AWS Tag Policies: Use Cases and Best Practices

AWS tag policies are instructions to help you manage tags in the AWS cloud. They give instructions on how you should utilize tags. Tags, on the other hand, are labels attributed to certain functions. They use tag keys to add attributes to certain resources -- for example, Cost Center.

Each tag is a key with an associated value. Tag policies can help implement various use cases that suit your needs. They also assist in AWS automation.

Features of AWS Tag Policies

What features do AWS tag policies include?
They integrate with AWS Organization to help in centralized management of various AWS accounts.
Tag policies work for single accounts, multiple linked accounts, business departments, and whole organizations.
You can use them for free in specific AWS zones, such as the U.S. East, Asia Pacific, and Canada.
They ensure consistency in tags and the general arrangement of resources.
They specify whether there is noncompliance tagging applied.

What Are Examples of the New AWS Tagging Policy?

Infinite tag policy examples exist. In this case, let’s explore how to create tag policies in multiple AWS accounts.
  1. Log in to your organization's AWS account and enable tag policies.

    AWS tag policies

  2. Under the policies tab, navigate to policies>tag policies. You’ll see the name, type, and description of existing tag policies. Click on the Create Policy button.

    AWS tag policies

  3. On the new screen, key in the name and description of the tag policy you want to create.
  4. The next steps involve adding a tagging key and strengthening a policy with noncompliant operations. AWS has in-app blurbs to help you explore each of these options.
  5. Click on create policy. Attach required tags, which could be business units in the cloud. Your created policy applies to all selected tags. You just applied tag policies across multiple accounts!

What Are Examples of the New AWS Tagging Policy?

Behind a tag policy, there’s a syntax. The code is usually a text file programmed in JSON. The syntax must contain tags, tag keys, policy keys, and a tag value.

Why Do We Need Tag Policies?

Tag policies help manage tags that track and monitor our cloud spending. You can associate cost centers and business units to each tag policy. These will reflect in AWS reports.

They help identify unnecessary and unused resources. Organizations can get rid of these resources and save on costs.
You’ll need them when automating tasks, such as backup. You can link with other tools, such as CloudWatch, to automate critical notifications.
Tag policies can allow or limit certain resources based on roles, business units, or projects.

AWS Tag Policies: Best Practices When Getting Started

  1. Use Tag Policies before Bill Time.

    Because tags assist in tracking how we spend resources in the cloud, it’s essential to tag at the right time. A tag created late within a month may not be in the end month reflection of your AWS bill.

  2. Fill in Compulsory Fields for All Resources.

    When handling tag policies, it’s advisable to fill in all recommended and optional values. These help in the easy management of bulky AWS activities. When keying in values and text, note that tags are usually case-sensitive.

  3. Enable Tagging.

    Tag policies only work if you enable tagging. There are more prerequisites before implementing tag policies. Make sure you log in with your organization’s account.

  4. Pay Attention to Scaling.

    When scaling with the cloud, it’s possible to advance the use of tag policies. Let the team know your capitalization criteria, tagging strategies, and technical troubleshooting techniques.

  5. Choose An Ideal Option.

    While creating tagging policies, there are two options to get around the task. You can use the visual editor or JSON. The visual editor has a better interface and is easy for people with intermediate skills. The visual editor can update multiple tags in a few clicks. It makes maintenance easy, removing the need for manual coding. JSON, on the other hand, has limitations. It’s difficult to verify whether a code is correct. With the visual editor, users can pull information from other sources into the editor.

  6. Use More Tags.

    In 2016, tag policies got a newer and better update. Amazon Web Services increased the limited quantity of tags from 10 to 50. Because of the limited initial number, people used compound tagging. But now, this strategy is no longer effective. Compound tagging involved attaching lots of attributes to one tag.

In conclusion, tag policies have various use cases. You can use them to control costs, automation, compliance enforcement, and much more. AWS also offers additional education on using tag policies, how they work, and best practices.

If you need help implementing tag policies in your organization, we can help. Contact us at