Show me your naming convention
November 17, 2009 8:28 AM Subscribe
After approximately 10 years of using the same equipment naming convention at work we're thinking about changing, I'm curious what other people have used.
posted by togdon to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Our current convention was decided with much frustration by committee about 10 years ago. Roughly we use this for the FQDN:
[network interface].[device class].[pop].[organization].[domain]
A better example might be:
This gets used as the reverse pointer for the primary IP on the box, and as a business rule we've never re-used names (so once sun457 is assigned to a piece of equipment it never gets another name and any replacement will have a new name). In addition to that name we create a minimum of two others (as CNAMEs to the A record), a nodename that's essentially the shortened version of the FQDN (eg. sun457.domain.tld) and a friendly name that better describes the function of the piece of equipment (eg. staff.domain.tld).
At the time the convention was put in place we had three geographically separated data centers, no good systems for tracking inventory, and a needed to provide as much information as possible via the reverse pointer on the IP alone.
Fast forward a few months from when the convention was put in place and we'd managed to get a database with a nice web front end in place to track all of the pieces that were part of the name along with a whole lot more. Fast forward a few more years and we managed to get a good tracking system in place for inventory. Fast forward to today and we've got in the neighborhood of 1000 pieces of equipment (servers, routers, switches, load balancers, virtual machines, desktops, etc). We're working to consolidate our various ad-hoc tools into a unified portal, and we're shifting to a new monitoring system for the third time since the convention was put in place.
I'm one of the only folks that remembers the initial arguments over the naming convention, most new people think it's bloated and gives away too much information in the hostname. I tend to agree. The current system works fine for our purposes, and probably always will, it just seems like we could do better and that now is the best time to make a change.
Simply cutting the name down to the nodename (eg. sun457.domain.tld) seems like the easiest thing, but there are a variety of arguments about keeping other pieces. On top of that, after 10 years it seems like if we're going to make a change we might as well either make a drastic one or no change at all.
So, with the caveat that these are going in DNS (so they need to conform to the RFCs) and that cutesy names are out (there aren't enough Simpsons characters to cover the number of devices we have and remembering that itchy and scratchy are DNS servers and that moe, lenny, and carl are border routers simply isn't an option), what have you used?
The sky is the limit, so outside of the DNS/cutesy limits don't try to fit with any of the above.