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Microsoft Azure Tagging Conventions

· 5 min read

Organizing cloud-based resources is a crucial task for IT unless you only have simple deployments. Use naming and tagging standards to organize your resources for these reasons:

  • Resource management: Your IT teams will need to quickly locate resources associated with specific workloads, environments, ownership groups, or other important information. Organizing resources is critical to assigning organizational roles and access permissions for resource management.
  • Cost management and optimization: Making business groups aware of cloud resource consumption requires IT to understand each team's resources and workloads.
  • Operations management: Visibility for the operations management team regarding business commitments and SLAs is an essential aspect of ongoing operations.
  • Security: Classification of data and security impact is a vital data point for the team when breaches or other security issues arise.
  • Governance and regulatory compliance: Maintaining consistency across resources helps identify deviation from agreed-upon policies.
  • Automation: In addition to making resources easier for IT to manage, a proper organizational scheme allows you to take advantage of automation as part of resource creation, operational monitoring, and the result of DevOps processes.

Workload optimization: Tagging can help identify patterns and resolve broad issues. A tag can also help determine the assets required to support a single workload. Tagging all assets associated with each workload enables a more profound analysis of your mission-critical workloads to make sound architectural decisions.

Tagging Types

The common tagging patterns listed below provide examples of how tagging can be used to organize cloud assets. These patterns are not meant to be exclusive and can be used in parallel, providing multiple ways of organizing assets based on your company's needs.

Tag typeExamplesDescription
Functionalapp = catalogsearch1 tier = web webserver = apache env = prod env = staging env = devCategorize resources in relation to their purpose within a workload, what environment they have been deployed to, or other functionality and operational details.
Classificationconfidentiality = private SLA = 24hoursClassifies a resource by how it is used and what policies apply to it.
Accountingdepartment = finance program = business-initiative region = northamericaAllows a resource to be associated with specific groups within an organization for billing purposes.
Partnershipowner = jsmith contactalias = catsearchowners stakeholders = user1; user2; user3Provides information about what people (outside of IT) are related or otherwise affected by the resource.
Purposebusinessprocess = support businessimpact = moderate revenueimpact = highAligns resources to business functions to better support investment decisions.

Tagging Baselines

Tag at the Resource Group level and then have an Azure policy implemented that tags the resources in that Resource Group with the appropriate tags.

Tag NameValueTag TypeDescriptionExample
EnvironmentProduction Development SandboxFunctionalTags the resources with the Environment Tag. This can be used to determine if a resource is Production, Development or Sandbox.Environment: Production
Creator{CreatorName}PartnershipTags the resource with the name of who created the resource. This can be used to determine who created the resource to be able to get more information.Creator: Luke Murray
CreatedDate{CreatedDate}PurposeTags the resource with the Date/Time when the resource was created. This can be used to determine how old a resource is, which can be used to look at new functionality on created resources or check if resources are still required.CreatedDate: 10:00 PM 03/06/2022 NZT
CriticalityP1 P2 P3PurposeTags the resources with the criticality of the resources, i.e., if critical, then it is P1. This can be used to determine whether resources need to be highly available, whether changes can be made during or out of business hours.Criticality:P1
SupportedBy{TeamName}PartnershipTags the resources with the team/person or company who supports the resources, whether it is internally supported by the company or outsourced.SupportedBy:Company
RequesterName{Requestor}-{CompanyName)PartnershipTags the resources with the user that requested the creation of the resources.RequesterName:Project Manager
BillTo{BillTo}AccountingTags the resources with the cost centre or project codes who will pay for the resources.BillTo:AppTransformationProject1
AutoShutDownYesFunctionalThis is an Automation functional tag, i.e., tag the resource (Virtual Machine) with a tagging code which will automatically Shut down and Start-up the Virtual Machine at specified times.AutoShutDown:Yes
ApplicationName{ProjectName}PartnershipTags the resource with the name of the project or what the resources in the resource group are for.ApplicationName:AzureVirtualDesktopSH
Business Unit{BusinessUnit}PartnershipTags the resource with the name of the Business Unit or Company that owns the resources.BusinessUnit:Finance
SnapshotTrueFunctionalThis is an Automation functional tag, i.e., tag the resource (Disk) with a tagging code which can create daily snapshots of disks.Snapshot:True