Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

What is in a server name?

A short, sweet and controversial tip today: how to name your servers. When Notes entered the market, the predominant network protocols were NetBui/Netbios and IPX/SPX. Beside that Apple Talk, Banyan Vines and some inferior protocol called TCP/IP were supported. Naturally that Notes server discovery ran primarily via Netbios. Fast forward to today. Hands up: who has anything else than TCP/IP in production to link Notes clients to Domino servers? No one - good.
One of biggest support issues (by number of cases), especially when you have travelling folks, is to get the clients connected to the server. We all fiddle with pushing connection documents, keeping them updated etc. On the same time we already run a proper naming service for our servers: DNS. When a client tries to connect to a server it uses the server name and shouts into the network: "Are you there?". The you in this case is the server's common name. In a properly configured Intranet DNS or Netbios will resolve "myserver" to (or whatever your IP might be). In the "wild" that won't work, so you have to resort to connection documents. Unless of course you didn't name your server myserver/servers/myorg but myserver.mycorp.com/servers/myorg.
We tried that in a number of cases: Naming your server after its full qualified DNS entry will prevent most "server not found" issues.
Of course your mileage might vary: If your internal DNS is not well administrated or subject to constant change you will open just another can of worms.
So when you setup the next server(s) have a long chat with your DNS guys first.

Posted by on 23 March 2006 | Comments (0) | categories: Show-N-Tell Thursday


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