[afnog] naming conventions

Mark Tinka mark.tinka at seacom.mu
Fri Feb 20 09:02:09 UTC 2015

On 20/Feb/15 10:34, Saul wrote:
> Hi
> I was wondering: are there any best practise documents out there for
> naming conventions for routers, switches, cabinets etc?
> I know every organisations requirements are different, it’s a tricky
> subject, but when growing to with equipment an multiple DCs in
> multiple geographic locations, things become rather interesting.
> Would be happy to hear other peoples experiences that have gone
> through this.

In my experience, your choice of naming convention will depend on what
type of network you are.

If you are a global carrier (typically wholesale), it is a little easy.
But if you are regional or local network that mainly deploys network in
several places within a city, and between cities in the same country,
this can get a lot trickier.

For global-centric networks that typically live in well-known data
centres in each city, you can rely on using airport city codes to define
the location, even though you may spread across multiple data centres
within the same city.

For local-centric networks, you're better off developing your own method
of tagging buildings you deploy kit into, as not all of them will be
data centres. Many of them will end up being high-rise building where
your kit is deployed in a dusty old basement with barely enough cooling.
In such a case, you can develop your own naming convention that can be
used within your CRM tool so that Engineering and non-Engineering staff
know how to quickly locate PoP's, e.g., a network I used to work for a
couple of years ago has vehicle license plates broken down by state,
where the first letter in the license plate signifies the state in which
the car was registered. Then, the name of the building (not necessarily
a data centre) into which kit was deployed was given a meaningful
abbreviation (which would also include numbers if necessary) down to a
fixed number of characters. The final construct would be:

So let's say your car was registered in Acme state, and the license
plates from Acme state start with the letter "A" (AJN 1234S being the
license plate, for example), and that you're deploying kit in a building
called Boistrous which is codified as "bois", the final PoP name would


So your device name for that location would become:

        cr-01-boista.domain.name ==> as an example

I could get into a lot of detail for either scenario, but as a first
stab, this is the general idea. In essence, for networks that deploy
densely in a single country, codifying your own names for buildings
(even for well-known data centres) scales better, since the majority of
your network won't be in data centres.

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