Category Archives: Musing

A Letter to Nick Clegg

Dear Nick,

This is not usually a political blog and is unlikely to be again. However, I wanted to write to you on behalf of the British people you have so faithfully served for the past 5 years. Sir, I salute you. You put people above politics, compassion above career and you gave our Government a heart. The way your party has been punished today is unfair and not a reflection of all you stood for and achieved. You can rightly be proud of your record and my hope is that history remembers you in the light you deserve.

So thank you Nick Clegg. We wish you well for the future and, personally, I wish you were still in Government fighting for those values which make such a difference to ordinary people.

Yours Sincerely,

Guy Morrell

Musing on naming schemes

I’ve just read another excellent post by the Networking Nerd and thought I’d blog a quick response. With our servers, we follow much the same nonsense as everyone else and give the server a name from popular culture / fiction / mythology / greek letters… My favourite are the mail servers named after female characters from Firefly. However, with the backbone network we wanted something simple, easy to remember (and print on cable labels, but that’s another blog post) and extensible. So we came up with this:

  • We assign letters from the alphabet to a function. For example, B is a core switch, C is a PE router, F is our point-of-presence switch in a building. Actually F came from FroDo or Front Door as there used to be a LOTR thing here but we got rid of it. There are a few others but you get the idea
  • Then we have up to four letters to denote location. If we had a router in Mordor, we might use MORD.
  • We append a number to each logical device in a location. Stacks or VSS / IRF / VPC type groups get an additional letter. So a VSS pair of PE routers in Mordor would be called CMORD1a and CMORD1b respectively. If there was a standalone POP switch it would be called FMORD1. Actually it wouldn’t as there is a different scheme for the FroDos but that isn’t really important here.

There is a published key to all this which is updated if we add a new device type. This system will break down at 26, but that won’t be a problem any time soon here. Further details about all this can be found on our team blog site.

My thoughts on device nomenclature

I think any naming scheme should be simple, unambiguous, extensible and short. The one we use here evolved so has some limitations, but it has served us well.