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The concept of naming conventions is not new and being a consultant for over fifteen years I’ve seen many differing variations. From movies, characters, countries/cities to the more conventional location/server type/number.

The adoption of public cloud this brings new challenges and opportunities:

  • The ever growing number of cloud services available to use, it seems as every time you open your cloud management console there are new additions. Previously administrators only worked with a limited number of services such as servers, networking and storage.
  • Application life-cycle and continuous integration, managing code through development, integration, non-functional testing, pre-production and production seem the acceptable standard for many.
  • Security, the legacy server, storage and network teams are being replaced with a more agile dev-ops focus. This can blur the lines of responsibility when applying the principle of least privilege.
  • Data separation, hosting live data as well as a full sanitized data set for ‘production like’ testing.

All of this and more can present a number of different permutations to consider.

Tagging provides us the ability to manage our infrastructure more effectively, tags can be used for a number of different things including cost allocation and to group resources to better apply granular role based access control. Each tag consists of a key and a value, both of which are user-defined strings.

The tag metadata can be accessible to most cloud vendors; it is key to bear this in mind during secure deployments. Refrain from using anything that the Information Assurance departments may deem sensitive.

The name tag value could be a combination of the following components: environment, application, tier, role and resource type. This allows for easy identification from the either the command line toolset or within the management console. The tag data can also be used for historical searches, getting it right from the start will save time and effort later on and when tidying up.

Whilst there is no right or wrong way, it is imperative to plan naming and tagging standards as a part of any cloud adoption process.