Tagging Amazon RDS resources - Amazon Relational Database Service
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Tagging Amazon RDS resources

An Amazon RDS tag is a name-value pair that you define and associate with an Amazon RDS resource such as a DB instance or DB snapshot. The name is referred to as the key. Optionally, you can supply a value for the key.

You can use the Amazon Web Services Management Console, the Amazon CLI, or the Amazon RDS API to add, list, and delete tags on Amazon RDS resources. When using the CLI or API, make sure to provide the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) for the RDS resource to work with. For more information about constructing an ARN, see Constructing an ARN for Amazon RDS.

Why use Amazon RDS resource tags?

You can use tags to do the following:

  • Categorize your RDS resources by application, project, department, environment, and so on. For example, you could use a tag key to define a category, where the tag value is an item in this category. You might create the tag environment=prod. Or you might define a tag key of project and a tag value of Salix, which indicates that an Amazon RDS resource is assigned to the Salix project.

  • Automate resource management tasks. For example, you could create a maintenance window for instances tagged environment=prod that differs from the window for instances tagged environment=test. You could also configure automatic DB snapshots for instances tagged environment=prod.

  • Control access to RDS resources within an IAM policy. You can do this by using the global aws:ResourceTag/tag-key condition key. For example, a policy might allow only users in the DBAdmin group to modify DB instances tagged with environment=prod. For information about managing access to tagged resources with IAM policies, see Identity and access management for Amazon RDS and Controlling access to Amazon resources in the Amazon Identity and Access Management User Guide.

  • Monitor resources based on a tag. For example, you can create an Amazon CloudWatch dashboard for DB instances tagged with environment=prod.

  • Track costs by grouping expenses for similarly tagged resources. For example, if you tag RDS resources associated with the Salix project with project=Salix, you can generate cost reports for and allocate expenses to this project. For more information, see How Amazon billing works with tags in Amazon RDS.

How Amazon RDS resource tags work

Amazon doesn't apply any semantic meaning to your tags. Tags are interpreted strictly as character strings.

Tag sets in Amazon RDS

Every Amazon RDS resource has a container called a tag set. The container includes all the tags that are assigned to the resource. A resource has exactly one tag set.

A tag set contains 0—50 tags. If you add a tag to an RDS resource with the same key as an existing resource tag, the new value overwrites the old.

Tag structure in Amazon RDS

The structure of an RDS tag is as follows:

Tag key

The key is the required name of the tag. The string value must be 1—128 Unicode characters in length and cannot be prefixed with aws: or rds:. The string can contain only the set of Unicode letters, digits, whitespace, _, ., :, /, =, +, -, and @. The Java regex is "^([\\p{L}\\p{Z}\\p{N}_.:/=+\\-@]*)$". Tag keys are case-sensitive. Thus, the keys project and Project are distinct.

A key is unique to a tag set. For example, you cannot have a key-pair in a tag set with the key the same but with different values, such as project=Trinity and project=Xanadu.

Tag value

The value is an optional string value of the tag. The string value must be 1—256 Unicode characters in length. The string can contain only the set of Unicode letters, digits, whitespace, _, ., :, /, =, +, -, and @. The Java regex is "^([\\p{L}\\p{Z}\\p{N}_.:/=+\\-@]*)$". Tag values are case-sensitive. Thus, the values prod and Prod are distinct.

Values don't need to be unique in a tag set and can be null. For example, you can have a key-value pair in a tag set of project=Trinity and cost-center=Trinity.

Amazon RDS resources eligible for tagging

You can tag the following Amazon RDS resources:

  • DB instances

  • DB clusters

  • DB cluster endpoints

  • Read replicas

  • DB snapshots

  • DB cluster snapshots

  • Reserved DB instances

  • Event subscriptions

  • DB option groups

  • DB parameter groups

  • DB cluster parameter groups

  • DB subnet groups

  • RDS Proxies

  • RDS Proxy endpoints

    Note

    Currently, you can't tag RDS Proxies and RDS Proxy endpoints by using the Amazon Web Services Management Console.

  • Blue/green deployments

  • Zero-ETL integrations (preview)

How Amazon billing works with tags in Amazon RDS

Use tags to organize your Amazon bill to reflect your own cost structure. To do this, sign up to get your Amazon Web Services account bill with tag key values included. Then, to see the cost of combined resources, organize your billing information according to resources with the same tag key values. For example, you can tag several resources with a specific application name, and then organize your billing information to see the total cost of that application across several services. For more information, see Using Cost Allocation Tags in the Amazon Billing User Guide.

How cost allocation tags work with DB snapshots

You can add a tag to a DB snapshot. However, your bill won't reflect this grouping. For cost allocation tags to apply to DB snapshots, the following conditions must be met:

  • The tags must be attached to the parent DB instance.

  • The parent DB instance must exist in the same Amazon Web Services account as the DB snapshot.

  • The parent DB instance must exist in the same Amazon Web Services Region as the DB snapshot.

DB snapshots are considered orphaned if they don't exist in the same Region as the parent DB instance. Costs for orphaned snapshots are aggregated in a single untagged line item. Cross-account DB snapshots aren't considered orphaned when the following conditions are met:

  • They exist in the same Region as the parent DB instance.

  • The parent DB instance is owned by the source account.

    Note

    If the parent DB instance is owned by a different account, cost allocation tags don't apply to cross-account snapshots in the destination account.

Best practices for tagging Amazon RDS resources

When you use tags, we recommend that you adhere to the following best practices:

  • Document conventions for tag use that are followed by all teams in your organization. In particular, ensure the names are both descriptive and consistent. For example, standardize on the format environment:prod rather than tagging some resources with env:production.

    Important

    Do not store personally identifiable information (PII) or other confidential or sensitive information in tags.

  • Automate tagging to ensure consistency. For example, you can use the following techniques:

    • Include tags in an Amazon CloudFormation template. When you create resources with the template, the resources are tagged automatically.

    • Define and apply tags using Amazon Lambda functions.

    • Create an SSM document that includes steps to add tags to your RDS resources.

  • Use tags only when necessary. You can add up to 50 tags for a single RDS resource, but a best practice is to avoid unnecessary tag proliferation and complexity.

  • Review tags periodically for relevance and accuracy. Remove or modify outdated tags as needed.

  • Consider creating tags with the Amazon Tag Editor in the Amazon Web Services Management Console. You can use the Tag Editor to add tags to multiple supported Amazon resources, including RDS resources, at the same time. For more information, see Tag Editor in the Amazon Resource Groups User Guide.

Managing tags in Amazon RDS

You can do the following:

  • Create tags when you create a resource, for example, when you run the Amazon CLI command create-db-instance.

  • Add tags to an existing resource using the command add-tags-to-resource.

  • List tags associated with a specific resource using the command list-tags-for-resource.

  • Update tags using the command add-tags-to-resource.

  • Remove tags from a resource using the command remove-tags-from-resource.

The following procedures show how you can perform typical tagging operations on resources related to DB instances. Note that tags are cached for authorization purposes. For this reason, when you add or update tags on Amazon RDS resources, several minutes can pass before the modifications are available.

The process to tag an Amazon RDS resource is similar for all resources. The following procedure shows how to tag an Amazon RDS DB instance.

To add a tag to a DB instance
  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the Amazon RDS console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/rds/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Databases.

    Note

    To filter the list of DB instances in the Databases pane, enter a text string for Filter databases. Only DB instances that contain the string appear.

  3. Choose the name of the DB instance that you want to tag to show its details.

  4. In the details section, scroll down to the Tags section.

  5. Choose Add. The Add tags window appears.

    Add tags window
  6. Enter a value for Tag key and Value.

  7. To add another tag, you can choose Add another Tag and enter a value for its Tag key and Value.

    Repeat this step as many times as necessary.

  8. Choose Add.

To delete a tag from a DB instance
  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the Amazon RDS console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/rds/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Databases.

    Note

    To filter the list of DB instances in the Databases pane, enter a text string in the Filter databases box. Only DB instances that contain the string appear.

  3. Choose the name of the DB instance to show its details.

  4. In the details section, scroll down to the Tags section.

  5. Choose the tag you want to delete.

    Tags section
  6. Choose Delete, and then choose Delete in the Delete tags window.

You can add, list, or remove tags for a DB instance using the Amazon CLI.

To learn more about how to construct the required ARN, see Constructing an ARN for Amazon RDS.

You can add, list, or remove tags for a DB instance using the Amazon RDS API.

To learn more about how to construct the required ARN, see Constructing an ARN for Amazon RDS.

When working with XML using the Amazon RDS API, tags use the following schema:

<Tagging> <TagSet> <Tag> <Key>Project</Key> <Value>Trinity</Value> </Tag> <Tag> <Key>User</Key> <Value>Jones</Value> </Tag> </TagSet> </Tagging>

The following table provides a list of the allowed XML tags and their characteristics. Values for Key and Value are case-sensitive. For example, project=Trinity and PROJECT=Trinity are distinct tags.

Tagging element Description
TagSet A tag set is a container for all tags assigned to an Amazon RDS resource. There can be only one tag set per resource. You work with a TagSet only through the Amazon RDS API.
Tag A tag is a user-defined key-value pair. There can be from 1 to 50 tags in a tag set.
Key

A key is the required name of the tag. For restrictions, see Tag structure in Amazon RDS.

The string value can be from 1 to 128 Unicode characters in length and cannot be prefixed with aws: or rds:. The string can only contain only the set of Unicode letters, digits, white space, '_', '.', '/', '=', '+', '-' (Java regex: "^([\\p{L}\\p{Z}\\p{N}_.:/=+\\-]*)$").

Keys must be unique to a tag set. For example, you cannot have a key-pair in a tag set with the key the same but with different values, such as project/Trinity and project/Xanadu.

Value

A value is the optional value of the tag. For restrictions, see Tag structure in Amazon RDS.

The string value can be from 1 to 256 Unicode characters in length and cannot be prefixed with aws: or rds:. The string can only contain only the set of Unicode letters, digits, white space, '_', '.', '/', '=', '+', '-' (Java regex: "^([\\p{L}\\p{Z}\\p{N}_.:/=+\\-]*)$").

Values do not have to be unique in a tag set and can be null. For example, you can have a key-value pair in a tag set of project/Trinity and cost-center/Trinity.

Copying tags to DB snapshots

When you create or restore a DB instance, you can specify that the tags from the DB instance are copied to snapshots of the DB instance. Copying tags ensures that the metadata for the DB snapshots matches that of the source DB instance. It also ensures that any access policies for the DB snapshots also match those of the source DB instance.

You can specify that tags are copied to DB snapshots for the following actions:

  • Creating a DB instance.

  • Restoring a DB instance.

  • Creating a read replica.

  • Copying a DB snapshot.

In most cases, tags aren't copied by default. However, when you restore a DB instance from a DB snapshot, RDS checks whether you specify new tags. If yes, the new tags are added to the restored DB instance. If there are no new tags, RDS adds the tags from the source DB instance at the time of snapshot creation to the restored DB instance.

To prevent tags from source DB instances from being added to restored DB instances, we recommend that you specify new tags when restoring a DB instance.

Note

In some cases, you might include a value for the --tags parameter of the create-db-snapshot Amazon CLI command. Or you might supply at least one tag to the CreateDBSnapshot API operation. In these cases, RDS doesn't copy tags from the source DB instance to the new DB snapshot. This functionality applies even if the source DB instance has the --copy-tags-to-snapshot (CopyTagsToSnapshot) option turned on.

If you take this approach, you can create a copy of a DB instance from a DB snapshot. This approach avoids adding tags that don't apply to the new DB instance. You create your DB snapshot using the Amazon CLI create-db-snapshot command (or the CreateDBSnapshot RDS API operation). After you create your DB snapshot, you can add tags as described later in this topic.

Tutorial: Specify which DB instances to stop by using tags

This tutorial assumes that you have several DB instances in a development or test environment. You need to keep these DB instances for several days. Some DB instances run tests overnight, whereas others can be stopped overnight and started again the next day.

The following tutorial shows how to assign a tag to DB instances that are suitable to stop overnight. The tutorial shows how a script can detect which DB instances have the tag and then stop the tagged DB instances. In this example, the value portion of the key-value pair doesn't matter. The presence of the stoppable tag signifies that the DB instance has this user-defined property.

In the following tutorial, the commands and APIs for tagging work with ARNs, which allow RDS to work seamlessly across Amazon Regions, Amazon accounts, and different types of resources that might have identical short names. You can specify the ARN instead of the DB instance ID in CLI commands that operate on DB instances.

To specify which DB instances to stop
  1. Determine the ARN of a DB instance that you want to designate as stoppable.

    In the following example, substitute the name of your own DB instances for dev-test-db-instance. In subsequent commands that use ARN parameters, substitute the ARN of your own DB instance. The ARN includes your own Amazon account ID and the name of the Amazon Region where your DB instance is located.

    $ aws rds describe-db-instances --db-instance-identifier dev-test-db-instance \ --query "*[].{DBInstance:DBInstanceArn}" --output text arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:dev-test-db-instance
  2. Add the tag stoppable to this DB instance.

    You choose the name for this tag. Because this example treats the tag as an attribute that is either present or absent, it omits the Value= part of the --tags parameter. This approach means that you can avoid devising a naming convention that encodes all relevant information in names. In such a convention, you might encode information in the DB instance name or names of other resources.

    $ aws rds add-tags-to-resource \ --resource-name arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:dev-test-db-instance \ --tags Key=stoppable
  3. Confirm that the tag is present in the DB instance.

    The following commands retrieve the tag information for the DB instance in JSON format and in plain tab-separated text.

    $ aws rds list-tags-for-resource \ --resource-name arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:dev-test-db-instance { "TagList": [ { "Key": "stoppable", "Value": "" } ] } aws rds list-tags-for-resource \ --resource-name arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:dev-test-db-instance --output text TAGLIST stoppable
  4. Stop all the DB instances that are designated as stoppable.

    The following example create a text file that lists all your DB instances. The shell command loops through the list and checks if each DB instance is tagged with the relevant attribute and performs runs the command aws rds stop-db-instance for each DB instance.

    $ aws rds describe-db-instances --query "*[].[DBInstanceArn]" --output text >/tmp/db_instance_arns.lst $ for arn in $(cat /tmp/db_instance_arns.lst) do match="$(aws rds list-tags-for-resource --resource-name $arn --output text | grep stoppable)" if [[ ! -z "$match" ]] then echo "DB instance $arn is tagged as stoppable. Stopping it now." # Note that you need to get the DB instance identifier from the ARN. dbid=$(echo $arn | sed -e 's/.*://') aws rds stop-db-instance --db-instance-identifier $dbid fi done DB instance arn:arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:dev-test-db-instance is tagged as stoppable. Stopping it now. { "DBInstance": { "DBInstanceIdentifier": "dev-test-db-instance", "DBInstanceClass": "db.t3.medium", ...

You can run a script like the preceding one at the end of every day to make sure that nonessential DB instances are stopped. You might also schedule a job using a utility such as cron to perform such a check each night. For example, you might do this in case some DB instances were left running by mistake. Here, you might fine-tune the command that prepares the list of DB instances to check.

The following command produces a list of your DB instances, but only the ones in available state. The script can ignore DB instances that are already stopped, because they will have different status values such as stopped or stopping.

$ aws rds describe-db-instances \ --query '*[].{DBInstanceArn:DBInstanceArn,DBInstanceStatus:DBInstanceStatus}|[?DBInstanceStatus == `available`]|[].{DBInstanceArn:DBInstanceArn}' \ --output text arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:db-instance-2447 arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:db-instance-3395 arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:dev-test-db-instance arn:aws-cn:rds:us-east-1:123456789102:db:pg2-db-instance
Tip

You can use assigning tags and finding DB instances with those tags to reduce costs in other ways. For example, take this scenario with DB instances used for development and testing. In this case, you might designate some DB instances to be deleted at the end of each day. Or you might designate them to have their DB instances changed to small DB instance classes during times of expected low usage.