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How To Design An Effective Naming Convention While recording my VMware vSphere 5 Training course this past summer, I made

men tion that I developed a process for building an effective naming convention for enterprises. Server and desktop virtualization significantly increases the numbe r of named objects within our enterprises, so an effective naming convention tha t describes what an object is, its location, function and purpose is critical. D oing so allows us to identify objects in a speedy way, but it also provides a st ructured way of searching for objects using keywords in a logical manner. Even as I developed these guidelines, I did not think it would interest folks ve ry much. But I started receiving near daily tweets and e-mails requesting a copy of the document. So, I've decided to publish it and share it with everyone in t oday's blog. Here are my basic guidelines for the object naming convention: A name should identify the device's location and its purpose/function/service. A name should be simple yet still be meaningful to system administrators, system support, and operations. The standard needs to be consistent. Once set, the name should not change. Avoid special characters; only use alphanumeric characters. Avoid using numeric digits, except for the ending sequence number. Avoid the use of specific product or vendor names, as those can be subject to ch ange. (There are some generally accepted exceptions: Oracle, SMS, SQL, CTX, VMW) Here are some basic recommendations: The name should begin with a rigid header portion that identifies the location a nd optionally a type identifier. These should be followed by a delimiter to sign ify the end of the header portion. This delimiter shall be a "-" (dash) unless t he system does not recognize a "-". In this case, substitute the dash for anothe r suitable agreed-upon character (i.e. $ or #). Allow for a variable section that completes the identification (function, servic e, purpose, application). End the name with a unique ID, a sequence number, which can be multi-purpose. Allow for flexibility. Since technology is constantly evolving, this standard mu st also be able to evolve. When necessary, this standard can be modified to acco unt for technological, infrastructure, and or business changes. There must be enforcement, along with accurate and current documentation for all devices. Here is an example of the proposed naming convention standard: Structure: Header Variable G G L T A A A B B B # # Header portion

GG -- Geographical location L -- Location should be generic and not vendor- or building-specific to fa cilitate moves, building name changes due to mergers, acquisitions or dissolutio n of business, etc. T -- Type -- Dash is a required delimiter to signify the end of the header portion Variable portion: AAA -- Function /Service/Purpose BBB -- Application (Unique ID) ## -- 2 digit sequence # Values Defined: Geographic: CH -- Chicago NY -- New York LN -- London SY -- Sydney MA -- Madrid SI -- Singapore MU -- Mumbai Location: D -C -T -tay in the Main COLO Test test Data Center Data Center Area (should be used for test machines that are to permanently s area)

Type (optional): V -- Virtual C -- Cluster server P -- Physical O -- Outsourced or vendor supported system Delimiter (required): A "-" (dash) will be used unless the system does not recognize a "-" at which point an agreed upon character can be substituted. This could be a $ or # or other character. Variable portion - AAA Identify the primary purpose of the device: DC FS PS ORA SQL DB EXH CTX ESX ---------Domain Controller File Server Print Server Oracle database SQL database other database(s) Microsoft Exchange Citrix Server VMware ESX Server

Variable portion BBB Identify the Application on this server. If the server is for a specific applica tion, then an application identifier should be the second part of this portion o f the name, preceded by the service: JDE -- JDEdwards

DYN EPC

-- Dyna -- Epic

This area of the name offers a lot of flexibility to handle identifiers for spec ific purposes, functions, and/or applications. There are many challenges to sele ct identifiers that are meaningful and consistent and are not subject to frequen t change. Here are some examples based on th guidelines I propose above: CHD-DC01 -CHD-FS01 -CHD-EXH01 -CHD-ESX01 -CHC-CTXJDE01 -ion, sequence # 1 CHC-WEB01 -Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago Office, Office, Office, Office, Office, Data Data Data Data Data Center, Center, Center, Center, Center, Domain Controller, sequence # 1 File Server, sequence # 1 Microsoft Exchange, sequence # 1 VMware ESX Server, sequence # 1 Citrix Server,JDEdwards Applicat

Chicago Office, Data Center, Web Server, sequence # 1

Unique ID / sequence number ## This is a 2 digit sequence number I would love to hear your comments on this naming convention and if you have ide as to improve it.