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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Bluesquare dc, Uk
    Posts
    1,591

    Rack / server naming conventions

    Having just moved into our lovely new suite, I am in charge of re cataloguing all our racks and servers.

    This is mainly aimed at those with suites / racks.

    I am sure as most of you will agree, while our job is great at times, there are times when you need some fun, and cheering up.

    I have an idea, not an original one, granted.

    I'd like to name our racks for example:

    Narnia
    Action
    Science Fiction
    Comic books

    And in each rack, corresponding characters for the servers. Note this will eb limited to our own dedis and game server machines. NOTE Colo customers will be in seperate racks! Only the dc techs and our staff will see these labels!

    For example, in Action:

    Terminator
    Rambo

    So a full label, would be for example

    b52-24-rambo

    Where 24 is the switch port.

    I think this will be a fun way of remembering things, and is harmless. In fact, given the way our memory actually works, it's an excellent way of finding servers very quickly.

    The techs at the datacentre all think it's an excellent idea, have even been helping me think up names. One even remarked that it would be much easier and quicker to locate server this way, when we aren't onsite!

    And let's face, big companies do it as well!

    Aaron, the other director in the company thinks its unprofessional and a bad idea (stick in the mud ).

    Thoughts please
    Olly | INX-Gaming
    Call of Duty 4 hosting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities Area
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    5,651
    thats cute.

    for my name servers, one set has my kids names and another set has the names of fred, ethel, lucy and ricky, (from i love lucy). another set has cities where i live. anything to avoid the dull and mundane!
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Hollywood, CA
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    I recommend staying away from cute naming conventions. Descriptive naming conventions are best. We just converted about 500 machines because the last idiot admins didn't realize the company was gonna grow at a very large rate. Took us several months to finalize.

    lax.httpd01-r101-u52.domain.org

    location, function, rack and unit location in rack.

    you can also use inside hostnames too
    Last edited by case; 10-12-2006 at 11:12 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities Area
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    5,651
    case is right again.

    if you have tons of boxes, trying to keep up with all those silly names is sure to be tedious.

    for someone like me, it isnt that hard at all! i dont have 500 boxes.
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,201
    I personally like the idea of name names (if that makes sense) e.g. http://www.jaguarpc.com/support/status.php but naming it like case said seems more "smart".
    My Blog - www.Bakie.net
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Waco, TX
    Posts
    5,292
    I really prefer names that can also be used for inventory.
    for Instance:
    JHMIAR160U I can know exactly what it is from the name, as well as all staff.
    This is really the best way in my experience.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,569
    I find naming my servers very exciting! I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan, so all my servers are named after something from there:

    helmsdeep, shire, gondor, rivendell, mordor (the only tower server, get it?), fangorn, etc.

    These are for all my colocated servers in my rackspace (I'm not a web host btw). I find it very easy to tell the DC techs "reboot <name>" in my rackspace, rather than reboot xz2-1-5-512-d-gz-gh-124. But then again, I would reconsider my stance for 500 servers
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,125
    mythical god/goddess' name.
    Sarcasm, the 6th Ponyman of the Apocalypse.
    Please do not inquire about Tim, the 5th Ponyman.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    5,177
    We used to run some game servers named after various brands of hard alcohol. Am I the only person that names small server setups after booze?

    *sigh* I still miss the Bacardi 151 Battlefield 1942 server. Lots of fond memories. Plenty of fuzzy ones, too

    On a larger scale I name servers after city, function, and then a number. Like SEA-EXCH-01. Boring, but practical.
    If you have to operate your company behind the scenes or under a fake name, maybe it's time to leave the industry and start something fresh.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    502
    At my old job, we labeled all our servers after names from the Star Wars movies. We had darth, 3cpo, r2d2, yoda, ob1, anakin(became the "new darth" when it the old one got retired) and tons of other names like that. The heaviest used server was named Leia (because that server was always being hammered with traffic ).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Liverpool, England, UK.
    Posts
    2,561
    My hosting servers are name after snakes:

    - Python
    - Cobra
    - Viper
    - Adder
    - Boa

    However, my streaming media servers are just boring, named after shoutcast:

    - SC1
    - SC2
    - SC3

    I never really liked the idea of naming servers until about June last year, when I decided it might be better to help clients by giving the servers names as we use more and more servers, so clients can visit the outage status page and when it lists an outage, the server names in question are listed. Maybe one day I will give the streaming media servers name, but they never go down...

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Jakarta
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    1,585
    In any case, never name a server ALPHA or BETA. I was with a hosting provider in 1999, and their server names never inspired confidence. Sure - they had some remotely normal server names, such as Fire, but I didn't like being put on the Beta server.

    Just some helpful advice..
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
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    1,745
    When you get to a certain number of servers and racks, naming them after characters/planets/etc simply isn't scalable.

    We have our racks in groups of 16 ('suites') - and name them accordingly. For example, rack 5 in suite 8 would be called "s8r5".

    Access switches and other peripherals in each rack are also labelled in that fashion - eg: "sw2.s8r5.popname.domain", "pdu1.s8r5.popname.domain", etc.

    As for actual server names:

    Most of our web servers are in groups. Groups are then based on the phonetic alphabet, eg:

    node14.delta.domain.

    Other servers in our fleet are named based on their group, and the majority are named based on asset tag, with an alias pointing to it. eg: "AT-DMHJH1S.domain" might host "mx3.domain".

    -Shaun

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Goleta, CA
    Posts
    5,550
    Quote Originally Posted by case
    I recommend staying away from cute naming conventions. Descriptive naming conventions are best. We just converted about 500 machines because the last idiot admins didn't realize the company was gonna grow at a very large rate. Took us several months to finalize.

    lax.httpd01-r101-u52.domain.org

    location, function, rack and unit location in rack.

    you can also use inside hostnames too
    You could always use a comprehensive database system to store your server details such as rack location etc. along with work history and maintenance logs. Hell you could even cycle through the database to see which servers are being neglected.

    Cute naming systems shouldn't hinder your work.
    Patron: I'd like my free lunch please.
    Cafe Manager: Free lunch? Did you read the fine print stating it was an April Fool's joke.
    Patron: I read the same way I listen, I ignore the parts I don't agree with. I'm suing you for false advertising.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Hollywood, CA
    Posts
    3,046
    Quote Originally Posted by pixelized
    You could always use a comprehensive database system to store your server details such as rack location etc. along with work history and maintenance logs. Hell you could even cycle through the database to see which servers are being neglected.

    Cute naming systems shouldn't hinder your work.
    I would hope that every company uses some sort of asset tracking software. It certainly would hinder my ability to work if I was tied to piece of software for information regarding our entire network. We use SNMP and IPMI to monitor everything accross our network. If I can identify everything I need to know about that machine via hostname, then I've saved valuable company time by not using this asset tracker in each and every instance.

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