Published on February 22, 2014
Standardizing Host and Server Naming Conventions in the Enterprise www.device42.com
If you are looking for some ideas on how to establish and implement standard host naming conventions, read on! Main Points. If you read no further, remember these points! Effective naming conventions should be both practical and scalable Avoid theme based naming conventions The goal should be a standard naming convention for all infrastructure devices (i.e.: hostnames) across the enterprise Establish a basic set of criteria to define what information your hostnames must include Find a tool that can generate hostnames based on profiles that contain definitions of the variables and how to combine them into hostnames 2 www.device42.com
Naming your servers after Greek Gods! Entertaining? Perhaps. Practical and Scalable? Nope. Naming your servers after the likes of Apollo, Zeus, Ares, and Poseidon is entertaining and can work quite well in a small / single location environment. Perhaps you have been there and done that – or at some point considered it. But themes just don’t scale. Let’s face it, once the Olympians and Titans have been used, naming a server after a lesser deity like Epimetheus gets old really fast – and who wants a server named after “the father of excuses” anyway? Theme based names aren’t practical because they don’t provide information that helps to identify a device. 3 www.device42.com
One size fits all. Not! There is no “one size fits all” approach for naming conventions. But coming up with a host naming convention can be pretty straight forward. The goal should be a standard naming convention for all infrastructure devices (i.e. hostnames) across the enterprise. Consider starting by establishing a set of basic criteria, for example, hostnames must include: The location of the device The service level of the device The role of the device Optionally, the hostnames can include other information such as customer, service name, and device type (e.g. physical vs. virtual) that helps provide information about a device. The criteria listed above are just one possible set of criteria. 4 www.device42.com
Naming conventions similar to the example above have become a popular approach because it is both practical and scalable. It is likely that some variation of this example will work well in most organizations… 5 www.device42.com
Find a Tool and Use It Tools that can generate hostnames based on profiles that contain definitions of the variables and how to combine them into hostnames, can have the following advantages: Ensure that all new hostnames are standardized and conform to convention Eliminate errors by generating hostname to be used Control access so users can generate new hostnames, but cannot change profile definitions 6 www.device42.com
This is not a sales pitch (well sort of) Images taken from Device42’s datacenter infrastructure management solution Top left: The Device Name Profile tool supports custom (user-defined) host naming profiles Top right: Auto generated hostnames Right: Defining a name profile 7 www.device42.com
Let’s review the main points… Practical & Scalable Theme Based Naming Establish hostname Criteria, e.g.: Service level of the device Buy or Build…use a tool! Location of the device Role of the device 8 www.device42.com
Thank You! www.device42.com 9 www.device42.com
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