Illustrative image of cloud management with paper clouds used as tagsModern businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on the cloud because these cloud environments offer so many benefits for your organization due to their ability to seamlessly provide agile and remote compute, storage, or networks to the right people at the right time. However, with so many possibilities, also comes the threat of sprawl and disorganization. And without proper cloud management, your organization’s cloud environment could go from hero to zero.

There are also a variety of ways to manage your cloud environment. In this blog, we’ll examine tagging and how it can help you track resources and resource groups across your cloud environment. First, let’s start with the basics. What is a tag?

What is cloud tagging? 

Cloud tagging is a relatively straightforward, yet crucial process. It is the process of adding metadata to resources and files in your cloud environment so it’s easier to find what you need when you need it.

Your cloud environment contains many different resources, all of which belong to different owners and departments. For example, a high-powered cloud compute may be used by Matt—your content creator—for editing videos.

Now imagine that you’ve noticed a rise in your monthly cloud bill due to someone on your team using more compute than usual this month. You know Matt has been working on multiple videos over the last month, which is fine, but you want to check to ensure there aren’t any other anomalies. You search through computes used by the content team, look at different resources, and even reach out to Matt to ask for help identifying his resource groups.

However, all of this could be avoided with the right cloud tagging strategy. If Matt’s resources are tagged with an “owner:matt” tag; and all of the content team’s resources are tagged with a “dept:content” tag; you have the ability to easily view usage stats and find out exactly where your extra compute was coming from. This can be useful in many circumstances, not just in the scenario above.

Some other common cloud management tags include:

  • Environment – to keep track of where resources are housed.
  • Status – to give an overview of whether a resource is active, green, normal etc.
  • Costs – for keeping track of the subscription costs of specific groups of resources and business units.

View other tagging examples on Microsoft’s Azure tagging strategy page.

Four reasons you should start using a cloud tagging strategy 

As you can see, tags are diverse and can cater to a number of different functions. But they are more than just labels. Tags can provide greater overall visibility of your cloud environment to help gain greater insight into hidden usage costs across your organization’s Azure resources.

1. Measuring migration/adoption success 

Migration to the cloud can be a complicated journey for organizations. Some organizations also opt for a multi-cloud or hybrid approach, which can complicate matters further. Therefore, measuring success can be a challenge. And trying to identify which departments have successfully adopted your new cloud strategy, and which are lagging, can also be extremely difficult when using resource groups alone.

Tagging lets you narrow your search by department, team, and individuals. It allows you to track which groups are using cloud resources and when. Additionally, it can also help prevent misuse or overuse so that you can make more informed decisions about the future of your cloud management strategy.

2. Grouping resources for billing 

As we’ve mentioned, you can set cost tags on resources and resource groups you want to appear as a separate group r. This allows you to isolate department spending and audit team spending for separate business units.

This is particularly useful if you are trying to reduce your spend, or have a high-cost resource group you want to monitor separately from the rest of your environment.

Gain greater visibility into your cloud spend and insights into your tagging with Inscape. View a demo of Inscape. 

3. Monitoring impacted resources 

In the event of an issue, tagging could also help you to get back on track. By using tags in your monitoring systems, you can pinpoint where the issue occurred, and which resources have been affected.

Tagging owners and departments can also help you build more robust processes around your cloud management in the future. You can provide the offending department training, or implement dedicated cloud policies to help prevent further problems.

4. Creating clear naming conventions 

Tagging requires specific data to be added to resources and files so the information is easier to find when searched. However, adding tags can also improve the overall organization and structure of your cloud environment by making naming conventions a   central part of the cloud structure.

Unified naming conventions:

  • Help business units identify who is responsible for resources and who to contact over usage and cost queries.
  • Help operations units who now have the data they need to make decisions – based on environment, status, application, etc.

Build upon your cloud tagging strategy with Inscape

Tagging is just one piece of the cloud management puzzle. Keeping your cloud environment in order also requires a fully integrated and comprehensive platform to give you greater visibility and control.

That’s where Inscape comes in. Inscape monitors every part of your cloud environment and gives you unique insights into usage, licenses, cost management, tagging, and more.

Inscape Cloud Management

Inscape Cloud Management simplifies financial management, heightens visibility, and delivers comprehensive recommendations for your multi-cloud environment from a single platform. With Inscape, you will gain more clarity of your cloud spend by quickly and easily monitoring costs, spotting trends, creating and managing budgets, and customizing alerts based on your Microsoft 365®, Azure®, and AWS® cloud spend.

From one central dashboard, Inscape provides every element of cloud management your organization needs. Here are a couple of examples of the insights Inscape can provide for your organization:

On the Cost Management dashboard, you can view your cloud spend and filter by tag.

Screenshot of tagging for cloud management in InscapeIn the Budgets section, you can create budgets and filter by tag—for example—to monitor your budget with more granularity.

Screenshot of tagging for cloud management in InscapeInterested in learning more? Schedule a free demo to find out more about tagging and cloud management using Inscape.


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