Tags are a little complicated in the world of cloud. To start with, you should always prioritize tagging resources in your cloud vendor of choice; because those tags are more useful, will flow down into all the cloud products you use, and is just generally IP that you get to keep. Conversely, tags in Cloud Ctrl stay in Cloud Ctrl, they will not flow back into your vendor of choice. As a result, if one day you decide to stop using Cloud Ctrl you will lose all of your custom tags therewithin. So to reiterate, make sure you tag resources in the vendor first.
Unfortunately, there are cases where tags from the vendor aren't enough. There are two primary cases for this:
- Tags in a consumption context have date ranges associated with them. This makes sense conceptually; if you tag a resource now you would not expect it's consumption from 6 months ago to be tagged similarly. This can cause issues though, especially when you need to run a cost allocation report from a month ago and hadn't already tagged the resource.
- Depending on the cloud vendor, and the nature of the agreement with them there can be resources that are untaggable. This is much less of a problem than it used to be many years ago, but it still can happen.
In either event, you need a way to fill the gap so to speak with a lack of tagging data coming through the integration. That's where Virtual Tags in Cloud Ctrl come in.
Firstly go to the services tab of the Cost Explorer and select a service you want to tag.
Next go to the Record Tags tab of this service, here you will see the tags applicable to the service in the last 60 days of spend. Remember, ultimately you want the tags if possible to show up here. To do this tag the corresponding resource in the source cloud vendor.
If this can't be done for one of the two reasons listed in the Overview section above, then continue to the Virtual Tags tab of this service.
Virtual Service tags are effective from the beginning of the given period. This means that all consumption within the month will be tagged from the start of that month, onwards until the end of time until a new virtual service tag is supplied for a later month. Virtual Service Tags will never override the record tags, so if you tag resources in the cloud vendor the virtual service tags will not take effect.
Virtual Tags are a stop gap solution to handle cases where tagging cannot be applied properly to historical data or orphaned resources in a cloud vendor. They should be used sparingly and best efforts should be made to get tagging data into the cloud vendor of choice first.