Question

Droplet naming and hostname advice

Hoping for some advice

Most of our droplets are for fairly small individual client websites, usually 1 droplet per website, but some droplets host more than one for the same client. None of these droplets send email directly, they all proxy through Mailgun. Most of the time, the floating IP of the droplet (and not the IP of the droplet itself) is used for public DNS records.

What should I be naming these droplets/hostnames? It doesn’t seem to make sense to make it the domain name and therefore a FQDN, since this will create a PTR which doesn’t seem to be relevant in this scenario. It also has nothing to do with the IP of the droplet itself.

Let’s say the purpose of a droplet is for hosting “example.com” and maybe “foo.example.com”. Maybe they’ll need a separate database server or another web server down the line.

What should the droplet be named?

example example.com example_web1 web01.prd.lon.example.com web01.prd.lon.mycompany.net example.web01.prd.lon.mycompany.net <some irrelevant name>

Thanks in advance Jamie

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Accepted Answer

Hello,

I would personally go for customer.web01.prd.lon.mycompany.net or customer-web01.prd.lon.mycompany.net having the following things in mind:

  • customer: This allows you to quickly identify which customer the server belongs to.
  • web01: As you mentioned, a client might have multiple web servers and maybe separate database servers (db01), or caching servers (cache01) and etc. Having the first part in the name would help you quickly identify what the role of each server is.
  • prd: If a customer has multiple environments, like Prod, Dev, Staging and etc. this will give you a quick indication of which environment the specific server is part of. This could be specifically useful if you have a monitoring system and the servers pop up there in case of issues, this will let people know if the alert is urgent especially when the production servers are affected.
  • lon: Knowing the location might be beneficial in case that the customer has servers in different regions.
  • mycompany.net: I personally think that it is better to have it under your domain so that in case you had to make any DNS changes, you would be in control and would not have to request this from your customers.

Those are some personal preferences after working in the web hosting industry for quite a while, however, the most important thing is to be consistent. So no matter which naming convention you choose, make sure to be consistent and to follow it for all servers. Consistency is key :)

Hope that this helps! Best, Bobby