Getting older, not necessarily wiser!
In this post we will look at naming conventions on our LAN. In the previous post we started planning. The next step will be deciding on what to call things. What we do here will depend on the size of your LAN, and on your personal proclivities.
If you have a large number of devices on your LAN, you may want to opt for a more formal and defined naming convention. Something that is easily scalable, and not so imaginative or fun. On the other hand, if your LAN is relatively small, and not likely to grow, you can become a bit more imaginative in your naming conventions.
The general reason for naming in larger networks is for organization. And in these cases naming of various things usually has very specifics rules. Back in the early days there was no such thing as a large network. Everything was local. And there was no IT department. The network was managed by the local experts as a collateral duty. But as with most things technical, networks expanded, and soon there where whole departments of professionals who did nothing but manage networks, and who also needed to justify there jobs (that is the main purpose of bureaucracy and paperwork by the way, job justification).
Ah, to be back in the old days. When us old folks reminisce about the old days, we are reminiscing about a simpler time. Where if you wanted to publish a web page update, you just did it, no muss no fuss. As opposed to today where you have no access to your web page, have to submit a multi page form, and get approval from a half dozen people who do not have a clue what they are approving. But I digress, as no one wants to here about the good old days, so back to the subject at hand.
In a large network situation it makes sense to use an organized and scalable naming convention. The question is what constitutes a large network.
Generally you want to use an organized and planned naming scheme if your network will be expanding or changing on a regular basis. Another clue is if you start running out of unique names or find yourself struggling to remember what a server with a particular unique name does.
These schemes usually involve creating an acronym table of some sort, to express things like location and purpose. Then stringing acronyms together to create your network names. This sort of naming system can be very simple to quite complex depending on the network needs.
A few examples might be in order here. These represent a fairly simple naming system, but should give you an ideal of how it might work.
These names look cryptic, and you need the table of acronyms to figure them out. But once you are used to it, it is easy to figure out which device is being talked about. For our examples, from left to right.
Again, this is a rather simple example, but once you are used to the code, you can look at the name and know what the device does, and where it is located. The main issue I have is that while such systems are very functional, they are not very imaginative, and not much fun.
I am going to use my own network for an example. Some of the items I am going to mention are kind of technical to implement, and I will discuss them in more detail later in later posts. This is my example, so feel free to create something that fits your proclivities.
As a theme I am using Greek Mythology for naming on my network. I found it important to pick a theme that has a reasonable amount of variety to work with. Here is a break down of how I name things on my network using my chosen theme. Note if you study Greek mythology, you can probably determine why some things get certain names.
The important thing to decide is first do you need or want a naming convention (most small home networks do not really need one), and second how much fun you want to have with it. Just make sure your theme is sufficiently diverse to meet current and possibly future needs. Below are some thoughts to consider (most are pretty common).
This has been a short discussion on network naming schemes. It is very basic, but it is hoped it can inspire some creative thoughts.
In the next post of this series, we will look at creating an initial network map.
Naming: My LAN Part 2