One way to organize resources in the Azure environment is to use tags, or name-value pairs, generally for resource management, automation and accounting. Tags, unlike resource groups, can label any resource within a subscription, and an effective tagging strategy makes resource administration much easier. To get the most out of tagging the Azure Portal, follow these four tips.
Know the Limitations of Cloud Storage Tags
Each resource can have a maximum of 15 tags associated with it. Tag support in automation is only available for the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) model, not the classic deployment model. Tags aren’t hierarchical, so they can’t be nested. Finally, certain tag prefixes are reserved, including “Azure,” “Windows” and “Microsoft.” Though tags can be up to 512 characters (128 characters for storage accounts), a better practice is to keep them focused and to the point.
Apply Tags When Resources Are Created
Develop a naming strategy early on — ideally, applying tags when resources are created. Automate the process using tools such as PowerShell, the Azure command-line interface or ARM templates. Ensure that a consistent naming scheme is adopted and applied to prevent obsolete and unused tags down the road. Reporting will also benefit from a proper naming scheme and allow for proper accounting of all resources.
Plan Your Cloud Tagging Taxonomy
A well-thought-out application taxonomy simplifies resource management. There are many ways of tagging resources; for example, by department, such as “Human Resources” or “Payroll.” Or, focus on technology type, grouping resources by function, such as “Web Servers” or “Load Balancers.” Another common scheme is to tag by environment, such as “Production,” “Staging” or “Development.”
Determine a Cloud Tagging Structure
Once established, a proper tagging structure can easily be used in automation to quickly apply settings and policies across resources. In cloud environments, managing resources is crucial to keeping costs down. By indicating a required review or an expiration date, tags help admins limit resources to only those that are needed. Tagging is an excellent way to monitor, control and manage an Azure environment.