Network Naming Scheme

Server naming is a common tradition. It makes it more convenient to refer to a machine by name than by its IP address.

The CIA named their servers after states.[1]

Server names may be named by their role or follow a common theme such as colors, countries, cities, planets, chemical element, scientists, etc. If servers are in multiple different geographical locations they may be named by closest airport code.

Such as web-01, web-02, web-03, mail-01, db-01, db-02.

Airport code example:


City-State-Nation example:

3-character unique numeric number
2-character production/development classifier
3-character city ID
2-character state/province/region ID
2-character nation ID

Thus, a production server in Minneapolis, Minnesota would be, or a development server in Vancouver, BC, would be

Large networks often use a systematic naming scheme, such as using a location (e.g. a department) plus a purpose to generate a name for a computer.

For example, a web server in NY may be called "".

Common network naming convention:



If you have many offices in a city distinguish the offices designate

  • 100–199 ABC location
  • 200–299 CDE location


  • 700–799 Extranet
  • 800–899 DMZ
  • 900–999 Internet
  • gpc - General PC
  • prn - Printer
  • www - Web server
  • dbs - Database server
  • fps - File and print server
  • app - Application server
  • fin - Finance server
  • swi - Network switch
  • ifw - Internal firewall
  • efw - External firewall
  • rtr - Router
  • wap - Wireless access point

However, smaller networks will frequently use a more personalized naming scheme to keep track of the many hosts. Popular naming schemes include trees, planets, rocks, etc.