Server Host Naming Conventions

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The number of named objects in each organization is significantly increased by server and desktop virtualization. This is why an effective naming convention that describes what an object is, its location, function and purpose is crucial. This allows us to quickly identify objects, but it also provides a structured way of logically searching objects using keywords.

Here are our basic guidelines for the server 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.
  • End the name with a unique sequence number, which can be multi-purpose.


  • 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 change. (There are some generally accepted exceptions: Oracle, SMS, SQL, CTX, VMW)
  • Do not resuse name, you will never run out of names

15 Characters Limitation

First of all, 15 characters is a limitation of length that I would always suggest to maintain. In the following circumstances, the only exception is. If you’re building a server that’s not Windows, and you’re never going to have to join a Windows domain, you can make names longer than 15. Microsoft has not yet dropped NetBIOS from its architecture in its perpetual need to maintain excessive backward compatibility. Even if you build a 100 percent Microsoft domain running on DNS resolution, names for backward compatibility are still truncated.

Server Naming Format #1

Format: [Environment]-[Location]-[OS]-[ServerType][Sequence]

  • 1 Letter Environment Code (P / S / U / D / T / X)
  • 3 Letter Zone or Location (UN Code, AWS Zones, Azure Regions)
  • 1 Operation System Codes (W, L, see below)
  • 2-3 Letter Type of Server (WEB, SQL, etc.)
  • 3 Digit Unique Index Number

Examples: P-EST-W-SQL01

Environment Codes

This one is short and easy, We use a few letters to denote the environment of the server.

  • P = Production
  • S - Stage
  • U - UAT
  • D - Dev
  • T - Test
  • X - Sandbox

Operation System Codes

  • W - Windows Server
  • L - Linux Generic
  • D - Debian
  • F = Fedora
  • U - Ubuntu
  • C - CentOs
  • R - Red Hat
  • M - Apple macOS

Type of Servers

  • WEB - Web Server
  • SQL - SQL Server
  • APP - Application Server (non-web)
  • MON - Monitoring Server
  • LOG - Logging Server
  • SSH - SSH Jump/Bastion Host
  • FTP - FTP/sFTP Server
  • MTA – Mail Server
  • DNS – Name Server
  • CFG – Configuration Management (puppet/ansible/etc.)
  • PRX – Proxy Server
  • LBL – Load Balancer
  • SSH – SSH Jump/Bastion Host
  • STO – Storage Server
  • VCS – Version Control Software Server (Git/SVN/CVS/etc.)
  • VMM – Virtual Machine Manager

Related Articles

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Server A Records To begin, name each host (via the appropriate method for your operating system) and set its DNS A record to a hostname of the server: p-est-w-web01.

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