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AWS Tags based Automation

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Cloud Automation Practices using AWS Tags

This article provides a detailed overview of standard automation practices using AWS Tags, also highlights few of the use-cases in general.

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AWS Tagging Practices
  • AWS offers a powerful and unique tagging feature for its resources. When referring to AWS tags, the idea is to have an ability to identify & manage the resources in a hassle-free and organized manner.
  • Whenever organizations/teams that’s actively working on developing stuff in AWS cloud, one of the biggest challenge they might have came across is managing bulk number of resources. AWS tagging comes into play as a savior.
  • AWS Tags provides an interactive way to distinguish the entities that are in play & how they communicate with each other.
  • AWS allow users/application to allocate metadata to AWS resources using tags. With this, you can manage, automate & even calculate costs and further plan for optimizing your cloud expenditures accordingly.   

The following information provides few details on automation of AWS backup process using AWS Tags and provide few advantages of using AWS Tags for Cloud Automation.

AWS Tagging Best Practices for Automation
  • When creating an AWS tagging strategy for automation, it is critical to ensure that your strategies accurately represent your business’ relevant dimensions.
  • Depending on your business demands, it becomes easier to create a tagging strategy. The following are the AWS tagging standards and best practices that you can follow to automate, manage, and organize your resources.  

AWS tags allows teams to to automate the backup of the resources. Tagging assists in identifying the resources and automate functions like remediate, start, and stop, among others. Few tags for automation include:

  • Date/Time: This tags are used to determine the time and date a resource should be stopped, started, rotated, or deleted.
  • Opt-in/Opt-out: These tags are used to specify whether a task should be encompassed in an automated activity like stopping, starting, or resizing instances.
  • Security: The Security tags are used to enable VPC Flow Logs or to identify requirements such as encryption, security-groups, route tables that deserve additional analysis.   

AWS recommends to use resource and app-specific tags while moving ahead with automation to filter the resources. These tags helps to determine exact versions of resources to archive, update (or) delete, as well as opt-in (or) opt-out of automated tasks.

Larger teams generally aspire to implement automated start/stop scripts that enables them to achieve good cost savings by switching off development environments, especially during non-business hours.

  • For example, you can use Amazon EC2 tags to determine the development instances. On the other hand, use snapshot tags etc. to allow you to add additional dimensions for search criteria. 
  • The Resource Groups also used manage AWS resources more efficiently while simplifying automation tasks at the same time. Automation of tasks helps when the same tasks are required to apply to a group of resources again.
  • If Amazon EC2 instances operating at the same layer of an application, create a resource group for these instances. By doing this, you can execute a updates on the resource group through a single task rather than scheduling multiple tasks.

When it comes to creating stable tagging strategy for automation, you need to ensure, the tactics represent structurally relevant dimensions, which include:

  • The tag dimensions should able to manage resource automation.
  • Always modify tags according to business requirements, It’s better to consider the complications associated with tag-based automation.

Tagging Governance – Proactive and Reactive Governance Approach
  • In order to have an effective tagging strategy in place for automation, it is important that use standardized tags and implement them across AWS resources.
  • With the help of reactive and proactive governance approaches, you can govern the use of AWS tags for automation in their respective environments.
What is Reactive Governance Approach?

With reactive governance approach, you can access numerous tools like custom scripts and tag editors. This is recommended for those businesses that do not have a fully developed tagging standard.

Please navigate to CloudySave Proactive tagging measures for more insights. 

What is Proactive Governance Approach?

With a proactive governance approach, you can access tools like AWS CloudFoundation and AWS Service Catalog to ensure that standardized tags are executed consistently while resourcesare being created. It also involves automation that regularly scans the tags of your AWS environment.

Please navigate to CloudySave Reactive tagging measures for more insights. 

Final Thoughts

Tagging for automation is a unique way to automate the backup of your tasks and AWS resources. We recommend that you always use a case-sensitive and standardized format with tags for automation.

Here are few awesome resources on AWS Tagging:

AWS Tags Introduction
AWS Tagging Governance
AWS Cost Centric Tags
AWS Tagging Strategies
AWS Tagging Best Practices
AWS Tags for Roles and IAM Users

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