The Power Of Tagging In The Cloud
When people wish to identify friends and acquaintances on Facebook or in Twitter photos, they use a feature called tagging, which, as we all know, identifies the person by name and thus allows the photo to form part of any search that includes that name. The same technique is used in blog and social media writing, in order to increase an article’s findability and SEO rating.
As Eric Andersen, CTO and co-founder of CopperEgg points out, “tagging allows the user or administrator to group things logically rather than physically, which is how they think of things anyway. Have any admin or developer draw something on the whiteboard, and it is naturally grouped in logical sets.” He points out that tags are not exclusive, but that tagging lets concepts pile up in a simple and powerful way that is understandable by anyone, and which gives them methods to slice and view their application and infrastructure in ways they can think about. This gives clarity to the art of overseeing and monitoring a cloud structure, since filtering can be done on the dashboard.
Another advantage of tagging is that it can be used as an alert mechanism, dispatching alerts to a group of servers based on specific tags, or even to an individual server if that server has a unique tag.
The CopperEgg interface makes tagging easy to do, allowing admins to tag systems while looking at their detail: it’s as simple as clicking a green plus symbol (+) in the System Details area. This allows admins to perform advanced tasks such as creating an alert that will only fire for servers tagged x, which presents some unlimited potential for keeping an eye on high priority systems only, for example. Also, tagged items are given a deep link URL, allowing a direct entry method for that view, and these views can be saved for later re-use.
Tagging is also useful for handling “read-only” users with restricted views. When a new user profile is created, their views can be restricted only to appropriately tagged items.
Tagging is a technical operation, but it reflects a key best practice in monitoring the health of a cloud system, and as Anderson points out, “with CopperEgg, tags don’t even have to be done by humans, since CopperEgg allows tagging automatically, done by the systems themselves, making them ‘self-organizing’ in a way.”
CopperEgg offers a free trial of their monitoring and optimization solutions here.
By Steve Prentice
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