Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

6/29/2009

Perennial Server Naming Question

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Fun Work,Geek Work,Novell,The Network Geek at Home,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Ox which is terribly early in the morning or 3:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

It seems like this comes around on a regular basis.

Server names and naming conventions are a constant source of argument and irritation in big IT departments.  Everyone has their own idea of just what naming schema should be used for the servers and workstations and such on the network.  And, since it hasn’t shown up recently on Slashdot, we were about due for an article on it.  There is; Why do we name servers the way we do?  The comments, if you can be bothered to dig down deep into them and wade past some of the worst attempts at humor, are quite telling.  It doesn’t take long before the relative merits of using quirky, easy to remember names is being quite hotly debated.

The original article  over at IT World, titled Would a server by any other name be as functional?, seems to weigh in on the side of the more creative names.
I’ve worked both kinds of places, actually.  In one job, we used a very precise naming convention that had been put in place after some, apparently, very intense debate.  There, we used the LocationFunctionOperatingSystemNumber kind of naming system.  So that the first Accounting server in Houston running Novell Netware would be HOUACTNW01.  Perfectly clear to me, actually, because of that job.  It’s a logical system and works well enough, though it does lack a certain “zing”.
At most other jobs, though, we tended toward the other way.  Once, I worked with a guy who named his servers after dead musicians and actors, but that was only so he could ping his favorite router and see “Hendrix is alive” come back to him.  Another place, we used various things and it was, well, far less themed and much more confusing.  I think it’s best to choose from a very, very large mythology or naming pool so that you don’t have to switch themes mid-stream.  We had some servers named for “gods of the underworld” and others that were named after space shuttles at the same company.  There was no rhyme or reason to it, really, just what the last guy felt like doing.

I’m not sure what naming convention I’ll finally use when I finally get around to redoing my network at home.  It’s hard to get motivated, you know?  When you do it at work all day?  Makes you feel sorry for sex workers and gynaecologists, not to mention urologists, doesn’t it?
(Yeah, this is what happens when I stay up way too late.  Or is it too early?)


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