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Server naming best practice

Hi Experts,
I want to know if there is a best practice for naming servers. The servers will be VMware
2 Solutions
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Host or Guests?



use fully qualified domain names
What ever you want. I've personally tried everything from "server#" to characters from Seinfeld. If you have a large number of servers and locations you could form them like LOC-BLD-FL-01 or LOC-FUNCTION-01. It really all depends on what you're looking for. If you have a lot of new people coming in and out naming a server like 'JERRY' isn't going to mean anything to them and will only slow them down trying to learn your convention.

I've found for my career that if I name them their function (ie ACME-EXCH1). Where as ACME is the company name (or abbreviation). If you're concerned about security you might not want to advertise the server is an Exchange server, or an IIS/Web server.

We at one time had a lot of interns and people not so savy with the computer needing to know computer names. I started naming them ACME-SharePoint so at a glance they know what it is. I've also worked placed where it was only me and one other guy (a Seinfeld fan as well), so we named them after Seinfeld characters. That works well until you run out of names.
Mike KlineCommented:
It really depends on where you are.  I've been at places where they use "code names"  I disagree with that 100%....with all due respect to those that use that method.

I'd use something like


what hanccocka said works great too.  What is your current naming convention?  I'd try to follow that.


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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the problem with naming them after characters, it's very difficult at a glance, if a server is down and missing!

compared to server01, server02, .... server053

you can always then say ah server 23 is down, because it's missing, otherwise you have to go recite all the character names, very pretty it looks, but not very practical!

we had a client that name Citrix Application Servers are the Simpsons characters, it was a large farm, and they could never work out which servers were missing!
I don't particularly like naming them after a finite list of things such as characters from a TV show, or even planets. We had a small server base and started naming characters. Association was great because each character served a role- ie Newman was the mail server (because he was the mail man in the show). But it worked fine until we started hitting 10+ servers, now we're having to use some obscure names that don't fit; ie we'd roll over to a new show and really cause confusion.

I'm a really big fan of ACME-Function01 fashing. Having lived through a company merger I started this should we even be purcahsed by someone else or vice versa. That way we can easily integrate the two networks. If you were to use server01 and the company you merge with was using server01 that would make things more challenging. But that's probably over thinking it way too much. I once had a manager that didn't know anything about technology, so I called the server by their function. So when someone would say Exchange01 is down he knew what that meant.
The best naming convention that I follow for my servers are :

If the location of the server is: HOUSTON: HO
Operating system is Microsoft Windows :MW
If it is virtual then V
and finally what is the server for eg, if this is an exchange server then : EX
number to the server:01

So the server name finally is of the form:


but from the server name itself everything about the server becomes clear.
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