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Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-no-more-muppets-please dept.

Unix 1397

jfruhlinger writes "If you use a Unix machine, it probably has a funny name. And if you work in an environment where there are multiple Unix machines, they probably have funny names that are variations on a theme. No, you're not the only one! This article explores the phenomenon, showing that even the CIA uses a whimsical server naming scheme." What are some of your best (worst?) naming schemes?

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1397 comments

Snow White Theme (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701299)

Old Reader's Digest Joke:

Seven terminals named Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, . . ., and a printer named "Handsome Prints". :-)

Re:Snow White Theme (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701497)

Old Reader's Digest Joke:

Seven terminals named Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, . . ., and a printer named "Handsome Prints". :-)

With a bat lying next to it named "Snow White"? You know, to keep the dwarfs working in the diamond mine and to fuck the printer?

Re:Snow White Theme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701523)

Old Reader's Digest Joke:

Seven terminals named Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, . . ., and a printer named "Handsome Prints". :-)

Not even joking, my college has seven switches and in a rack named after the dwarfs.
we also have another called snow white, they are used to teach networking to students taking BTech ICT. (losers l2code)

Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (3, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701305)

My main server (which used to break all the time) is named Ultron, while various other computers and printers on the network have names such as Zebranki, Greenish, and Spathi.

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1)

Miltazar (1100457) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701375)

Haha, I use a lot of the same server names. Nice choice.

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701599)

Surprise and terror! :)

Attention big, mean, hostile alien programmer accessing this server in an obvious attack posture:
This is Spathi Captain Fwiffo. I know you are going to hack my system, so let's just get this over with right now.
The coordinates of my file server, Spathiwa, are 241.6.36.87, and the ultra-secret root password, which is known only by me and several billion other Spathi, is `Huffi-Muffi-Guffi'

---

Q: Here's an argument I've been having....Spathi have shells or no?
A: I think Spathi's didn't naturally have shells, but based on their desire for safety, they might adopt them as a fashion.
  -- 1998 IRC chat with Toys for Bob

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701377)

UQM ftw.

that sure beats the sol/luna/terra scheme I've seen everywhere else.

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701591)

UQM ftw.

that sure beats the sol/luna/terra scheme I've seen everywhere else.

Oh, this reminds me, back at work I named my machines after astronomical objects in welsh. Lleuad, Gwener, and Mwarth is as far as I got. It was hard to refer anyone to one of my machines just by telling them the name, no one ever knew how to spell them. However, for me, the naming scheme was fun, and kept me interested at work.

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701481)

Nice choices.

My box is called "Monster" as, when i got it (5 years ago) it was a very good computer...

Now it sucks, but is kinda funny :) Still haven't figured out what to call my laptop...maybe "RebornASaint" - it came with vista which was slow as hell but is now running happily with ubuntu :P

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701531)

My Betty has reincarnated 5 times already. She started life as an 80 MHz AMD 486 clone and she now is a 24" iMac.

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701581)

The first AthlonXP box I set up, I called "Andretti" because it was FAST! Of course now it's the slowest non-server in the house. My servers are all ancient cast-offs or flea market retreads. (Running RAID-1, of course.)

Re:Well, I'm currently using Fwiffo. (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701607)

Hey, you could name your Windows servers Druuge [stack.nl] names. That would only be fitting.

An Hadoop cluster could be given spathi [stack.nl] names.

On second thought, I know waaay too much about UQM.

Artificial Intelligences (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701313)

Anybody else seeing black text on a black background? Or perhaps more accurately, not seeing it?

Anyways: I used to name my machines acronyms (SNAFU), but I later decided on naming them after AIs. My laptop is called Microvac [multivax.com] (formerly Hal 9000 but I decided it wasn't a good name for a laptop) and my desktop is P1 [wikipedia.org].

Re:Artificial Intelligences (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701521)

...but I later decided on naming them after AIs.

Roker?
Jolsen?
Sharpton?
Yankovic?
Gore?

Oh, wait...

D-d-d-dupe (5, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701319)

I like that in this edition of Duplicate Stories on /. Monthly, the link in the story actually links back to a previous story [slashdot.org] that's asking the same thing! Thanks for saving us the few seconds of searching for the older stories on this one /.!

Wines, cheeses, trees (5, Insightful)

radixzer0 (17817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701331)

A goofy naming scheme is a bad idea when you're running over 100 servers in a dynamic environment. When your servers are named after wines, cheeses, and trees, who can say what Oak does, or Chablis, or Feta, or Jujuba, or Sassafras, ad nauseum.

-r0

Re:Wines, cheeses, trees (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701371)

Well, not sure about where you are, but around here, adnauseum is the mail server.

Re:Wines, cheeses, trees (1)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701511)

When your servers are named after wines, cheeses, and trees, who can say what Oak does, or Chablis, or Feta, or Jujuba, or Sassafras, ad nauseum.

Probably the few people that actually have any business accessing the servers directly, while conveniently keeping the lusers out.

Re:Wines, cheeses, trees (3, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701515)

A goofy naming scheme is a bad idea when you're running over 100 servers in a dynamic environment. When your servers are named after wines, cheeses, and trees, who can say what Oak does, or Chablis, or Feta, or Jujuba, or Sassafras, ad nauseum.

Well, the wines are build servers, the cheeses are webserver backends, and the trees are infrastructures... lol, sorry, being a bitch is so fun sometimes.

I did work at a job where we used acronyms to know what the computer was assigned for, but once you got past all of that, there was just a number for your team, and project. "Uh... which computer builds the x86fre version? 6? Oh, ok..." It required a map that was not just computer readable, but human readable.

Usually, it just ended up being team-specific knowledge that no one else knew. It was easy enough to know the prefix down to your stuff, it was regular, which just required a simple arbitrary map of numbers to purpose... what would be the difference between that and cheeses, wines, or trees?

Re:Wines, cheeses, trees (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701535)

That is a very good idea. But I would like to expand it to fruit.

Disclosure: I call my server hardware "Grapefruit Server."

"Goofy" naming scheme? (5, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701567)

Great idea! Let's name the others "Mickey", "Minnie", and "Pluto"

Females in music (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701339)

My computers at home are named after females in music. Other devices on my network are named after female fairy tale figures.

Re:Females in music (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701631)

My computers at home are named after females in music

I really hope you mean music stars, rather than the female students in your music class ;)

I name all my servers after pornstars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701341)

My firewall is the adult filter on the other network.

No funny names here (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701345)

My server at home is called "compute0". Guess why. It's because I expect eventually to build another one and call it "compute1". Heh.

On the other hand, the desktop and notebook computers do have somewhat more interesting names. They include:

hermione
epimetheus
quechua
tzeltal
basque
zapotec

The last three are the most recent. I'm on a language kick.

We have a Dr. Seuss theme ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701349)

...after spending the entire Christmas break re-installing and re-configuring a friend's Win98 box one year, when its harddrive failed. We named it "The Grinch".

Not for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701353)

If you use a Unix machine, it probably has a funny name.

Well, let's see:

anonymouscoward@humuhumunukunukuapuaa:~$ hostname
humuhumunukunukuapuaa
anonymouscoward@humuhumunukunukuapuaa:~$

Nothing odd there, it's just a reef triggerfish [wikipedia.org].

Rebel (5, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701355)

Naming our machines in odd and amusing ways it our way of secretly rebelling against over management.

names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701359)

thunder and Distiney, but I have no idea about the reasons behind their names (public school)

e.g. Richard Simmons (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701363)

I name all my Unix servers after famous eunuchs.

Grouping (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701379)

While it can make sense to give every server a descriptive name, such as production server, etc, I used find it is easier to give groups of servers a name based on a common theme. This sucks for people who are not familiar with the popular culture. For instance, while I might name all productions servers based on the Jetson, this might not work so well for a modern admin who might prefer Family Guy. I did, for a while, keep a South Park Cluster.

Of course we are not so United States centric, so I think we are moving towards names like PS23, GW32, etc. More efficient, but at what cost.

mac addresses (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701381)

I name each of my servers the name of another computer's mac address on the network. This way, as part of my retirement package I'll have the joyous knowledge that the person who takes over my position is going insane.

Worst naming scheme: (4, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701385)

functional naming.

Machines need arbitrary names, functional names are aliases.

Re:Worst naming scheme: (5, Funny)

the white plague (1436257) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701603)

It gives your customers something to chuckle over during traceroutes too. Why settle for letting them discover they traversed v11s0p1.dal01.blahblahblah.net, when you could let them know that they went through thebeast.bbb.net or ratbastard.wehateourjobs.com?

Porn stars (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701391)

I used to run a fairly lucrative business at a time when a certain industry was much more profitable... JennaJameson would always go down while RonJeremy would always be up.

Coincidence? I think not.

Break it down (4, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701393)

Use this convention for naming servers. company - airport code - role. For example, MSFT-PDX-MAIL01 (or DC01, TS01, APP01, etc)

Snow (4, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701397)

Just like my user name, I decided to go with the word "snow" in various languages. So far, I have my router chioni, server nix, desktop losse, and various other names for components. My wii is yuki, my xbox 360 is xue, my ipod touch is lumi. Beyond that I've also used "eira" and "schnee".

At my university NMSU, the CS department used alcoholic drinks (vodka, gin, etc), which were changed to vehicles (cobra, stingray) over complaints from an incoming professor. The sunrays were "bear" in various languages (oso, medved, ursa), and later they had words from the hacker's dictionary (foo, bar, baz, frob)

The naming schemes all were easily memorable, and prompted word associations, making them easy to mentally group. Ok, except the translations for bears, (and mine for snow) except for fellow crazy polyglots, and linguiphiles.

Re:Snow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701601)

> At my university NMSU, the CS department used alcoholic drinks (vodka, gin, etc), which were changed to vehicles (cobra, stingray) over complaints from an incoming professor.

A server by any other name would smell as sweet?

Funny Server Names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701399)

We name all of our servers after godzilla monsters. Megalon, Rodan, Sog ( Son of Godzilla ), godzilla, gargantua etc....

It was the network engineer before I that came up with this.. but we kept to the naming scheme. And of course, we have " print ".

Tuples (1)

Obama (1458545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701403)

Planets, elements, football teams, soda brands, countries... anything that's easy to remember. The whole point of naming is to artificially attach meaning to something generic. Btw, my proposal is to name your servers after the Obama administration ;-)

Ninnle One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701405)

Ninnle Two, Ninnle Three, Ninnle Four, Ninnle Five, Ninnle Six, Ninnle Seven....

naming (1)

period3 (94751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701407)

My T60 laptop is called t60. My Antec computer is called antec. My media server is called mythtv.

Names should have meaning.

Re:naming (4, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701639)

...and period3 means that you're 12 years old and just started puberty?

Famous Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701411)

We use to use famous computers. Can you tell where these came from? The first one is a gimme!

HAL
WOPR
CHROME
MYCROFT
OZ
BCE
etc.

Idiots... (1, Insightful)

clambake (37702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701421)

Why not name them "prod01", "prod02", "dev01", "staging01", etc? It makes no sense at all to name them "happy", "goofy", and "Voldemort". All that does it add possible confusion. All you need to do is have a new hire forget for a moment that "Dolphin" is your five-nines-must-be-up-at-all-costs production database and "Porpoise" is your office quake server to have a massive, highly costly, possibly fatal failure... If you aren't naming your servers what they ARE, instead of some idiot meaningless name, you are a bad sysadmin who is just adding one more point of failure to an already complex system, simple as that.

Want to argue with me? Answer me this: Why it's a best practice when coding to name the "Total annual cost" variable something like "totalAnnualCost" instead of "HappyZippers"?

Re:Idiots... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701645)

ouch, new hire with a bone to pick, huh. unless you're the sysadmin, then i would suggest not hiring *idiots* who forget server names. this is a rite of passage into the world of complex systems. mine are monkey themed: silly monkey, flying monkey, brass monkey, funky monkey, and so on...

Diseases (2, Interesting)

jtotheh (229796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701425)

I worked with some guys who brought up a cluster of machines named with disease names. I think one was 'schistosomiasis' (not sure of the spelling)

The users didn't like the idea of logging into diseases and something else was eventually put in place.

Druggar family - 18 babies, 18 servers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701431)

The Druggars have been a great gift to our server farm.

George Foreman, though he has many kids - not so much.

Names (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701433)

Taken individually, the names "trojan", "ramses" and "sheik" may not mean much, but taken together... Took a while for the boss to pick up on that theme...

pokemon charaters, Argh ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701437)

Ugh,

chosen by the previous sysadmin, pokemon charaters. pickachu was the only box people would use because they had no idea what I was talking about when I said charmeleon or wartortle or whatever the other 20 odd boxes were.

Never owned a server, but... (4, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701439)

I had a series of Macs before I became a diehard Linux guy. I didn't know I could name the first one, but then came Mac and Cheese, Mac Truck and Fanfare for the Common Mac (around the time of Copeland).

Why? Because I could.

At home, I've traditionally used music... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701449)

Over the years, I've named my machines Jazz, Blues, Fusion, HipHop, Rockabilly, and my new iPod touch is named Reggae.

At one place I worked, we named our servers after AI characters from movies. I knew I finally had some clout when I got to choose the names for a handful of new ones we got in. I named them Rachel, Zora, Pris, Leon, Roy and Deckard, that group, of course, being a sub-theme (one of my fave movies) within the theme.

Gort (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701451)

...is the system I use in my consulting business to do electrical load flow analysis for various utility customers.

Because if you give it the wrong command, it can shut down the grid.

My nonsensical method (3, Funny)

fuelvolts (852701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701455)

I name my PCs/Servers by the core name of the CPU:
My desktop is "Agena" (Phenom X4)
Laptop is "Trinidad" (Turion X2)
Wife's Laptop is "Merom" (Celly)
File Server is "Sparta" (AM2 Sempron)


I've been doing this for years and it's a built in reminder that I need to upgrade whenever I connect to another machine. ;)

Logical names fail eventually (5, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701463)

Over time, systems get refactored for uses that they were not originally intended, so that box named web1 is now an ftp server and nobody bothered to rename it. The same happens when you try to name them by physical location. r1a2r10n5 got moved from Room 1, Aisle 2, Rack 10, Number 5 to another room entirely.

The easiest time I had dealig with servers was when they were named after japanese monsters. We had Godzilla, Mothra, etc. We all know that Godzilla was the PostresSQL server. If a box's purpose changed, we didn't have to worry about renaming it and people would eventually learn its new purpose.

Whimsical names work.

JPMorgan's servers named after Dead Utopians (3, Interesting)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701465)

One group at JPMorgan had unix boxes named "Marx" (yes after Carl Marx) and "Bucky" (yes after Buckminster Fuller), and a slew of other Dead Utopian Philosophers.

Naturally the program that the group developed (in Visual Works Smalltalk with the Gemstone Object Database) for Trading Hybrid Derivatives is known as "Das Kapital"! Yes, it also has a start up screen with a picture of good old Carl Marx. This program trades and manages Trillions of Dollars of value (although the total value dropped recently due to, well, you know). But, was this program was likely part of the problem? Who knows? ;--)

death related stuff (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701473)

My systems are named after death related things... styx (the router/river that connects everything), charon (the file server that shepherds around the data), hell (web/ftp/mail server and the place where the users belong), death (the desktop where I enact all of my nefarious deeds), etc. I do it mostly so I don't get the urge to act upon those impulses. Ok, I do it mostly because nobody else names their servers like that and naming them after states, elements, etc seemed too cliche.

Apparently odd naming often has a purpose (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701475)

Odd named hosts often have a meaning once you are clued in on the naming scheme. First off it really helps to give hosts on the network a NAME not just a number. You could just skip DNS if you are going to number em. A well thought out naming scheme helps. If you do it right the name gives you a rough idea what it does and still allows some fun in naming.

If I see a tree themed hostname I instantly know it is one of the machines in a patron lab. Flowers are staff hosts and mythological beings are in the server room. Yes machines in a lab could just be numbered but ya could also name yer cats Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, etc.

Server names (2, Interesting)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701477)

I name mine after logicians. My desktop is Aristotle and my laptop is Ockham. I have also had Frege and Boole.

Dell Service Tags (2, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701485)

I worked at a shop where every client and server was named after the Dell Service tag. It did help identify the box, but made it awfully cumbersome to identify what the server was for without checking the inventory system; which had all that annotated in it. However, it worked well for the clients because we could have users find the service tag Dell had printed on the front of the box very quickly so we could remote in over the phone.

My naming scheme. (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701489)

I name all of my physical machines after some variation on truth, typically truth in a foreign language (Verita, Pravda). I name my virtual machines running on those machines after guns (Colt, Beretta).

My machines (1)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701491)

Currently operating:

Marvin (server)
Hactar (laptop)
Vroomfondel (backup server)

No longer functional:

Arthur
Colin
Prosser
Prefect
Majikthise
Zarniwoop

Silly enough for you?

The Simpsons (2, Funny)

Jon.Laslow (809215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701493)

The admin before me loved The Simpsons - it's especially funny when one of the servers crashes, and someone yells 'Hey, Homer just went down on me!'

(Yes, there's a similar bash.org quote involving Pokemon, but this actually happens)

Lord of the Rings Characters (1)

Secret Agent Man (915574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701495)

The machines we have at work are named after various characters from the Lord of the Rings books (including the Silmarillion).

The Dreaming (1)

lilo_booter (649045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701503)

I use character's from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics. Machine I'm typing from is the second incarnation of Morpheus (a dark and broody dell desktop), to my right I have Rose (a mac laptop) and a machine called Destruction (an acquisition from a previous job which is the only machine in the house which dual bots into an MS product...) and my EEE is dubbed Barbie.

Over the years, I've had most of the main cast represented in this way for various reasons which all made perfect sense at the time :-).

Surnames (4, Funny)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701513)

All my computers are named after famous computerists. For example, Welchman. Turing. Babbage. (The exception is my old laptop, named after Richard Hammond.)

My phones are also given surnames: Stubblefield, Adams, etc.

All my iPods are called Steve.

Computer parts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701517)

my servers are all named after computer parts so that users sound like retards asking for anything
  "i need full access to ram!"
  "why is megabytes broken?!?"
  "who rebooted hard drive??!??"

http://qdb.us/294682

I name them after women (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701519)

Well, not any in specific, just female names that I like. For some I haven't ever met someone with that name (as simple as Linda).

It feels nicer. More personal?

But those are for desktops. Maybe for servers I'd give them boys names, because they do heavy lifting while I play around with the girls. =)

Re:I name them after women (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701561)

Oh, I fogot to mention... It's always based on the model name if it's an OEM product, or based on women I know for a custom build. For example, I had a Dell Precision I named Paulina...

Re:I name them after women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701587)

I name them after girls who refused to go out with me. I've never run out of names.

Kevin Smith theme (2, Interesting)

rhpenguin (655576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701525)

All my Unix machines/routers/etc are named after places or things in Kevin Smith movies.

-My MythTV machine is called RSTVideo
-My router is called Quickstop Groceries
-My Fileserver is called Postens Funeral Home
-My Hackintosh is called Mooby's


.. and last but not least, my NAS is called Quicker Stop

My favorite comic of old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701527)

I have desktops named batman, joker, batgirl, robin, twoface, and riddler, a server named alfred, and my linux laptop named penguin.

Presidents, Sports, Simspons Characters (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701539)

The CS department at my school has a couple Windows labs that follow this naming trend and named all the machines after presidents and Simpsons characters. A couple of our Linux labs are named for "Sports" and "weapons" lab. When you ssh into that lab you are randomly assigned a terminal. I just love seeing
[ab672@katana]$
or
[ab672@jujitsu]$
However, my personal favorite, has to be the mac lab - the fruit lab, likely so named for those who work there...

Depends who is reading what at that time. (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701549)

I used to manage several data centers and the development on had the most interesting name because the system administrators and they would name the servers from characters or locations in their books they were reading.
You can tell they were reading Star Trek if they named the servers "Kirk" or "Borg".
The most mundane were the production server with Mail-DB-01 and Web-apps-01. However you knew what the server did just by looking at the name.

dont know about best (0, Troll)

eightball (88525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701557)

I name the servers I have license to do so after mythical places. The name/place reflects the nature of the machine (firewall, file server, workstation, winders box, remote host).

I'd link them up with actual names, but I've already said too much.

You name them after computer parts (5, Funny)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701565)

So when something goes wrong, people sound like morons: "Why is motherboard down!?" "I can't connect to RAM!"

Sometimes it depends on the domain... (1)

goodwid (102323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701577)

Since our former domain was feather.net, my brother and I started naming machines after birds. The plus side is that there's a great many bird names to use, and we can be somewhat descriptive (the tiny shuttle box is named finch, while the great massive ugly slow beast was named condor, and one machine that was resurrected from the dead was re-christened phoenix).

As for my desktops, the first was lazarus (now retired), followed by minerva and athena, and my laptop is dora. Still a theme, just a different one. (My iPod is hamadryad)

Beware your names (1)

Mr. Ksoft (975875) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701579)

I named my first external hard drive "Flying Toaster" due to its portability and my love of the old After Dark screensavers... it died of severe overheating, what a coincidence. I named its replacement "Not A Toaster"... so far so good. As for my computers, I have a couple random names but no common theme and definitely no effect on their performance. My main one is called Kefka after the Final Fantasy VI character. I have an old Gateway named Moo and a Dell from 2003 that is named Powerhouse because it is somehow STILL able to play new games on reasonable settings. My old 486 is named Senior Citizen and my equally old Mac is named Crapple because it is very slow and useless. I used to name ALL my hard drives, but then I stopped. I had on my old Pentium 2 setup a 12 gig named Dust Bunny and a 40 gig named Death Star. I should get back into naming!

Is up down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701583)

I highly recommend reading RFC 1178 [ietf.org]

Names I have known (2, Interesting)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701585)

The first naming scheme I saw was a group of then-new Sun 3 workstations that were named after cheeses. The NFS server was chedder. How creative!

Where I currently work, the names are cars. I've had twingo, tatra and model-t, while our new wickedly fast server was, naturally, veyron. The system I'm typing this on is a little crude but brutally fast: monaro.

Going a very long way back, when I was with Digital the DECnet node names were limited to 6 characters, but some of them were interesting. The main box at an office in Arizona was TOOHOT. GATORS? Florida, naturally. How could SRFSUP be anywhere but L.A.?

...laura

xmen! (1)

AntiRush (1175479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701595)

Our CS computers here at Xavier University are named after various xmen characters. Cyclops, iceman, wolverine, ... our printer xmansion and the wireless network hands out mutant0...mutantN.

One hit wonders... (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701605)

jesusjones
basil - for Toni
astley (of course for Rick)
numan - for Gary Numan
vice (for Vanilla Ice)
nena
falco
knack
axelf
buggles
dolby - although I argued that Thomas Dolby was not a one-hit wonder, she blinded me with Science simply was too much to overcome.

Whimsical Conference room names (4, Funny)

bwhaley (410361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701613)

Ok, this drives me nuts. It's a little off topic, since it's names of conference rooms instead of server names, but the concept is the same.

Here in Colorado, we have 54 mountain peaks that are > 14,000 feet. They're referred to as "fourteeners," and they all (of course) have names.

Every company in Denver thinks they're damn clever by naming their conference rooms after the fourteeners. I don't know how many Long's Peak and Mount Evans conference rooms I've sat in, but it makes me want to hurl my chair at the window.

Ok, time for my anger management class. =p

Foods, social naming (1)

karikas (785024) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701615)

When I used to work for a real company we'd name our servers after different (usually ethnic) foods - our first was named Kimchee (from our Korean designer). Then came Halo Halo (Philippino dessert), Pork Bun, and head cheese. And right before I left... Debbie Gibson for some reason from the new dev.

It was actually a good social exercise - every time we got a new server we had the next employee "in line" name it. Good times. These days I use Bacon, Eggs, Lau Lau, and Loco Moco, for those of you partial to Hawaiian food! I love telling people to set their domain nameservers to bacon.site.com and eggs.site.com.

Why just "Unix"? (2, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701617)

Why would this be limited to just Unix boxes? I've seen plenty of windows, mac, linux, etc network servers with the same kind of strange naming conventions.

Alcoholic beverages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701619)

Yes, I use alcoholic beverages, such as cognac, vodka, beer, etc. I actually don't drink much >.>

James Bond Villains (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701635)

My favorite naming convention?: Our rules for selecting the naming convention for a set of Sun workstations and server, back in the late '80s:
    1. Must support at least 5 machines
    2. Must have no name in the scheme already in the company (which had a lot of computers)
    3. Extra credit for a good name for the server.

"James Bond Villains" was the winning scheme. Drax, Goldfinger, Dr_No (my machine!), etc. Server was called Spectre, of course! (And good ol' Spectre, a mid-size sun server lasted until it was shut down in 1999 because it was running SunOS rather than Solaris, and Sun didn't support Y2K updates for SunOS...) We were all excited because Spectre had a 'double eagle' huge disk drive, a full 600mb!

At home, we use mostly mythical names. My old PowerBook was named Pegasus (because it was a very fast machine when I got it.) Our first dual-CPU G5 Mac is called Janus (the Roman 2-headed god.) My wife's iMac, with the built-in Webcam on the top of the machine, is called Cyclops (of course!) My current MacBook is called Cerberus (3-headed dog of the underworld), since I intend to support all 3 of MacOS, Linux and Windows under virtualization (but I haven't gotten around to installing the Linux partition yet.) The Windows partition on that machine has its own name, Hecate a dark, evil bitch... :-)

dave

What would happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26701637)

If some Bastard Operator named one: divide_by_zero?

Why? Because we can! (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701647)

And we name our Win boxen silly names too - every Linux or Unix or Windows box in my lab is named after a local animal (Linux or Unix) or local plant (Windows).

It's the same reason that people have nicknames for their campers and their houses ... or the CIA is named Foggy Bottom.

I know a name for itworlds new mysql server (4, Funny)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701651)

"slashdotted". In memory of what happened to the old one.

"The Turtles" (2, Funny)

knapper_tech (813569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701659)

Splinter(head node)
Leonardo
Donatello
Rafael
Michelangelo

Just a little make-shift cluster for large Blender renders implemented with Dr. Q. Splinter told the turtles what to do.

ASSassin
Asian Student Society...assin. A gentoo box built for hosting a website for Asian Student Interest Advocates.
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