Using Tags for Tracking Cloud Resources

When Amazon announced that the limit for tags on resources was increased from 10 to 50, a great cheer went up from the masses. In the same way that you’ll always own slightly more stuff than you can fit in your house, many cloud users find they wanted more tags than were available.

Tags are custom labels that can be assigned to cloud resources. While they don’t have a functional effect (except for in Google Compute Platform, see below), they can be very powerful for reporting and automation. For example, some customers have a single corporate account and apply resources based on department, user, project, et cetera for chargeback.

Some customers also use labels in automated tools. For example, you can tag instances with a “backup” attribute and have a script that polls those instances to create snapshots of permanent volumes on a daily basis. Or perhaps you have an account for testing and you don’t want users to accidentally leave instances running forever. You can automatically terminate long-running instances that don’t have a “keepalive” tag set.

In Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft Azure, tags are key-value pairs. CycleCloud supports adding tags to instances and volumes a simple syntax:

      tags.Application = my application
      tags.CustomValue = 57
      tags.Custom Text = Hello world

Tags in Google Compute Platform

The term “tag” has a different meaning in Google Compute Platform. A “tag” is an attribute places on an instance that is used to apply network or firewall settings. Other resources do not have tags. CycleCloud supports adding tags to GCP instances in a single list:

     TagList = demo, tagging, cycle-owned

Key-value pairs similar to AWS and Azure tags are called “Labels” in GCP.

The use of tags and labels give great flexibility and options to users. If you have questions on how to use tags or labels in your specific case, leave a comment or contact our support team.


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