Effective server naming convention

When you’re managing multiple server in multiple region for multiple application, it’s difficult to keep tract on what’s happening where. In my company, an amazing convention is followed. Being curious, I search how rest of the world does it and got some amazing ideas from the folks who manage hundreds of instances in AWS. Consequently, I settled to the following convention:

<location>-<machine-type>-<focus>-<NN>-<deployment-type>, where each of them may have any of the following values:

  • Location: nearest airport of the datacenter where it’s located
  • Machine type: 2 digit code for servers. It might be any of the following:
    • LB: Load Balancer @AWS
    • LM: Lambda @AWS
    • DS: Dyno Server @Heroku
    • DC: Dyno Container @Heroku
    • EB: Elastic Beanstalk @AWS
    • AI: [email protected]
    • L/H/M: For laptops, hosting servers, mobiles (used as personal usage or development time usage)
  • Focus: it might be Index/PHP/Wordpress/NodeJS/Company-name
  • NN: Numeric entry
  • Deployment-type: How it’s deployed, possible values:
    • P = Production with high availability
    • D = Development time machine, low cost instances preferred
    • U = UAT purpose machines, high availability preferred in low cost
    • S = Sandbox, can/should/must be destroyed after concept testing is done
    • T = Not to confuse with UAT. It’s for test servers which are yet to be introduced to organization (e.g. tested by DEVOPS)

For example, for an application “Wallpaperify”, I need a landing page which will redirect to a facebook page. I am using a heroku dyno for it and using their php-buildpack to setup required softwares. Therefore, I named this slug as: SFO-DY-INDEX-01P. Explanation is as follows:

  • SFO Deploying this to SanFransisco region so using the nearest airport code
  • DY  It’s a dyno prepared by heroku
  • INDEX Simple php based script to redirect user to another url
  • 01 Numeric entry for similar focus group
  • Production server