Archive for December 2011

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AWS Console Tags

When there are only a dozen or so instances in the console it can be easy to manage. As soon as the quantity approaches fifty you’ll find the AWS console becomes difficult to manage. That’s partially because the EC2 console only displays fifty objects per page and partially because environmental complexity seems to reach a threshold around that number.  This is where tags can come in handy. Tags are additional fields that can be added to each object to help you manage information about the object. Like everything in AWS, you’ll want to develop a good strategy for how you’ll use tags before you get started.

Each object in the EC2 console can have a limited number of tags. If you create the same tags for each instance you’ll have a common framework to describe the instances. For example, suppose you need to track what instances belong to which departments. You can create a “Departments” tag for each instance to contain that information. The trick, however, is that you keep the tag names consistent because they are case sensitive. If the tag names aren’t identical across instances, AWS will assume you have created a new tag.

When you look at the console you can add tags to the column view by clicking on the Hide Columns button. This will allow you to select which tags will appear as columns on the console. Unfortunately, your selections won’t stick between sessions. Every time you log into the console you will need to reselect your view.

I always suggest creating a tag for your volumes that describes what instance owns the volume. This will be important should you ever terminate the instance. When an instance is terminated its data volumes will detach and remain available to reattach to another instance. If this isn’t maintained you could end up with several orphaned volumes and no idea what they belonged to. This can be avoided by simply tagging every volume you make.

The Cloud Busters are interested in learning how you use tags to help organize your console. Add a comment to this blog or email us a cloudbusterspodcast@yahoo.com.

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Posted December 21, 2011 by cloudbusterspodcast in Uncategorized