Stack Tags and Metadata - Tutorial

Welcome to this tutorial on stack tags and metadata in AWS CloudFormation. Stack tags and metadata provide additional information and attributes to your CloudFormation stacks. They allow you to categorize, organize, and add descriptive details to your stacks for better management and identification purposes.

Example of Using Stack Tags

Let's consider an example where you want to add tags to a CloudFormation stack to indicate the environment and owner of the resources.

Resources: MyBucket: Type: AWS::S3::Bucket Properties: BucketName: my-bucket-name Tags: - Key: Environment Value: Production - Key: Owner Value: JohnDoe

In the above example, we define a CloudFormation resource of type AWS::S3::Bucket. We add stack tags to the bucket resource using the Tags attribute. These tags indicate the environment as "Production" and the owner as "JohnDoe".

Steps to Use Stack Tags and Metadata

  1. Identify the attributes or information you want to associate with your CloudFormation stacks.
  2. Add tags or metadata definitions to your CloudFormation template, specifying the key-value pairs.
  3. Attach the tags or metadata to the appropriate resources or at the stack level.
  4. CloudFormation will associate the tags or metadata with the stack or resources during stack creation or update.
  5. Use the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDKs to view and manage stack tags or metadata.

Common Mistakes with Stack Tags and Metadata

  • Not using meaningful or consistent naming conventions for stack tags.
  • Overlooking the importance of stack tags for organization and resource identification.
  • Not properly defining or formatting stack tags in the CloudFormation template.
  • Ignoring or forgetting to update stack tags when modifying the stack or its resources.
  • Not considering the potential costs associated with using large numbers of tags or excessive metadata.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I add tags or metadata to existing CloudFormation stacks?

No, you cannot directly add tags or metadata to existing stacks. Tags and metadata are defined and associated with the stack during the stack creation or update process.

2. Can I search or filter CloudFormation stacks based on their tags?

Yes, you can use the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDKs to search, filter, or sort stacks based on their tags. This allows for better organization and management of your stacks.

3. What are the differences between stack tags and stack metadata?

Stack tags are key-value pairs associated with a stack or its resources. They are primarily used for identification and organization purposes. Stack metadata, on the other hand, provides additional information or configuration details about the stack and its resources.

4. Are there any limitations on the number or size of stack tags?

Yes, there are limitations on the number and size of stack tags. The total number of tags allowed per stack is 50, and the combined size of all tag keys and values must be within the limit of 5,120 bytes.

5. Can I use tags or metadata for cost allocation or billing purposes?

Yes, you can use stack tags to associate stacks with specific cost allocation tags or use stack metadata to store additional billing or cost-related information. This can help with tracking and managing costs in your AWS billing reports.


Stack tags and metadata in AWS CloudFormation provide a way to add descriptive attributes and additional information to your stacks. By properly utilizing tags and metadata, you can enhance stack organization, identification, and management. Understanding how to define, apply, and leverage stack tags and metadata is essential for maintaining a well-organized and easily manageable infrastructure.