21. 12. 2017 Massimiliano De Luca NetEye

The Importance of Naming Convention in NetEye

Imagine that you need to change offices quite often. In each of these offices, you’ll need to use a different PC. Each computer obviously has a different keyboard. And every time you change offices, you’d need to learn the new keyboard layout. What a waste of time!

Although the example may be trivial, it should make us reflect on how important the use of standards is in the IT field (and not only there).

In programming, for example, standards are acceptable methods and consequently recommended as an approach to define a specific set of rules.

A Naming Convention is considered a Standard if it describes the recommended rules.
In this article, we will talk about the importance of Naming Conventions in NetEye.
In general, a naming convention provides a set of rules for choosing the sequence of characters to identify variables, functions and other elements within code or its documentation.
We use these rules, as I mentioned, during the creation of host, service and command names.

For example, a customer who owns several companies in different locations might have the following naming convention that can be used to define the host names:

AAA-BBbb … b-CCC-DDDXX

  • Location of the service (A):
  • int – Internal service
  • ext – External service
  • rmt – Remote offices

Geographic Area (B…b):

  • province (BB) and city or metropolitan area (bb … b)

Type of service or type of apparatus (C):
Apparatus:

  • cts – Console/Terminal Server
  • fwl – Firewall
  • lbl – Load Balancer (physical)
  • rtr – L3 Router
  • swt – L2 Switch
  • vpn – VPN Gateway
  • pdu – Power Distribution Unit
  • ups – Uninterruptible Power Supply

Service:

  • app – Application Server (non-web)
  • sql – Database Server
  • ftp – SFTP server
  • mta – Mail Server
  • dns – Name Server
  • cfg – Configuration Management
  • mon – Monitoring Server (NetEye)
  • prx – Proxy / Load Balancer (software)
  • ssh – SSH Jump / Bastion Host
  • sto – Storage Server
  • vcs – Version Control Software Server
  • vmm – Virtual Machine Manager
  • web – Web Server

State of the apparatus (D):

  • dev – Development
  • tst – Test
  • stg – Staging
  • prd – Production
  • bck – Production backup

Unit numbering (X):

  • Progressive numbering of the unit (if necessary)

Based on this set of rules we could get these sample hostnames:
EXT-MISEMPIONE-RTR-PRD01
External service in Milan (Corso Sempione). Apparatus: production router 01.
INT-RMCENTRO-MON-PRD02
Internal service in Rome (Downtown). Service: production monitoring server 02.
RMT-BZSUD-SQL-BCK01
Remote office in Bolzano (South Bolzano). Service: backup SQL Server 01.

Compare these examples with the names you give to your hosts in the absence of a naming convention.

Knowing the above rules, everyone can easily read and understand the host names. But this is not the only advantage. A naming convention:

  • Helps to formalize and promote consistency within a team
  • Improves clarity in case of ambiguity
  • Avoids naming conflicts
  • Allows transferring the project to another team with reduced costs
  • Improves understanding for everybody

Obviously, this set of rules can be customized according to your needs. The important thing is that the whole team respects them. In many companies, the introduction of a nomenclature standard is considered an expensive impediment, but this is mainly caused by limited access or by the use of difficult-to-understand rules that can confuse employees.
It is therefore a good idea to define this standard with the support and contribution of the entire team so that everyone moves in the same direction together.

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Massimiliano De Luca

Massimiliano De Luca

Consultant at Würth Phoenix
Hi, my name is Massimiliano and I'm the youngest SI Consultant in Würth Phoneix (or my colleagues are very old). I like: my son Edoardo (when he doesn’t cry), my pet-son Charlie, photography, mountains, linux os, open-source technology and everything I don't know. I don't like: giving up, the blue screen of Windows, the buffering while I’m watching a movie, latecomers and fake news on internet. I worked for the VEGA project of the European Space Agency and now I'm very happy about being landed in this company. I'm ready to share all of my knowledge and my passion whit our customers.

Author

Massimiliano De Luca

Hi, my name is Massimiliano and I’m the youngest SI Consultant in Würth Phoneix (or my colleagues are very old).
I like: my son Edoardo (when he doesn’t cry), my pet-son Charlie, photography, mountains, linux os, open-source technology and everything I don’t know.
I don’t like: giving up, the blue screen of Windows, the buffering while I’m watching a movie, latecomers and fake news on internet.
I worked for the VEGA project of the European Space Agency and now I’m very happy about being landed in this company.
I’m ready to share all of my knowledge and my passion whit our customers.

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