alternative to tags is to use account IDs. A visualization of the costs with this breakdown may be sufficient.

Tag reporting on the Lota.cloud FinOps platform
View of the cost visualisation on the Lota.cloud platform

Why use tags for FinOps?

Usefulness of tags

Tags have several functions for managing cloud spending: 

Grouping resources into categories 

Break down and allocate costs

Filter by label 

Create alerts

Monitoring projects and teams

Understand your cloud spend

Identify anomalies by making them visible

Anticipating waste and overspending

Adapt the view of your Dashboard to your Cloud and your company's vision*.

Reassessing the importance of instances and dealing with unused instances

The naming, ordering and classification of tags reflect the organisation and its strategy.

A more precise analysis

FinOps tags are used to facilitate the control of Cloud expenses. This control goes beyond a simple view of overall costs.

The tags answer various questions such as:

  • Which team member is responsible for which resource?
  • How many servers have been upgraded to the latest version of the operating system?
  • Which business unit, project, customer or cloud supplier generates the most expenditure?
  • How many of our services consist of active alerts?
  • What resources can be optimised?
  • Which resources are unused or not needed at certain times?
  • Who should have access to which resources?

Responding to more specific needs, tags are used as tools to tag resources while others provide general information on expenses.

Generally, the application of tags to products can take up to 24 hours to be displayed on the billing and cost management dashboard. Once the tags have been created and allocated to resources, it is possible to generate a CSV file of cost allocation reports. This file will be used for reporting purposes as it can be easily modelled by external tools such as Power bi or Microsoft Excel. Our platform Lota.cloud platform would have you avoid this external modelling step, as it integrates This visualization is directly linked to its functionalities.

The importance of managing your tags

The purpose of the tag is to allow the user to better allocate costs by providing a clear view of the data. By generating reports, tags improve reporting and save time on analysis.

This vision will make it possible to facilitate rebilling (showback and chargeback), by reallocating costs to the right entities. In this logic, it is important to have a good coverage index and few untagged resources. Indeed, if the data view is incomplete, it will be more complicated to know to whom to allocate resources and how to make showback and chargeback work. By tagging all the resources, it is possible to distinguish between untagged resources and those that pose a problem.

Managing your tags well means making it easier to manage your cloud spend (and save money).

In order to allocate resources properly, generating a tag policy is essential to identify anomalies such as stopped or unused products.

Tag automation represents a great opportunity when deploying, to generate tags of improved quality. Read this article and become an expert in tag automation.

Tags are essential in the management of your cloud expenditure. Good governance is therefore necessary. Our Lota.cloud platform includes in its functionalities a part reserved for tags to increase its governance.

Now that you are aware of the importance of managing your tags, it is time to learn how to tag your resources on AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure .

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