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Server Names For a New Generation

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-is-it-called? dept.

Hardware 429

itwbennett writes "Server naming is well-trod ground on Slashdot. But as new generations enter the workforce, they're relearning the fundamentals of what makes a good scheme. Can servers named after characters from The Simpsons or The Howard Stern show stand the test of time? If you name your servers after the Seven Dwarfs, can you have any doubt that Grumpy will cause you trouble? Striking a balance between fun and functional is harder than it seems."

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429 comments

If I name my server "Coca~Cola" ... (3, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284439)

... can I get sued for copyright infringement ?

Re:If I name my server "Coca~Cola" ... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284463)

Copyright, no. Trademark infringement, yes.

But I didn't paint my server red and white ! (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284535)

And my server ain't shaped like a coke bottle either

Can they still sue me?

Re:If I name my server "Coca~Cola" ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284561)

Copyright, no. Trademark infringement, yes.

Actually he can be sued for both. He can also be sued for just about anything, that doesn't mean that he is guilty of anything.
It's only trademark infringement if it is reasonable to assume that the customer can confuse the two brands.
Creating a soft drink known as cock-cola is a possible trademark infringement, having a server named coca-cola is not unless the judge is unable to see the difference between a computer and a liquid. (I wouldn't be surprised if that happened.)

Re:If I name my server "Coca~Cola" ... (3, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284643)

Trademarks are also registered against specific industries.

Re:If I name my server "Coca~Cola" ... (3, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284929)

Trademarks do not necessarily have to be registered; and can be lost by not using them even though they're registered; and may be lost by not defending it (i.e. letting infringement to go on for long time, without taking any action). It's far from black and white.

Actually in this coca-cola example: just naming your server like that should be fine, assuming he's not running a shop selling coca-cola branded servers.

However coca-cola being such a well-known brand may have a case against you selling computers under the coca-cola brand. Especially if you were to paint them red, with a white wave in the middle, because in that case you obviously try to pretend to belong to the soft drink company instead of being a computer seller, and cause market confusion. Or if you would paint them in that red/white colour scheme, but calling your company the coca computer company or so.

Trademarks are indeed generally industry-specific indeed, think Apple Computer vs Apple Music as well-known example.

Bugs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284453)

My personal opinion is that bug names are a better solution. They are almost infinite. You never know when an organisation will grow a lot bigger than you expected.

Re:Bugs? (5, Funny)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284467)

from the tempting-fate dept.

Re:Bugs? (5, Funny)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284533)

Or you could name them after Linux distro's those are almost infinite to.

Re:Bugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284709)

Minerals and precious/semi-precious stones are better.

Re:Bugs? (3, Funny)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284763)

At last count there are over 640K bugs! That ought to be enough for any organisation.

Re:Bugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284987)

Oh Bill you are so amusing. ;)

Re:Bugs? (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285111)

My personal opinion is that bug names are a better solution. They are almost infinite.

Or name them after Islamic terrorists - for the same reason.

Just don't name them after Muslims who condemn terrorism, you'll run out in no time.

Server Names: The Next Generation (4, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284471)

Make it so.

Fun names worked great, for a while. (4, Insightful)

glassware (195317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284483)

At my startup company, we named servers after notable videogame characters. It was quite nifty when we had three servers; it stayed fun for years. But when we reached 30 servers, gradually problems crept in. One machine needed to be rebuilt and the name kept getting reassigned. Similar names were confusing.

Server naming schemes are cute until you outgrow them. Hint: Determine for yourself when you outgrow them. We now name servers by their function and their sequence number.

Re:Fun names worked great, for a while. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284619)

Hint: Use CNAME and you can keep the fun server name, too!

Re:Fun names worked great, for a while. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284717)

Hint: Use CNAME and you can keep the fun server name, too!

...not if they are Windows servers with file shares (SMB). As of Win2k3, CNAMEs don't work for that. Ironically, exposing Samba file shares on Linux works just fine with CNAMEs.

Haven't tried again with the latest Windows server software, so YMMV.

Re:Fun names worked great, for a while. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284959)

Hint: Use CNAME and you can keep the fun server name, too!

CNAME's are great for client machines but when it comes to servers, the people managing them are professionals who should understand the naming convention. If any sysadmin cant understand the naming convention in 15 seconds, it's a bad convention. Users who have remote access to their machines have a functional name and an easy to remember CNAME.

Users should not need to connect to servers that aren't defined by Group Policy or login script, even beyond this it's easy to tell them LON dash EXC dash ZERO ONE then trying to remember if "Philbert" was a file or exchange server (OK, the file server should really be "Heifer", given the amount of storage inside).

Re:Fun names worked great, for a while. (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285067)

If any sysadmin cant understand the naming convention in 15 seconds, it's a bad convention.

So true... my last gig was at a place where the naming convention was a mix of football players names, cricket players names and character's from the Matrix movies. Made zero sense - yet they didn't want to make changes that would've meant it was logical. Oh yeah, zero documentation too! Very glad to have moved to a new company, where I've been able to implement a naming scheme for servers which makes logical sense - function/number-location.domainname.

Functional (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284491)

I realise that the new generation may not be bothered with such mundane details in their pursuit of eternal hipsterness, but server names need to be functional. Whenever possible, IT should be able to identify server's location, platform and purpose by glancing at the name... "TEAMEDWARD1" just doesn't cut it, unless the server is located in some depressingly remote location nobody knew about, until the server was placed there.

Re:Functional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284509)

Whenever possible, IT should be able to identify server's location, platform and purpose by glancing at the name

Except when any of the server's location, platform or purpose changes, you'll have to change its name.

Re:Functional (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284591)

Whenever possible, IT should be able to identify server's location, platform and purpose by glancing at the name

Except when any of the server's location, platform or purpose changes, you'll have to change its name.

Right!

Is this a bad thing? Is it better to name the server SnowWhite and then having to remember whether SnowWhite is a DNS server or a Web server this week? Better to rename it (even better to reimage it) from prod-dns1 to dev-web1. I ship servers between datacenters so infrequently that renaming the server when it moves is not a problem.

Re:Functional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284831)

Whenever possible, IT should be able to identify server's location, platform and purpose by glancing at the name

Except when any of the server's location, platform or purpose changes, you'll have to change its name.

Right!

Is this a bad thing? Is it better to name the server SnowWhite and then having to remember whether SnowWhite is a DNS server or a Web server this week? Better to rename it (even better to reimage it) from prod-dns1 to dev-web1. I ship servers between datacenters so infrequently that renaming the server when it moves is not a problem.

Better to reprovision it. If SNowWhite was a DNS server it will have the legacy of that function. Just installing the next set of software (say RDBMS, Web Server, etc) and re-using it is fraught with problems. How do you harden it? What needs backing up? Has infrasturture software been modified for the last purpose in such a way to make it less suitable for the new?

Therefore, while reinstalling the OS, loading the current server image, setting up the monitoring, backup and other infrastructure software, etc in preperation for its new role, rename it with an accurate name.

On the other hand if you treat your servers as home PCs and don't reprovision them name like home PCs.

Sent from a home PC called Totara (a New Zealand tree), not a commercial server like WebProd01.

Re:Functional (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284525)

Indeed. After years of enduring networks with servers with tree names or GI Joe character names, when it came for me to come up with names for my servers and other network devices, I came up with functional names that describe physical locations, departments, functions, and so forth. That way I have a descriptive network rather than trying to remember which one of the Power Rangers the last IT guy liked the best.

Re:Functional (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285021)

All very well until you run out of space and have to move them. Cute is awkward, functional can become misleading as locations and roles change... either way, problems abound.

Re:Functional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39285047)

Which is fine except when IT make the server names un memorable strings of seemingly random characters where the difference between prod and dev servers is that one has a p in its name and the other a d.

Re:Functional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284753)

What the hell is a tea medical ward?

Re:Functional (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285015)

We use a boring systematic naming system: A site prefix, and a server number. I'm always losing track of what each one does.

It hasn't changed much, except for VMs (2)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284493)

I've used various naming schemes for systems I've setup (normally based on whatever video game I'm playing at the time). But the biggest change I've done is naming of virtual machines when I was administrating multiple servers, each running multiple VMs.

As I can have a lot of VMs on a single server, remembering what VM maps to what server can be a pain. I normally just do something simple like having the base server called "blue", then the VMs will be called "blue-1", "blue-2", etc. This helped me track down the host server quickly when I needed to fix something.

Re:It hasn't changed much, except for VMs (4, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284553)

You're in deep trouble when you build an ESX cluster. Then you'll have blue-1 running on the ESX server red and blue-2 running on orange.

You'll strain something (3, Funny)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284827)

You will strain something if you have a twister mat laid out in mission control, so you can point out how to move data across your platform.

Re:It hasn't changed much, except for VMs (1)

CBravo (35450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284571)

You never migrate a hot VM?

Re:It hasn't changed much, except for VMs (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284577)

What kind of broken VM platform are you running where VM's are tied to an individual host? Every major player now supports live migration of VM's between hosts, in fact the only hypervisor I'm aware of that doesn't is Virtualbox which isn't exactly something I'd use on a server.

As far as server names I'm still using [sitecode][application][function][d|t|p|dr][instance #] where application is the LOB app name, function is something like app, db, web, etc and d|t|p|dr are which environment (dev, test, prod, dr). The only time this has ever been a problem was some ghetto app that had a hard coded 8 character hostname limit.

Re:It hasn't changed much, except for VMs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284785)

There are lots of admins running the free ESXi due to budgets since it lets them have more servers per box. (free version usually don't support hot-moves)

I run all my ADS/DNS/DHCP servers on three of them (not all on the same box though)

I'll be upgrading to the licensed versions in the next year.

Now that I'm mid 30's I realize I'm not young. (4, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284495)

I know the Pokémon names are going to get old fast.

Star Wars, Star Trek, even Battlestar Galactica are great sources for names. JigglyPuff is NOT a server name!

Re:Now that I'm mid 30's I realize I'm not young. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284793)

PUFF

Re:Now that I'm mid 30's I realize I'm not young. (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284907)

That's why, when I was in college, they used Pokemon names for DNS resolution of IPs given out via DHCP to laptops roaming campus :-)

I name them after girls (4, Funny)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284499)

I name my computers, VMs, and bots after female characters (Inara, Padme, Daenerys, Trinity, etc). It originated from a long forgotten time when I can't get laid.

Re:I name them after girls (5, Funny)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284559)

It originated from a long forgotten time when I can't get laid.

Too bad your freudian slip of mixing past and present tense gave you away.

Re:I name them after girls (4, Funny)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284613)

I name mine after girls that I actually laid. And I'm running a data center for Google.

Ba-dum-bum. [instantrimshot.com]

Re:I name them after girls (4, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284691)

I name mine after girls that I actually laid. And I'm running a data center for Google.

So....

Christy_from_Canada_1, Christy_from_Canada_2, Christy_from_Canada_3, ...Christy_from_Canada_99999

Re:I name them after girls (5, Funny)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284721)

Yeah, that's actually a bit of a problem. Canadians really need to get a little more creative in naming their daughters.

Re:I name them after girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284701)

Seems fair. They were probably doing it for professional reasons too.

Re:I name them after girls (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285069)

I always thought you should name servers after former employees. As an added bonus, if you're working a startup and you run out of names, that's a good indication that layoffs are coming, and you should start printing your résumé.

Simple... (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284507)

... I name all my systems "bob".
I also named my dog "Stay". Sure he gets a little confused sometimes -- "Come here, Stay" -- but like the server names, it keeps things interesting.

Re:Simple... (2)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284569)

So you're running Linux on Bob [wikipedia.org] ?
That's quite confusing indeed...

Re:Simple... (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284655)

The wonders of virtualization...

How it really gets done. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284511)

[2 char OS Type] + [4 char location] + [2 char Hardware Type] + [2 char server role] + [4 digit Number]

WNNYNYVMPD0001

Windows server in New York Data Center running as a Virtual Machine in the Production environment first server.

RHLACAAMTS0200

Red had Server in Los Angeles Data Center on a AMD platform Test Environment 200th server.

Re:How it really gets done. (1)

mitashki (1116893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284615)

no fun at all I must agree...

Re:How it really gets done. (2)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284821)

Done by the inexperienced perhaps. Location, sure. A number, sure. But type and purpose and OS? No thanks. DNS is not a configuration management tool.

Assign your servers names and addresses for purposes of managing the servers. Assign your applications their own names, and (potentially) addresses.

Re:How it really gets done. (1)

88Seconds (242800) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284871)

I wish that was how our supplier did it, but thay have their own naming standard based on location by country, city, server identifier and operating system. Great for them when they want to apply OS and security patches, but of no help to us when we get change records or problem records assigned to us because the name is similar to a server we do look have to look after, which serves a different function.

Doctor Who (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284523)

My main server is called TARDIS, because it's bigger on the inside...

Be creative but have rules (2, Interesting)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284541)

A server name needs to directly correspond to a server's function. I'm not saying you can't be creative but don't be stupid. When you grow beyond ~10 servers, cutesie names are going to cause you to work weekends trying to track down basic networking issues. Here's what I do: if it's a web server, start the name with a "W". MySQL server, start the name with an "M" and so on. If it's paired or load balanced, put a numeral on the end of it to identify it's system. Beyond that, I let the interns name the servers using whatever new-age cultural references their little inexperienced hearts desire.

Eventually you may outgrow any naming convention but by then you hope to be on an island sipping margaritas while someone else worries about these things.

Re:Be creative but have rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284659)

That will suck if you switch from MySQL to PostgreSQL or Couch DB :)

Re:Be creative but have rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284719)

We use a 3 to 4 letter abbreviation of the physical location the server is housed. When then use W or L to determine if it is Windows or Linux. Then it is P for production or T for test. Lastly it is an abbreviation of function, and a number if there is a primary or secondary. A Primary Windows Domain Controller in New York would be NYWPDC01. Easy to remember.

Re:Be creative but have rules (1)

wylf (657051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284723)

With a large bunch of sysadmins, everyone had their own naming schema. Yeah, you try and get 4 argue-for-the-sake-of-it types to agree on something so trivia^H^H^H important. So we used CNAMEs to give context to the server. apps-prod-3, db-dev etc. All connectivity went through the CNAME... except for the sysadmins I guess. This made life really easy when replacing servers - update dns, drop the virtual iface on the old one, plumb it up on the new.

Re:Be creative but have rules (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285053)

Our main server is used as an active directory domain controller, file server, DNS, DHCP, runs the build management service, webserver for a configuration program... name that one!

Big companies might be able to afford a seperate server (Or more sensibly, virtual host) for every service, but in the smaller ones it's common for servers to do many, many tasks.

Cross functional standard that is driven by mgmt (2)

ctime (755868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284563)

There can be a naming standard that is applied to all devices, network, servers, storage, so on, that help simplify how an IT organization works. This has to be driven by management. Naming things by some arbitrary set of characters from your favorite story does not scale well, to say the least. Lets create a standard that scales like a mofo:
ie, SJN1FIDBSW0001 The goal would be to have each device identified by a location (SJN), location code (1), businessorg (FI), zone (DB) device type (SW), ,logical identifer (0), physical device # (001)

How about a web server in NYC datacenter 4 behind a load balancer, but in the DMZ, for the finance organization. The logical "placement" identifier really comes in handy to quickly tell where the hell something is located, inside outside, behind lb, not behind lb, in dmz, extranet bullshit, etc.
NYC4FIWEBSRV1001

Re:Cross functional standard that is driven by mgm (1)

aussiedood (577993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284639)

We use a very similar naming convention, slightly less granular, but effect; State, City, Use, Number ie NYNYFS01 = NY, New York, File Server, 01 (a second file server would be numbered 02) At home or in small business movie/book/game characters can be fun, but once you start to get more than a few systems and employees and that starts to become unwieldy.

Re:Cross functional standard that is driven by mgm (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284687)

Or you could do something "new and radical" and use SNMP objects with all that information, and just name the server whatever you want.
On any network big enough to need those controls you are speaking of, you will have some kind of management platform.

Re:Cross functional standard that is driven by mgm (5, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284725)

There can be a naming standard that is applied to all devices, network, servers, storage, so on, that help simplify how an IT organization works. This has to be driven by management.

Naming things by some arbitrary set of characters from your favorite story does not scale well, to say the least.

Lets create a standard that scales like a mofo:

ie, SJN1FIDBSW0001
The goal would be to have each device identified by a location (SJN), location code (1), businessorg (FI), zone (DB) device type (SW), ,logical identifer (0), physical device # (001)

The problem with that naming convention is you get very similar named servers, which might only differ by a single character in the middle of a hard-to-scan blob of text.

On colleague of mine has managed to flatten a production oracle server because he connected to the Manchester one, not the Washington one. The difference was embedded in the middle of the all-caps dns. Several people have restarted services on the wrong server too, again a single character difference in 15.

Since then I've instituted a policy of changing PS1 to prepend the hostname with the location in plain text.

When it comes to outside addressing, heigherarchial dns and cnames allow easy addressing. oracle1.washington.mycorp.com, web1.gaza.mycorp.com is fairly clear where the box is and what the function is, and when it comes time to reassign functions, you just update the cname.

Re:Cross functional standard that is driven by mgm (3, Insightful)

bertok (226922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285079)

Moderate parent up please!

Full, descriptive names are the only sane way to name servers.

Alphanumerical gibberish is a system promoted by suit wearing idiots who's job it is to track corporate assets, not the people who's job it is to press the "OK" button on the "Are you sure you want to destroy this 5 TB volume?" dialog box.

No, you don't need the operating system platform in the server name, or the room code, rack number, owner, or anything else. Learn to use spreadsheets, asset tags, and description fields like a normal person. Name servers something clear and simple, like "ProdFile1" or "DmzDns2", and put the unrelated meta data where it belongs: elsewhere. Don't be afraid of CamelCasing either, just because server names are case insensitive doesn't mean they are not case preserving.

I've been at a site recently where there were wildly unrelated servers distinguished only by a single character, using both the numeral '1' and the letter 'I' in the same position. I saw, with my own two eyes, one of their senior admins moving the mouse cursor towards the "OK" on the "Are you sure you want to permanently delete this VM" prompt, and they had the wrong server! I corrected the guy before it was too late, so he then promptly found a second, also incorrect, server to delete.

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284567)

Right now I've been using the names of AI's. My lastest is called "Post-dated Chw=eque loan," or "Petie" for short (From Schlock Mercenary)

LOST (1)

depaya (2017934) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284585)

Just name every server a character from LOST and then you'll have an explanation for anything that goes wrong.

simians (0)

strack (1051390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284595)

i dont know about server names, but i name my hard drive volumes after types of simians. c: is gorilla, i: is chimp, j: is monkey.

Re:simians (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285077)

I used to store data on hundreds of DVDs. I found that you can cram 32 disks into a 30-disk cakebox, so I numbered them all in hex. That way the first digit identifies the box to look in.

The full naming scheme is [media type][number], so hard drive number sixteen is HDRV10.

MIT lab used laundry detergents (1)

bgalbrecht (920100) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284597)

Back in the 80s, I visited a MIT lab that used laundry detergents for their names, and each machine had the name from the detergent box taped to the hard drive. At the time, the hard drives were about the size of a washer and had a removable disk. Each computer was connected to a single hard drive. How times have changed....

At my work, they're more practical, and the first letter indicates domain (test, production, etc), second letter the OS, third letter server application type (webserver, database server, app server, etc), followed by a short name and number. When there are hundreds of servers, cutesy names just don't cut it.

On my home network (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284601)

I only have one server, so I call it Mother.

The laptop is Ripley.

Re:On my home network (2)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284807)

Is this built up from the years of pent-up frustration developed by not having Sigourney Weaver in your lap?

You Mother ****** (0)

rdebath (884132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284981)

The only problem with this is what's you've done when you fuck up your server.

pick a theme - Vaudeville (1)

Bork (115412) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284603)

Vaudeville acts -
for pairs -
Burns and Allen
George and Gracie
Sid and Imogene ...

singles:
Jerry
Dean
Milton
Perry
Dean

plenty of names to use.

My favorite server names (2)

I'm just joshin (633449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284611)

The seven deadly sins...

Nothing beats giving the sales guy a computer named "greed"

-J

I used contageous diseases (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284833)

Unfortunately, customers weren't too thrilled to see their website hosted on "syphilis" or "herpes".

Thanks, XKCD (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284621)

I named my server Robert'); DROP Table students;--

Just checked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284653)

hastur, cthulhu and nodens

still going, a decade after leaving the place they're housed...sometimes the Old Ones are the best...

Traditionalist names... (2)

leftover (210560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284671)

Maxwell, Tesla, Watt, etc.

Greek alphabet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284675)

Tends to work well. Unless you have more than 24 servers.

I used to use Final Fantasy VI Espers for server names... until it got too annoying to correct people on their spelling over the phone ;)

What's wrong with functional names? (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284677)

Cute names are so old and busted. "Okay, Kenny is the one with the accounting software that crashes constantly. Cartman is the old file server, because it's huge. Kyle is for the legal department."

Name your shit for what it does and, if you have multiple data centers, where it's located.

Re:What's wrong with functional names? (4, Interesting)

Hacksaw (3678) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284779)

Nailed it.

With servers being generally virtual these days, and the underlying physical hardware a highly replaceable substrate, there's no reason for an enterprise to have serves which do more than one thing. If a server does only one thing, it ought to be named for that one thing.

mailserver-eastcoast.example.com

Where is that machine? Somewhere in the blade cage. If I yank the blade, it'll appear in a few seconds on another blade. Where is the data? On the giant fiber RAID, which is replicated in the west coast office, and two secret locations.

Compute is a cloud, storage is a cloud, services come from that cloud, the clouds made of physical devices in as many locations as make sense.

The old physical network topology is finally just the nerves and pumps, and no longer the focus.

The focus is the data. The data is what we produce to make value, to drive the business process. Servers aren't special anymore, they're like hammers. You don't name hammers, typically. But you might have more than w=one, and you definitely want to know two things: where is it, and what is it for.

location in name is wrong (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284839)

Use subdomains for that. Bonus is that you can move stuff around datacenters without having to reassign hostnames.

With apologies to T.S. Eliot (4, Funny)

Dave Emami (237460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284733)

"The Naming of Servers is a serious matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games.
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a server has three different names..."

... those being DNS entry, IP, and the one which "the server itself knows, and never will confess."

Re:With apologies to T.S. Eliot (5, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284881)

Can't believe noone mentioned this: picking a good server name is important [xkcd.com] .

different schemes (1)

ahaubold (1705608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284735)

Devices at home get named after SC-BW buildings. Like Nexus for the server, Forge is the development machine, Pylon the Windows box and so on. At my current workplace the servers are named pretty bad. They are named with Manufacturer_Model_Number. I'd try to avoid that if I'd be in charge. In a company I worked for long ago, every maschine had to have the name of an alcoholic drink. Beer was a DB-Server there, Port did the firewalling. Employees workstations must have names from drinks which were typical for the country/region the employee originated from. Like the Russian dude's workstation was Vodka, the German guy's Korn. I think that was a good directive.

Take me to the server, Papa's got a new ... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284737)

Musicians at one, colours at another, snakes at a third so two machines destined to spend time at those sites were called "Brown" and "Green".

The best server name is server. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284739)

If you happen to have more than one server, name them like server0, server1, server2... There are other things you have to better spend your time in life.

Child of the Mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284765)

I name my servers "Jane's" and then Function.
Jane's Annex
Jane's Library
etc.

Because lets admit it, if they ever become sentient, there could only be one name.
Who else to fight Bugs?

HHGTG (4, Funny)

Space (13455) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284767)

Some names will stand the test of time. A box with two monitors should of course be named Zaphod.

We didn't, but I wanted to... (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284771)

Because of the risk of outgrowing a naming scheme, because you run out of names, or because too many names become a chore to keep track of, I once wanted to do a hybrid approach, but instead went with the _ approach in the end.
The initial idea were to use only a few names, for functions, ie. Frodo for File server, Gandalf for the Gateway, etc. But once you start doing that, you might as well just just Fileserver, or Gateway instead...

I'd say that in larger installations, "cute" server names are a thing of the past.

the _ scheme? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284843)

How did you manage to get _ working in DNS?

Re:the _ scheme? (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284883)

We didn't, it was an example. :P

Random Naming? (1)

eonFoo (2531320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284815)

package com.company.servers;

public class ServerName {
       public String createName() {
              return String.valueOf (RandomNumberGenerator.generateNumber());
       }
}

Seriously? Still talking about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284909)

Please can we move on with our lives?

Keep it simple (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284919)

I generally just use the location and function of the server. Something like this: Country-Function-Number. So a web server in the US would be US-WEB-1 and the second database in Germany would be DE-DB-2. Makes troubleshooting and looking for a machine a bit easier.

Names for servers (1)

Ziest (143204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284955)

Several years ago I was working at a network equipment manufacturer in Sunnyvale, Ca. We had 2 monster Spectra Logic tape silos. One worked petty well the other not so much. One was name "Gir" and the other was named "Dib" Gir used to do random things for no apparent reason like wake up, pick a tape and eject it. We would walk into the data center to find a pile of tapes on the floor. Nothing in the logs, no backups running, it just decided it was time to eject a tape. WTF! We had a name plate attached that said "Gir: It's not stupid, it's advanced."

Can't count the number of time the Spectra Logic field engineers were working on this tape silo but could never get it to work right.

Desiases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39284973)

My former colleague used successfully disease names to servers. The hosts forming a cluster where index numbered, which resulted names such as cholera-1 to cholera-3 (file servers). Usually the worse the disease the worse the service was. And there where endless possibilities to humor. For example acrophobia cluster had troubles staying up.

Mythological figures (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39284975)

I use antique names transliterated to English - eg. enki, metis, dagon, tiamat, pallas, etc. They're mostly short, easy to spell, pronounce and remember, and there's an almost endless pool to draw from.

Re:Mythological figures (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285093)

Until someone mishears that as 'Phallus' and you have to deal with a claim of sexual harassment.

Onomatopoeia (2)

Dadoo (899435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285075)

I've been on the Internet a long time and, when I named my first Internet-connected computers, I thought it would be cool to name them after Star Trek characters. (The guys a floor up from me decided to name their after planets.) It wasn't long before I discovered that, at that time, half the machines on the Internet were named after Star Trek characters, and the other half were named after planets. I decided that, in the future, I would choose the most original naming scheme I could think of. I've been naming my computers after onomatopoeic words for years - screech, kablamm, whirr, etc. There are plenty of words, so the chances of running out are small.

The only time I got into trouble is when I was putting together a server for a customer, and I called it "crash".

"For a new generation"? (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285091)

"For a new generation"? I am afraid the only thing the new generation can come up with is Pokémon names.

Asset labels (1)

c_g_hills (110430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285135)

No longer an admin, but I have always given servers names based on their asset label, e.g. SV-0700543. The benefit of this is that the servers must be recorded in the asset register before they can be set up. When it comes to virtual machines I simply used a counter, e.g. VM-000001. The important ones (fsmo roles, database servers, app servers, etc) get friendly names with dns cname records.
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