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Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do? 1397

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the just-no-more-muppets-please dept.
jfruhlinger writes "If you use a Unix machine, it probably has a funny name. And if you work in an environment where there are multiple Unix machines, they probably have funny names that are variations on a theme. No, you're not the only one! This article explores the phenomenon, showing that even the CIA uses a whimsical server naming scheme." What are some of your best (worst?) naming schemes?
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Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do?

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  • Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by daybot (911557) * on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:22PM (#26701291)

    h t t p colon slash slash slash dot dot org

    • Re:Slashdot (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Monday February 02, 2009 @10:25PM (#26703843)

      Well I think the reason for having a bunch of "Cute" names for the server is just really prevent confusion.
      Oh Crap Medusa is down. vs. WebServer014 is down. We tend to relate better with recognizable names, so it creates a spot in the persons memory of all the systems, vs boring names where they will just become mixed in the fray.

      In college over a decade ago, we had Greek Mythogy Names. And I still know what system is which by the name.
      Morpheous and Ultra Sparc was the main file/web server
      Zeus a 2 CPU ultra Sparc e250 was the remotelogin ssh/telnet server where the CS students did their work.
      Then we had Valhalla and Pandora the Ultra Sparc 1 workstations...

      It is actually quite effective memory tool. for the NT workstations we just had NT1 NT2.... I can't remember what order they were in or which one was different then the other.

      Those names actually made administration much easier.

      • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jaxtherat (1165473) on Monday February 02, 2009 @11:24PM (#26704329) Homepage

        It does not bloody well make administration easier! If you have say X servers scattered over Y locations, it makes sense to call them:

        (site)(os)(function)(number)

        i.e.

        sydwindb002

        meaning sydney windows database 002

        as opposed to tauron or frickin picon, or smurf (I'm not kidding you). Best of all though I've seen was server. Just server.

        Serving what?? This was in a rack of 27 severs in total.

        As a sysad, it shits me when people come up with 'cute' nonsensical names that have no consistency and aren't self explanatory. I mean, good software engineering principles dictate that you use meaningful variable names. Why not server names as well?

        • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Informative)

          by netcrusher88 (743318) * <{moc.liamg} {ta} {88rehsurcten}> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:57AM (#26705837)

          I personally hate that naming scheme, it's confusing and produces long, hard to remember and typo-prone hostnames.

          NS records exist for a reason. Your example could just as easily be:

          windb002.syd

          Since every Windows network (and that tends to be where I see domain names like that) is a real DNS domain, there's no reason you couldn't do this. This has the added benefit of being able to push a DNS search domain based on the location of the computer doing the DHCP request, then having certain hosts that are replicated in each area subdomain, for example a CMS or a DB. Does sydwindb002 replicate to nycwindb002? Have windb002.syd replicate to windb002.nyc (and vice versa) then let users just put in windb002, and traveling users will be able to automagically use the closest and probably fastest DB server.

          Or, in the case of a CMS, have one top-level CMS that refers to local ones. Say you have cms.example.com and cms.xxx.example.com. Depending on your network location, typing in CMS will either take you to the top-level CMS or the local one, which might aggregate data from the top-level one.

        • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Informative)

          by DriveMelter (1345271) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @07:23AM (#26707357) Homepage
          I thought this was a good idea until the first time we moved an office...
    • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

      by linhares (1241614) on Monday February 02, 2009 @11:34PM (#26704419)
      Jenna Jameson Briana Banks Devon Tera Patrick Stormy Daniels Silvia Saint Janine Lindemulder Crissy Moran Jesse Jane Gauge Krystal Steal Nicole Sheridan Tawny Roberts Mercedez Amber Michaels Brittney Skye Catalina Cruz Miko Lee Veronica Zemanova Houston Lanni Barbie Shyla Stylez Racquel Darrian Teagan Presley Mindy Vega Alicia Rhodes Rita Faltoyano Adele Stephens Susana Spears Aria Giovanni Kobe Tai Erica Campbell Gina Lynn Kelly Madison Eva Angelina Adriana Sage Jill Kelly Sky Lopez Puma Swede Chloe Jones Jasmin St. Claire Anita Dark Nikki Nova Terri Summers Belladonna SaRenna Lee Jana Cova Carmen Luvana Jenna Haze Danni Ashe Anetta Keys Sydney Moon Lisa Sparxxx Zdenka Podkapova Sydnee Steele Kyla Cole Taylor Rain Alaura Eden Asia Carrera Gina Ryder Devinn Lane Sophie Sweet Kim Chambers Jodie Moore Alexis Amore Bobbi Eden Rachel Aziani Raylene Aimee Sweet Katsumi Stephanie Swift Brandi Lyons Lovette Amy Reid Lonnie Waters Jewel De' Nyle Angelica Sin Alexa Rae Aurora Snow Tanya Danielle Sandra Shine Avy Scott Tiffany Mynx Cherokee Pantera Tabitha Stern Chloe Dior Ava Devine Dasha Isabella Camille Niki Blond Daniella Rush Kelle Marie Ashton Moore Charmane Star Allysin Chaynes Courtney Cummz Katja Kassin Shay Sweet Penny Flame
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:22PM (#26701299)

    Old Reader's Digest Joke:

    Seven terminals named Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, . . ., and a printer named "Handsome Prints". :-)

  • by Rei (128717) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:23PM (#26701305) Homepage

    My main server (which used to break all the time) is named Ultron, while various other computers and printers on the network have names such as Zebranki, Greenish, and Spathi.

  • D-d-d-dupe (Score:5, Funny)

    by pwnies (1034518) * <j@jjcm.org> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:23PM (#26701319) Homepage Journal
    I like that in this edition of Duplicate Stories on /. Monthly, the link in the story actually links back to a previous story [slashdot.org] that's asking the same thing! Thanks for saving us the few seconds of searching for the older stories on this one /.!
  • by radixzer0 (17817) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:24PM (#26701331)

    A goofy naming scheme is a bad idea when you're running over 100 servers in a dynamic environment. When your servers are named after wines, cheeses, and trees, who can say what Oak does, or Chablis, or Feta, or Jujuba, or Sassafras, ad nauseum.

    -r0

    • by Rei (128717) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:26PM (#26701371) Homepage

      Well, not sure about where you are, but around here, adnauseum is the mail server.

    • by snowgirl (978879) * on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:35PM (#26701515) Journal

      A goofy naming scheme is a bad idea when you're running over 100 servers in a dynamic environment. When your servers are named after wines, cheeses, and trees, who can say what Oak does, or Chablis, or Feta, or Jujuba, or Sassafras, ad nauseum.

      Well, the wines are build servers, the cheeses are webserver backends, and the trees are infrastructures... lol, sorry, being a bitch is so fun sometimes.

      I did work at a job where we used acronyms to know what the computer was assigned for, but once you got past all of that, there was just a number for your team, and project. "Uh... which computer builds the x86fre version? 6? Oh, ok..." It required a map that was not just computer readable, but human readable.

      Usually, it just ended up being team-specific knowledge that no one else knew. It was easy enough to know the prefix down to your stuff, it was regular, which just required a simple arbitrary map of numbers to purpose... what would be the difference between that and cheeses, wines, or trees?

    • by mangu (126918) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:38PM (#26701567)

      Great idea! Let's name the others "Mickey", "Minnie", and "Pluto"

    • by repvik (96666) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:45PM (#26701701)

      Duh, you don't refer to the servers by name directly, it's just a name.
      Use CNAME with functionality pointing to that server. Naming a server "www" is just silly when it also does other stuff.
      Naming the server "Hezbollah" and having a bunch of cnames point to it ensures you can easily move a service at any later time without having to rename the server.

      • by Paua Fritter (448250) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:53PM (#26701817)

        Quite correct - someone please mod this up. The extra layer of abstraction you get by using CNAME records in your DNS really helps. A server's "real" name should not be the name of it's functional role.

        • by darkpixel2k (623900) <aaron@heyaaron.com> on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:35PM (#26702467) Homepage

          Quite correct - someone please mod this up. The extra layer of abstraction you get by using CNAME records in your DNS really helps. A server's "real" name should not be the name of it's functional role.

          Pretend for just one moment that your network guy got clocked by a bus. He won't be back to work until someone figures out a way to raise the dead.

          You're the new guy they just hired to replace him. Who cares about CNAMEs when you're on the server looking at the hostname? Someone tells you 'daffy' and 'kirk' are down. What are they? What do they do?

          On the other hand, if I told you 'mx2' and 'nas1' are down, you have a better idea of what you're dealing with... Forget that there's a CNAME from mail to daffy and a CNAME from p0rnserver to nas1.

          • by syousef (465911) on Monday February 02, 2009 @11:01PM (#26704173) Journal

            On the other hand, if I told you 'mx2' and 'nas1' are down, you have a better idea of what you're dealing with... Forget that there's a CNAME from mail to daffy and a CNAME from p0rnserver to nas1.

            Until someone decides to retire mx2, move functionality from nas1 to a new server named nas2, and make use of the old mx2 as the mail server.

            Now you have nas1 and nas2. One's a mail server. You get to guess which one. But hey if you think you REALLY know better than the RFC, it's your network to run.

          • by ogdenk (712300) on Monday February 02, 2009 @11:26PM (#26704339)

            1.) Use TXT records in the DNS to give people who come behind you a clue.

            2.) The first thing you should be doing when you get a new network admin position is digging around in the DNS server a bit to get the lay of the land and pay attention to CNAME records.

            3.) The next thing I usually do is run nmap on the subnet to see what's open where.

            4.) Usually someone will have at least a slight clue. Usually.... Ask around.

            5.) If the dude wasn't a complete incompetent dumbass, he would have left some documentation. I document my networks extremely thoroughly and have an NMS set up which will have extensive text information on hosts as well. I also make sure a couple of key personnel have passwords to the NMS. I even have a binder labeled in big letters with a sharpie on the bookshelf "READ ME IF KEVIN DIES IN TRAGIC CAR ACCIDENT". Not kidding.

            If you don't have thorough documentation, this is not a form of job security. You are not special. Someone can and will ensure they survive without you. Or they'll simply reinvent the wheel. All you're doing is being a dick to your fellow IT brethren.

            If all of the above fail, chances are you'll need to recreate the network in your own image anyway. They don't teach how to write good documentation in MCSE study guides. There's a reason I refer to the MCSE cert as "Must Call Somebody Experienced".

      • by gardyloo (512791) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:44PM (#26702597)

        Naming the server "Hezbollah" and having a bunch of cnames point to it ensures you can easily move a service at any later time without having to rename the server.

              Right. It also means that if there's a horrible disk crash, the FBI and NSA no doubt have several nice backup copies from last Friday you can borrow.

    • by ushering05401 (1086795) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:49PM (#26701757) Journal

      If obscurity is not a chief objective you could latinize the server's functions. Mailicus, Proxius, Validicus etc..

      Add in some major/minor modifiers and you are in business.

    • by revlayle (964221) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:55PM (#26701863) Homepage
      We never use standard names, our company deals with lots of e-payments and the idea is that the less obvious our naming scheme is, the more difficult it is for hacker to really figure out what the purpose of a server is and what it may store.

      A little extra work for us, but we have ways internally of handling this issue without much headache.
      • by vux984 (928602) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:15PM (#26702185)

        A little extra work for us, but we have ways internally of handling this issue without much headache.

        If your going for obscurity I'd go the other way... give some old pentium 1 with a copy of tradewars2000 in a closet the name 'auth-pay-master', and the your main server something like 'help-desk-print-server' ;)

      • by Tassach (137772) on Monday February 02, 2009 @10:18PM (#26703743)
        Security through obscurity is never an effective strategy. Anyone talented enough to breach a properly administered firewall and gain access to your internal network is going to be slowed down for all of five minutes by your obscure naming scheme.

        Conversely, your admins are going to take a productivity hit every time they have to do anything to more than one box. Even a small headache gets annoying when you have to deal with it multiple times every day.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:59PM (#26702819)
      Personally, I prefer to name my servers after women I have been...involved...with. This easily covers hundreds of systems.
  • Rebel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:25PM (#26701355)
    Naming our machines in odd and amusing ways it our way of secretly rebelling against over management.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:27PM (#26701381)
    I name each of my servers the name of another computer's mac address on the network. This way, as part of my retirement package I'll have the joyous knowledge that the person who takes over my position is going insane.
  • Worst naming scheme: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <{elmuerte} {at} {drunksnipers.com}> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:27PM (#26701385) Homepage

    functional naming.

    Machines need arbitrary names, functional names are aliases.

  • Porn stars (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:27PM (#26701391)

    I used to run a fairly lucrative business at a time when a certain industry was much more profitable... JennaJameson would always go down while RonJeremy would always be up.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  • Break it down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:27PM (#26701393) Homepage

    Use this convention for naming servers. company - airport code - role. For example, MSFT-PDX-MAIL01 (or DC01, TS01, APP01, etc)

  • Snow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snowgirl (978879) * on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:27PM (#26701397) Journal

    Just like my user name, I decided to go with the word "snow" in various languages. So far, I have my router chioni, server nix, desktop losse, and various other names for components. My wii is yuki, my xbox 360 is xue, my ipod touch is lumi. Beyond that I've also used "eira" and "schnee".

    At my university NMSU, the CS department used alcoholic drinks (vodka, gin, etc), which were changed to vehicles (cobra, stingray) over complaints from an incoming professor. The sunrays were "bear" in various languages (oso, medved, ursa), and later they had words from the hacker's dictionary (foo, bar, baz, frob)

    The naming schemes all were easily memorable, and prompted word associations, making them easy to mentally group. Ok, except the translations for bears, (and mine for snow) except for fellow crazy polyglots, and linguiphiles.

  • Diseases (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jtotheh (229796) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:30PM (#26701425)

    I worked with some guys who brought up a cluster of machines named with disease names. I think one was 'schistosomiasis' (not sure of the spelling)

    The users didn't like the idea of logging into diseases and something else was eventually put in place.

  • by greenguy (162630) <estebandido&gmail,com> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:30PM (#26701439) Homepage Journal

    I had a series of Macs before I became a diehard Linux guy. I didn't know I could name the first one, but then came Mac and Cheese, Mac Truck and Fanfare for the Common Mac (around the time of Copeland).

    Why? Because I could.

  • by fuelvolts (852701) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:32PM (#26701455)
    I name my PCs/Servers by the core name of the CPU:
    My desktop is "Agena" (Phenom X4)
    Laptop is "Trinidad" (Turion X2)
    Wife's Laptop is "Merom" (Celly)
    File Server is "Sparta" (AM2 Sempron)


    I've been doing this for years and it's a built in reminder that I need to upgrade whenever I connect to another machine. ;)
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:32PM (#26701463) Homepage Journal

    Over time, systems get refactored for uses that they were not originally intended, so that box named web1 is now an ftp server and nobody bothered to rename it. The same happens when you try to name them by physical location. r1a2r10n5 got moved from Room 1, Aisle 2, Rack 10, Number 5 to another room entirely.

    The easiest time I had dealig with servers was when they were named after japanese monsters. We had Godzilla, Mothra, etc. We all know that Godzilla was the PostresSQL server. If a box's purpose changed, we didn't have to worry about renaming it and people would eventually learn its new purpose.

    Whimsical names work.

  • by itsybitsy (149808) * on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:33PM (#26701465)

    One group at JPMorgan had unix boxes named "Marx" (yes after Carl Marx) and "Bucky" (yes after Buckminster Fuller), and a slew of other Dead Utopian Philosophers.

    Naturally the program that the group developed (in Visual Works Smalltalk with the Gemstone Object Database) for Trading Hybrid Derivatives is known as "Das Kapital"! Yes, it also has a start up screen with a picture of good old Carl Marx. This program trades and manages Trillions of Dollars of value (although the total value dropped recently due to, well, you know). But, was this program was likely part of the problem? Who knows? ;--)

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:33PM (#26701475)

    Odd named hosts often have a meaning once you are clued in on the naming scheme. First off it really helps to give hosts on the network a NAME not just a number. You could just skip DNS if you are going to number em. A well thought out naming scheme helps. If you do it right the name gives you a rough idea what it does and still allows some fun in naming.

    If I see a tree themed hostname I instantly know it is one of the machines in a patron lab. Flowers are staff hosts and mythological beings are in the server room. Yes machines in a lab could just be numbered but ya could also name yer cats Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, etc.

  • Server names (Score:3, Interesting)

    by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:33PM (#26701477)

    I name mine after logicians. My desktop is Aristotle and my laptop is Ockham. I have also had Frege and Boole.

  • Dell Service Tags (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:34PM (#26701485)
    I worked at a shop where every client and server was named after the Dell Service tag. It did help identify the box, but made it awfully cumbersome to identify what the server was for without checking the inventory system; which had all that annotated in it. However, it worked well for the clients because we could have users find the service tag Dell had printed on the front of the box very quickly so we could remote in over the phone.
  • Surnames (Score:5, Funny)

    by jrothwell97 (968062) <(moc.llewsorton) (ta) (nahtanoj)> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:35PM (#26701513) Homepage Journal

    All my computers are named after famous computerists. For example, Welchman. Turing. Babbage. (The exception is my old laptop, named after Richard Hammond.)

    My phones are also given surnames: Stubblefield, Adams, etc.

    All my iPods are called Steve.

  • by GroeFaZ (850443) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:38PM (#26701553)
    "Unable to connect to database server"
  • by Chad Birch (1222564) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:38PM (#26701555)
    There's a pretty sizeable collection of funny/clever server names on Stack Overflow here:
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/262657/the-coolest-server-names [stackoverflow.com]
  • by kcbanner (929309) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:38PM (#26701565) Homepage Journal
    So when something goes wrong, people sound like morons: "Why is motherboard down!?" "I can't connect to RAM!"
  • Names I have known (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:39PM (#26701585)

    The first naming scheme I saw was a group of then-new Sun 3 workstations that were named after cheeses. The NFS server was chedder. How creative!

    Where I currently work, the names are cars. I've had twingo, tatra and model-t, while our new wickedly fast server was, naturally, veyron. The system I'm typing this on is a little crude but brutally fast: monaro.

    Going a very long way back, when I was with Digital the DECnet node names were limited to 6 characters, but some of them were interesting. The main box at an office in Arizona was TOOHOT. GATORS? Florida, naturally. How could SRFSUP be anywhere but L.A.?

    ...laura

  • by bwhaley (410361) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `neb4maps'> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:40PM (#26701613)

    Ok, this drives me nuts. It's a little off topic, since it's names of conference rooms instead of server names, but the concept is the same.

    Here in Colorado, we have 54 mountain peaks that are > 14,000 feet. They're referred to as "fourteeners," and they all (of course) have names.

    Every company in Denver thinks they're damn clever by naming their conference rooms after the fourteeners. I don't know how many Long's Peak and Mount Evans conference rooms I've sat in, but it makes me want to hurl my chair at the window.

    Ok, time for my anger management class. =p

  • Why just "Unix"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BradleyUffner (103496) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:40PM (#26701617) Homepage

    Why would this be limited to just Unix boxes? I've seen plenty of windows, mac, linux, etc network servers with the same kind of strange naming conventions.

  • Why? Because we can! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:42PM (#26701647) Homepage Journal

    And we name our Win boxen silly names too - every Linux or Unix or Windows box in my lab is named after a local animal (Linux or Unix) or local plant (Windows).

    It's the same reason that people have nicknames for their campers and their houses ... or the CIA is named Foggy Bottom.

  • by kcbanner (929309) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:42PM (#26701651) Homepage Journal
    "slashdotted". In memory of what happened to the old one.
  • I can suggest reading rfc1178 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1178).

    It contains some common-sense advice about host naming. Here's a sample:

    • Don't call them your own name
    • Don't call them fuckface
    • Don't spel teh namez w0rng
    • Don't name them after what they do
    • Don't give them a name that already has a meaning or refers to something.
    • Use names from some big set

    I'm so far successfully naming my boxes after moons in the solar system. Pro: you can think of the boxes as A, B, C, etc., but let them have more interesting names than that.

    Anime characters should be fine too. Usagi, Chiyo-Chan, Sakura, ... :D

    Or you could go for slashdot memes... natalie-portman, cowboyneal, in-soviet-russia, car-analogy, etc... ;-)

  • by JungleBoy (7578) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:45PM (#26701699)
    Our usenet upstream provider used to call their main server Pants. Their admin said, "If pants is down, we're fucked."
  • from rfc2100 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nemo (2417) <slashdot@@@nemo...house...cx> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:48PM (#26701747) Homepage

    (ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2100.txt)

    The Naming of Hosts is a difficult matter,
                    It isn't just one of your holiday games;
            You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
                    When I tell you, a host must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

            First of all, there's the name that the users use daily,
                    Such as venus, athena, and cisco, and ames,
            Such as titan or sirius, hobbes or europa--
                    All of them sensible everyday names.

            There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
                    Some for the web pages, some for the flames:
            Such as mercury, phoenix, orion, and charon--
                    But all of them sensible everyday names.

            But I tell you, a host needs a name that's particular,
                    A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
            Else how can it keep its home page perpendicular,
                    And spread out its data, send pages world wide?

            Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
                    Like lothlorien, pothole, or kobyashi-maru,
            Such as pearly-gates.vatican, or else diplomatic-
                    Names that never belong to more than one host.

            But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
                    And that is the name that you never will guess;
            The name that no human research can discover--
                    But THE NAMESERVER KNOWS, and will us'ually confess.

            When you notice a client in rapt meditation,
                    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
            The code is engaged in a deep consultation
                    On the address, the address, the address of its name:

                                    It's ineffable,
                                    effable,
                                    Effanineffable,
                                    Deep and inscrutable,
                                    singular
                                    Name.

  • by kmahan (80459) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:52PM (#26701815)

    I got in trouble for following the despair.com naming scheme for our test servers:

            failure
            crash
            burnout
            apathy
            mistake
            stupidity ...

    I thought the test reports were entertaining. Management not so much.

  • by dominator (61418) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:56PM (#26701881) Homepage

    My laptop: Fry
    Wife's: Leela
    Wife's old laptop: Amy
    Printer: Zoidberg (dispenses ink)
    Router: Bender ("bends" packets)
    OLPC XO Laptop: Kiff (both small and green)
    Car: Planet Express Ship (with which the 2006 Honda Civic [rediff.com] shares a striking resemblance)
    Cat: Zapp (cavalier, not too bright, doesn't wear pants).

    I've been told by wifie that future pet names will include "Nibbler" and "Scruffy".

  • I've got a system (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:57PM (#26701905) Homepage

    My PCs are all named after Studio Ghibli heroines. I first used this with San (retroactively naming her predecessors Ichi and Ni), then with Chihiro and now with Shizuku. Both of the last two are still operating, and will be replaced with Haru and Taeko respectively. This doesn't factor much into operations, though the command line does display "rhapsody@shizuku" on this PC.

  • Periodic Table (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jhines (82154) <john@jhines.org> on Monday February 02, 2009 @07:58PM (#26701927) Homepage

    Has enough for a good size network, and there is enough other information available and known. For example you can make a range of computers and the services based on element type, class, etc. Make the noble gasses firewalls, and the metals servers for example.

  • Yay for colours! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adamkennedy (121032) <adamk@c[ ].org ['pan' in gap]> on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:03PM (#26702021) Homepage

    For smaller setups with less than ten machines, I like to use colours.

    Red - Production Server
    Orange - Staging Server
    Yellow - Test Server
    Green - Dev Server
    Blue/Purple/etc etc for other things like the database server etc.

    This way, when I'm setting up PuTTY or another shell, I can set the foreground text colour for each machine to match the server name, which stops most of those embarrassing mistakes when you run a command on production that you meant to run on test, and so on.

  • by randmcnatt (1236446) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:14PM (#26702175)
    ...was named "Debbie"
  • by GuruBuckaroo (833982) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:20PM (#26702275) Homepage

    ThreeMile, Valdez, Congress, HyattKC, PruitIgoe (ok, a little local, look it up). Damn, there were more, but I can't remember them anymore.

  • Whoops (Score:5, Funny)

    by ammaro (1353563) on Monday February 02, 2009 @10:25PM (#26703837)
    We reused an old piece of junk machine as a print server in our development lab, which was connected to the enterprise network. We gave it an appropriately descriptive name, Dungpile. Little did we know that in its prior life Dungpile had been configured as a DHCP server. (We didn't look at it too closely... our bad.) One day we hear a frazzled guy from the IT department going door to door crying, "I'm looking for Dungpile! Does anyone know where Dungpile is?" It turns out the enterprise DHCP server had a hiccup, and in the subsequent negotiation for which backup would take over, Dungpile won out. Our little print server started handing out 10.10.*.* IP addresses (it was evidently set up for a private network) to the enterprise workstations. That worked very poorly. The IT folks could tell the bogus addresses were coming from a machine called Dungpile, but didn't know where it was located. (I don't know why they didn't just boot Dungpile and force their primary server to resume duties. The weren't a great team.) Anyway, it made my day hearing someone wandering the hall yelling about finding dungpile.
  • by IAmCthulhu (1286262) on Monday February 02, 2009 @11:19PM (#26704289)
    I was a network admin for a small law office, and I named all their computers after medical conditions. I named the senior partner's computer 'IMPOTENCE' hoping that someday he'd come to me and tell me that he was having problems with impotence and that he couldn't get it to come up.
  • Oh man ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Greedo (304385) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:59AM (#26705107) Homepage Journal

    You can name servers? And here I was memorizing IPs ...

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