According to research conducted by VMware, 81% of enterprises expect to be operating using multiple clouds by 2024.1 As organizations adopt a multi-cloud practice, often due to sprawling cloud usage by disparate teams or acquisitions that introduce new cloud infrastructure, the challenge of keeping track of everything going on in your cloud environments becomes exponentially greater. Despite these challenges, the 91% of tech executives believe that their organizations clouds “should ideally operate as ‘one cloud’, regardless of provider.”2 Teams that are concerned with FinOps principles that can employ various cost and usage optimization tools as well as governance policies to maintain control of cloud environments, but many of these will be for naught without a well-constructed and successfully enforced multi-cloud tagging strategy.
A successful tagging schema enables FinOps teams, including cloud administrators, to align cloud assets within their environment to an appropriate business grouping and enable chargeback and showback, optimization, compliance, and other activities that drive productive and efficient cloud consumption. A unified tagging strategy across your organization also helps prevent multi-cloud sprawl by enabling you to more effectively discover resources that do not follow your schema or have been left untagged when created. By leveraging the right tools to manage and organize your cloud infrastructure, you can drive more efficient operations, enhance visibility, and ensure that your cloud spending aligns with business objectives. This holistic approach to tagging and resource management empowers organizations to optimize costs, maintain compliance, and foster overall efficiency in their cloud consumption practices.
VMware Aria Cost Tag Management
At VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, we have talked a lot about tagging strategies in the past (see our previous blogs on Multi-Cloud Tagging Best Practices and Creating Multi-Cloud Tagging Strategies). It continues to be a major focus of our customers who use tag management in VMware Aria Cost to simplify their financial management, streamline their operations, and strengthen their security and compliance. For example, because VMware Aria Cost tracks asset and their tags at a resource level, you can preserve historical data as your tagging strategy evolves. Also, with VMware Aria Cost policy-driven automation, you can configure the platform with tags that conform to your strategy and actions that are taken when your policies are violated.
Tag Management in VMware Aria Cost collects and maintains all the tag key values across your AWS, Azure, and GCP resources and provides valuable insights into tag usage in your environment. You can evaluate how closely your tagging strategy is being followed by seeing the keys that have the highest asset or value cardinality, deciding whether you should create a Perspective for a particular tag key, and identifying derivatives or variations of an existing tag. VMware Aria Cost’s Tag Management also allows you to filter for specific tag keys on certain public clouds to help with further tag usage analysis, including insights into how your tags are being used in VMware Aria Cost features like reports and policies.
And now…Tag Curation!
Over time, we have observed a notable increase in tag volumes due to the growing infrastructure volumes that customers utilize and manage as they evolve. As a consequence, we have encountered a challenge with tag hygiene. Specifically, new tags and derivatives of existing tags proliferate throughout cloud environments to the point that organizations cannot even begin to implement their tagging strategy. Various individuals working in DevOps and IT employ different approaches to represent the same ultimate objective, and we hope to help solve this by offering additional support for the implementation of your tagging strategy throughout the platform.
We are excited to announce the general availability of new Tag Curation features in VMware Aria Cost! These features are designed to make it even easier to manage your tagging schema in VMware Aria Cost and more effectively implement your tagging strategy. Tag Curation further helps administrators by curating the visibility of tag keys in VMware Aria Cost. You can manage, identify, organize, search for, and filter tag keys for their business analysis needs.
Tag Curation also offers the ability to enable/disable tag keys in the platform as dictated by your strategy, ensuring that only tags contributing to business value are selected and utilized to create tag-based Perspectives. These Perspectives, in turn, can be extrapolated for cost analysis within our reports. Consequently, effective curation significantly impacts the cost optimization of cloud spending. Finally, Tag Curation makes it especially convenient for customers who possess a substantial number of tags to disable or enable all the unused tags in the platform collectively. Curation actions can be taken by selecting all the tags you’d like to apply this action to, or simply toggling a new switch that will disable all unused tags in a single action.
We’ve also added new details that are now available in a “last updated” column for all tag keys listed in Tag Management, including when recent updates were made to tag key name changes, value updates, actions related to tag keys (such as enable/disable), and their usage. These new columns will be added to existing columns that provide detail on the specific public cloud, when the tag was first discovered, asset count, whether it is a custom tag made in VMware Aria Cost, and whether the tag is currently used.
As public cloud usage continues to expand and more firms begin using multiple clouds, VMware Aria Cost will continue to support our customers in their efforts to implement successful tagging strategies and maintain control over their cloud cost and usage. For more information on building a successful cloud governance practice, check out this White Paper.
1VMware FY22 H2 Benchmark: Digital Momentum; N=557 Enterprise (5000+ employee) Technology Decision Makers.
2VMware FY24 Q1 Executive Pulse, January 2023; N=396 Enterprise Technology Executives managing more than one cloud platform.