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Assigning tags

Tagging is used throughout the Datadog product to make it easier to subset and query the machines and metrics that you have to monitor. Without the ability to assign and filter based on tags, finding the problems that exist in your environment and narrowing them down enough to discover the true causes would be extremely difficult. Discover our tagging best practices before going further.

How to assign tags

There are four primary ways to assign tags: inherited from the integration, in the configuration, in the UI, and using the API, though the UI and API only allow you to assign tags at the host level. The recommended method is to rely on the integrations or via the configuration files.

Inheriting tags from an integration

The easiest method for assigning tags is to rely on the integration. Tags assigned to your Amazon Web Services instances, Chef recipes, and more are all automatically assigned to the hosts and metrics when they are brought in to Datadog.

The following integrations sources create tags automatically in Datadog:

Amazon CloudFront Distribution
Amazon EC2 AMI, Customer Gateway, DHCP Option, EBS Volume, Instance, Internet Gateway, Network ACL, Network Interface, Reserved Instance, Reserved Instance Listing, Route Table , Security Group - EC2 Classic, Security Group - VPC, Snapshot, Spot Batch, Spot Instance Request, Spot Instances, Subnet, Virtual Private Gateway, VPC, VPN Connection
Amazon Elastic File System Filesystem
Amazon Kinesis Stream State
Amazon Machine Learning BatchPrediction, DataSource, Evaluation , MLModel
Amazon Route 53 Domains, Healthchecks , HostedZone
Amazon WorkSpaces WorkSpaces
AWS CloudTrail CloudTrail
AWS Elastic Load Balancing Loadbalancer, TargetGroups
AWS Identity and Access Management Profile Name
AWS SQS Queue Name
Apache Apache Host and Port
Azure Tenant Name, Status, Tags, Subscription ID and Name, Availability Zone in common with AWS tag after contacting Datadog support
BTRFS Usage & Replication Type
Chef Chef Roles
Consul Previous and Current Consul Leaders and Followers, Consul Datacenter, Service Name, Service ID
CouchDB Database Name, Instance Name
CouchBase CouchBase Tags, Instance Name
Docker Docker, Kubernetes, ECS, Swarm, Mesos, Nomad and Rancher, collect more tag with the Docker Agent tags collection options
Dyn Zone, Record Type
Elasticsearch Cluster Name, Host Name, Port Number
Etcd State Leader or Follower
Fluentd Host Name, Port Number
Google App Engine Project Name, Version ID, Task Queue
Google Cloud Platform Zone, Instance Type and ID, Automatic Restart, Project Name and ID, Name, Availability Zone in common with AWS tag after contacting Datadog support
Go Expvar Expvar Path
Gunicorn State Idle or Working, App Name
HAProxy Service Name, Availability, Backend Host, Status, Type
HTTP Check URL, Instance
IIS Site
Jenkins Job Name, Build Number, Branch, and Results
Kafka Topic
Kubernetes Minion Name, Namespace, Replication Controller, Labels, Container Alias
Marathon URL
Memcached Host, Port, Request, Cache Hit or Miss
Mesos Role, URL, PID, Slave or Master Role, Node, Cluster,
Mongo Server Name
OpenStack Network ID, Network Name, Hypervisor Name, ID, and Type, Tenant ID, Availability Zone
PHP FPM Pool Name
Pivotal Current State, Owner, Labels, Requester, Story Type
Postfix Queue, Instance
Puppet Puppet Tags
RabbitMQ Node, Queue Name, Vhost, Policy, Host
Redis Host, Port, Slave or Master
RiakCS Aggregation Key
SNMP Device IP Address
Supervisord Server Name, Process Name
TeamCity Tags, Code Deployments, Build Number
TokuMX Role Primary or Secondary, Replset, Replstate, Db, Coll, Shard
Varnish Name, Backend
VSphere Host, Datacenter, Server, Instance
Win32 Events Event ID
Windows Services Service Name

Assigning tags using the configuration files

The Datadog integrations are all configured via the yaml configuration files located in the conf.d directory in your Agent install. For more about where to look for your configuration files, refer to this article.

Define tags in the configuration file for the overall Agent as well as for each integration. In YAML files, there is a tag dictionary with a list of tags you want assigned at that level. Any tag you assign to the Agent is applied to every integration on that Agent’s host.

Dictionaries with lists of values have two different yet functionally equivalent forms:

tags: key_first_tag:value_1, key_second_tag:value_2, key_third_tag:value_3


  - key_first_tag:value_1
  - key_second_tag:value_2
  - key_third_tag:value_3

You see both forms in the yaml configuration files, but for the datadog.yaml init file only the first form is valid.

Each tag can be anything you like but you have the best success with tagging if your tags are key:value pairs. Keys could represent the role, or function, or region, or application and the value is the instance of that role, function, region, or application. Here are some examples of good tags:


The reason why you should use key value pairs instead of values becomes apparent when you start using the tags to filter and group metrics and machines. That said, you are not required to use key value pairs and simple values are valid.

Assigning host tags in the UI

You can also assign tags to hosts, but not to integration in the UI. To assign tags in the UI, start by going to the Infrastructure List page. Click on any host and then click the Update Host Tags button. In the host overlay that appears, click Edit Tags and make the changes you wish.

Assigning host tags using the API

You can also assign tags to hosts, but not to integration using the API. The endpoints you want to work with are /tags/hosts and depending on whether you PUT, POST, or DELETE you update, add, or delete tags for the chosen host. For more details on using the Tags endpoints in the API, review this document

Further Reading