Choosing the names of your network devices will give you a great basic understanding of your network and a way to quickly identify your equipment.
Using Standard device names
Here is the way we do it, we use the first letters for the device name to identify its type:
- S = Server
- P = Printer
- Sw = Switch
- Wls = Wireless Acces Point
- WS = Workstation
- LT = Laptop
- R = Router
This way it easy to take the next step, which is providing the country the device is in (we manage three different countries and multiple locations)
For the Benelux we simply use NL, BE and LUX, you can think up something for your own situation.
After that the City name is used, like AMS for Amsterdam, followed by a number to uniquely identify the device.
For example NLAMS01 is the 01 Server in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
BEBRUP05 is Printer number 5 in Brussels in Belgium.
If you setup your devices, you can provide more information in the Property field in windows, to make a more descriptive text.
If you ever have to replace the device with a new one, you just have to change the description, like “HP 4100 Printer in Brussels main office” to “HP 6000 Color laser in Brussels Main Office”.
Workstations and Laptops
Here is where we choose to use the same approach, by using the first signs for Type, country, and location but then we use the year of purchase and a number to identify the device:
NLAMSWS08-0001 = Workstation in The Netherlands, Location Amsterdam, the purchase year 2008, the first Workstation in that year.
Here you put the username and more information also in the Computer description field.
The biggest advantage of this way of naming is the fact that you can see how old the device is, and if it moves to a new user, you just update the description…
So you can really keep this name all the time it is employed in your organization!
As we first started out with our network we used to name them with the username, like WSHUMMERBIE , you can see how this would look if the machine changed to a new user, or the employee was replaced…
Renaming the device would mean redoing the documentation each time there would be a change, now we simply change the username and the description.
The description field makes it really easy to identify the user that need remote support as the field shows up in the remote management software.
I think you get the overall picture of the idea, so just start setting up your own Device name structure and make sure everyone in your IT Department starts using this setup.
We use one standard Excel worksheet to keep track of the Names, numbers and IP address (if fixed) of each device.
Using the full hierarchical names, like Duane mentions in the comment below, is the next step to complete your Active Directory structuur.