Mar 18 2020

3 Tips to Get Organized with Tags in Microsoft Azure

Develop a taxonomy to locate resources quickly and easily in the cloud.

Government agencies collect a lot of data, and storing data in the cloud is a quick and easy way to access that data on demand. Microsoft Azure provides a way to find the right data quickly through its support for tags.

Azure tags are name-value pairs used to organize resources in the Azure environment. Azure tags are generally used for resource management, automation and accounting. An effective tagging strategy makes resource administration within the Azure environment much easier.

What are best practices for tagging within an Azure portal? It is important to understand that there are a few limitations to using Azure tags. A particular resource can have a maximum of 15 tags associated with it. Tags are not hierarchical, which means tags cannot be nested. Though tags can be up to 512 characters (or 128 characters for storage accounts), tags should be focused and to the point.

1. Apply Tags in Azure at the Time of Resource Creation

To utilize tags effectively, develop a naming strategy. Ideally, tags should be applied at the time of resource creation. Automate the tagging process using tools such as PowerShell, the Azure command-line interface or Azure Resource Manager templates. By adopting and applying a consistent naming scheme, obsolete and unused tags can be avoided further down the line. Reporting will benefit from a proper naming scheme and allow for proper accounting of all resources.

2. Plan a Good Taxonomy for Azure Tags

Developing a well-designed application taxonomy assists in resource management. There are many ways of tagging resources. An example of tagging by department could be tags titled “Human Resources” or “Payroll.” With a focus on the technology type, resources would be grouped by function, such as “Web Servers” or “Load Balancers.” Finally, a common tagging scheme is by environment, such as “Production,” “Staging” or “Development.”

3. Determine a Proper Tagging Structure

Once decided on, a proper tagging structure can easily be used in automation to quickly apply settings and policies to all resources. In cloud environments, managing resources is crucial to keeping costs down. Tags indicating a necessary review or an expiration date keep resources allocated to only what is needed. Tagging is an excellent way to monitor, control and manage an Azure environment.

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