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Communications of the ACM

Kode Vicious

The Naming of Hosts Is a Difficult Matter

George V. Neville-Neil

George V. Neville-Neil

back to top  Dear KV

An argument recently broke out between two factions of our systems administration team concerning the naming of our next set of hosts. One faction wants to name machines after services, with each host having a numeric suffix, and the other wants to continue our current scheme of each host having a unique name, without a numeric string. We now have so many hosts that any unique name is getting quite long—and is annoying to type. A compromise was recently suggested whereby each host could have two names in our internal DNS (Domain Name System), but this seems overly complicated. How do you decide on a host-naming scheme?


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Dear Anonymous

I refer you to T.S. Eliot, who pointed out—sort of:

The Naming of Hosts is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a host must have


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