RE: Network Naming Conventions

On-net we use law enforcement agency names, and for those off-net we use the names of reigning mafia families in NFL cities and South American drug cartels.

I used to use dead presidents to name devices. Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, etc. Humorous yet patriotic.


I used to use dead presidents to name devices. Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, etc. Humorous yet patriotic.

We used to use deceased musicians.

Popular (i.e., rock) for Linux servers.

Classical musicians for everything else.

But, lately, we are moving more to just numbers (webNNN, etc.) .


For, it's Donald McKay's ships <> and famous clippers (shortened) (Flying) cloud, (Neptune's) car, &cet, then Jack Aubrey's commands <> (sophie, surprise...), and, finally, the names of various sentient ships in the Iain M. Banks "Culture" universe <> (Prosthetic) conscience, (Kiss My) ass, (Shoot Them) later, &cet. Haven't really scratched the surface, there :-).

For it's names of bearer instruments throughout history. bullae, talent, penny, &cet.

For it's sophists and other intellectual charlatans. protagoras, gorgias, mesmer, lysenko, &cet. No shortage of those, either. is only one machine, so far. Haven't come up with a naming convention there, haven't begun to think about it, either. Maybe the words of the LRY Cheer, or something...


Hi there,

we brainstormed alot about this topic some time ago, following some conclusions:

- anything trademarked might be a problem (so Zoidberg might be cool for a
  router, but I couldn't take a router named Zapp for serious, and "Farnsworth
  is going mad" would be considered as normal operation ;-))

- anything just existing in a limited number will be a problem (the mentioned
  presidents of the US of A might not follow a fast as needed by network
  growth, same applies to grape varieties, planets and similar)

- anything which may be regarded as discriminating like female names might be a
  problem (while "Sharra" is a beautiful name for a router, at least if you
  like George R. R. Martin)

- anything vendor or model related is a bad idea in case of replacements

So, what remains?

Stars [astr.] are an option. There are enough of them, they are neither
trademarked nor discriminating, there are even enough with quite short and
simple names.

Further, we wanted device type and location to be encoded. So we ended up with
something like,

Since Core Switches always are operated as redundant pairs, the are named
master/slave, as they work as those per data centre room. Of course, we could
have just chosen "cr-$number", but at least a little bit of "colour" should be
allowed in such a digital world like ours :wink:

Kind regards,


A Helpful resource.

I used Element names from the periodic table for physical servers in a VMware Cluster once.
I used robot names from Futurama for Continuous Integration build agents (Atlassian Bamboo)
I have seen stars, greek gods, Lord of the rings characters and places, cheers characters, Greek Letters. This was all at one place mind you.

System names should be fun, you can give out a professional aliases to managers.

- Beers (the main server got to be "anchor", which made our ex-Navy
boss happy and seemed more professional than some others
- Mountains, mostly volcanic
- Psychoactive chemicals ("the database is on speed, the development
project's on prozac...)
- Friends at Princeton used quarks ("Up is down today.") and random
names like "3bvax".
- Classical composers
- Tolkien characters (one of the reasons for DNS was that too many
people wanted to name their machine "frodo" or "mozart".)

Sub-atomic particles.

Some people say there are not enough, but they just don't realize how many there are. Plus you can expand into elements, then compounds.

wow, deja-vu !

A few years ago I went into a large SSI infrastructure undergoing
reconfiguration where the cluster nodes were named along the lines of
biscuits, pizzas, vegetables, sweets (candies), types of mud/dirt, grit,
etc etc - it made no sense until I came across a README_NOC_OPS
document that clarified it all (paraphrasing):

"Serviceable nodes have are named after fragments known to be found in
Richard M. Stallman's beard.
At-risk, scheduled-for-pull or questionable throughput nodes are named
after fragments assumed to be found in Ballmer's shorts. "

Both categories seemed at least 128-bit-space to me :slight_smile:


Bill Stewart <> writes:

- Tolkien characters (one of the reasons for DNS was that too many
people wanted to name their machine "frodo" or "mozart".)

Diskworld characters are also quite common.

For my own systems I use names of single malts.


Je 'typing on Bowmore' ns