What Are Resource Groups?
In AWS, a resource is an entity that you can work with. Examples include an Amazon EC2 instance, an AWS CloudFormation stack, and an Amazon S3 bucket. If you work with multiple resources, you might find it useful to manage them as a group rather than move from one AWS service to another for each task.
Resource Groups helps you do just that. By default, the AWS Management Console is organized by AWS service. But with the Resource Groups tool, you can create a custom console that organizes and consolidates information based on your project and the resources that you use. If you manage resources in multiple regions, you can create a resource group to view resources from different regions on the same page.
Resource Groups can display metrics, alarms, and configuration details. If you need more detailed information or you want to change a setting for a given resource, choosing a link takes you to the page you need.
For example, let's say you are developing a web application, and you are maintaining separate sets of resources for your alpha, beta, and release environments. Each version runs on Amazon EC2 with an Amazon Elastic Block Store storage volume. You use Elastic Load Balancing to manage traffic and Amazon Route 53 to manage your domain. Without the Resource Groups tool, you might have to access multiple consoles just to check the status of your services or modify the settings for one version of your application.
With the Resource Groups tool, you use a single page to view and manage your resources. For example, let’s say you use the tool to create a resource group for each version—alpha, beta, and release—of your application. To check your resources for the alpha version of your application and see whether any CloudWatch alarms have been triggered, simply open your resource group. Then view the consolidated information on your resource group page. To modify a specific resource, choose the appropriate links on your resource group page to quickly access the service console with the settings that you need.
As other examples, you could also use the Resources Groups tool for the following types of projects:
A blog that has different phases, such as development, staging, and production
Projects managed by multiple departments or individuals
A set of AWS resources that you use together for a common project or that you want to manage or monitor as a group
How Resource Groups Work
A resource group is a collection of resources that share one or more tags or portions of tags. To create a resource group, you simply identify the tags that contain the items that members of the group should have in common.
If you or your administrator uses the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service to create multiple users in the same account, those users have their own individual resource groups. These groups are not visible to other users. However, each user can share a resource group with others in the same account by sharing a URL, which lets another user create a resource group with the same parameters. For information about creating IAM users, see Creating an IAM User in the IAM User Guide. For information about sharing resources, see Sharing a Resource Group.
The tags themselves function like properties of a resource, so they are shared across the entire account. That way, users in a department can draw from a common vocabulary (tags) within the department or account to create resource groups that are meaningful to their roles and responsibilities. Having a common pool of tags also means that when users share a resource group, they don't have to worry about missing or conflicting tag information.
How Tagging Works
Tags are words or phrases that act as metadata for organizing your AWS resources. With most AWS resources, you have the option of adding tags when you create the resource, whether it's an Amazon EC2 instance, an Amazon S3 bucket, or other resource. However, you can also add tags to multiple resources at once by using Tag Editor. You simply search for resources of various types and then add, remove, or replace tags for the resources in your search results.