Cloud-based organizations contend with huge numbers of cloud resources across numerous applications and multiple cloud platforms. Effective management of all this data requires comprehensive resource tagging and yet little is known about the efficacy of tagging among these organizations. The one-of-a-kind 2022 State of Cloud Tag Management report provides valuable insight into the use of tags, tag issues, and tag solutions as practiced in the industry.
Where are the tags?
Tags are essential to cloud operations. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked or given low priority. Cloud cost management, security, automation, governance, and performance are all applications that depend on tags for their efficient operation. Nonetheless, most organizations fail to tag their cloud resources at worthwhile levels and the report demonstrates the scope of this problem.
Eighty-six percent of cloud-based companies underutilize tagging. The result is subpar performance and wasted cloud spend. Visibility is lacking, impairing cost optimization. Data is incomplete and does not appear in real time, resulting in skewed metrics and dubious planning. More opportunities for security breaches appear when resource owners are not kept up to date. A host of cloud performance issues populate an infrastructure solely because of inadequate tag practices.
Enormity of the Problem
Businesses continue to migrate to the cloud, deploying an ever-increasing number of workloads to consume cloud services. The sheer volume of data to be managed is growing so quickly that companies cannot keep up. Many organizations do not realize the true breadth of the shortcomings in their tag environment and tag practices or all the benefits to be gained when their tags are healthy.
Four Core Tag Challenges
There are four core tag challenges that businesses face.
- Most business resources lack tag Coverage, having no tags at all.
- Business resources lack tag Completeness. Typically, resources have ten or more taggable attributes, but even when a business has tagged a resource, it likely will have only one tag, missing important tags for the other resource attributes.
- Existing tag practices will almost always neglect attaching tags to resource Components. Many resources have sub-components, each with multiple taggable attributes. For example, an EC2 has nineteen distinct taggable sub-components that should be tagged.
- Tagging practices lack Clarity when they have duplicate, similar, or misspelled tag keys throughout their cloud environment.
The 2022 report confirms the pervasiveness of these core challenges.
How did we get Here?
As businesses migrate to the cloud their resources arrive untagged. The task of attaching tags to legacy resources is herculean and is frequently pushed to the side as companies lack time and personnel for the effort. Strong tagging policies do not exist so people who create new resources fail to tag them upon deployment, or tag incorrectly. The 2022 report reveals the scope of these problems.
A disturbing number of resources are not tagged at all. In the report, tagging is displayed by company size. Small-sized companies have a higher percentage of tagged resources because they have fewer resources to tag. Large-sized companies also have a higher percentage of tagged resources, because they have the means to pursue comprehensive tagging. Mid-size companies are in the most trouble, having the highest number of untagged resources because they have a high number of resources but lack the means to tag them.
Variances in case as well as misspellings serve to create multiple names for the same tag. This problem usually occurs due to human error, creating a plethora of incorrectly tagged resources. Mistagging causes inaccurate resource management since resources that should be grouped together are separated by their incorrect tags. Examples of tag key variations are set out in the report to show how easy it can be to mistag resources and the data demonstrates how the number of people involved in tagging increases the incidence of mistagging.
A healthy tag environment benefits multiple use cases, and these benefits are discussed further in the report:
- Cost management and FinOps – tags provide visibility for management of your costs with substantial savings in cloud spend.
- Security – tags close the security gaps that plague your cloud infrastructure.
- Performance – tags optimize the efficiency of your cloud workloads by providing accurate real time data for your metrics
- Governance – tags strengthen governance with visibility and accountability.
- Automation – tags can be automated and can create opportunities for resource automation.
Comprehensive and consistent tagging of cloud resources is a necessary foundational step to realize the value of computing in the cloud. The 2022 report details the state of cloud tag management, and its findings are grim. While native tagging solutions exist to address the current tag challenges in the industry, none adequately achieve the level of tag management needed to optimize cloud performance. Tag Manager fills the gap with robust, comprehensive solutions that can save your team time and frustration. Check out the report to gain data that will inform your future decisions regarding resource tagging.