Some random reader sent in: "Hi, I'm wondering what others out there use for server naming conventions. Our data centre right now houses a little under 200 servers, with plans to grow up to 4000 servers within the next five years. We'd like to pick something flexible and easy to manage with any tracking system. The servers we'll be implementing include SUN, HPUX, and AIX servers, in addition to existing Compaq and HP Intel servers, so we'll have to adhere to limitations placed on hostnames by manufacturers (ie HPUX lets you have an 8 character hostname)." We had a similar story a few years ago.
The reader continues:
"Here's a few ideas we've been tossing around, using Joe's Deli as an example:
- [four letter "name"][two letter service type][2 numbers] eg) jdelwb03.domain.com
+ easy to determine the function and name
- hard to remember and pronounce, once you run out of four character servers, determining the name and function will be difficult. Joe's Deli and John's Delivery will have conflicting names
- [random combination of numbers and letters]
+ none really
- confusing.. really confusing. Can you imagine saying to someone "log on to alpha kappa one john omikron peter three delta?"
- [theme based name]
name servers based on a theme, eg Gundam
eg) zaku.domain.com, gelgoog.domain.com
+ easily identifiable - all Gundam names belong to Joe's Deli, easy to pronounce and remember
- hard for a new tech or management (why would they need to know?) to associate to a server
"I'd like to know what others in the tech community use for server naming policies when planning large scale data centres. Also, with data centres located nationally, does the naming convention pose any problems? Thanks."