Train Bridge at Swarthmore College crossing Crum Creek

Easy Server Naming Scheme

Coming up with names for servers or VM’s can be pretty difficult. Often times names become obsolete or don’t describe the server in a way that’s meaningful. The best system is one where every machine has a unique name as it’s A record and all of the service specific names become CNames. This allows the server to host many services without causing naming confusion or obsolete hostnames if a primary service is changed.

The article written by describes in great detail how to pull this off. I’ve found it works best in smallish environments of less then 100 servers. I’ve helped implement this scheme in two places and it worked out great both times. I would heavily recommend it whenever possible.

Unique Names

I’ve set up a server endpoint that will retrieve a list of unique names from here. The pool of words comes from Oren Tirosh’s mnemonic encoding project. The order of the names will be random so it’s up to you to verify the names aren’t already in use for your environment. You can can randomly generate list of hostnames at