The University of Texas at Austin

Austin Active Directory

Active Directory Naming Conventions

All Austin Active Directory objects noted in this document must abide by the described naming convention for the object. A naming convention is necessary to ensure the ability to locate, utilize, and troubleshoot resources, and to avoid name collisions. Within the ITS Active Directory Services structure, this naming convention has been established for Computers, Groups, Organizational Units, Printers and Group Policy Objects to reduce the difficulty in searching for resources.

Any exceptions to the naming convention must be submitted in writing to the ITS Help Desk. Every effort will be made to reply to exception requests within three business days.

Computers and Printers

Field Char Length Example
Department 4 ITS
Separator - -
Descriptor 10 or less Eagle

Examples: ITS-EAGLE and PSY-ORANGE

Groups and Group Policy Objects

Field Char Length Example
Department 4 ITS
Separator - -
Descriptor 58 or less Training

Examples: ITS-Training and PSY-IT-DESKTOP-SOFTWARE

Organizational Units

Field Char Length Example
Department 4 ITS

Examples: ITS and CPFM

There will be a hierarchical structure to organizational units based on schools, colleges, departments, and non-academic entities.

Note: Departmental organizational units can be created only by the ITS WES team.

Why Does this Naming Convention Work?

The computer naming convention is beneficial because it serves to address the problem of the flat NetBIOS namespace across campus. To maintain legacy support for WINS, computer names must be 15 characters or less so that NetBIOS name collisions do not occur, rendering servers or workstations inoperable.

Prefacing the departmental codes for uniqueness and granularity leaves 10 characters for the machine name itself. Every department is thereby guaranteed a unique namespace in which to place their machines, groups, OUs, printers, and other resources. For additional information about WINS and NetBIOS naming, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q163409.

Also, since all machine names will be in the same DNS domain of austin.utexas.edu, the host names will need to be unique as well. We recommend that share names, including those of printers, be kept under 12 characters in length for backward compatibility with non-Windows machines. See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q145949 for more information.

Since the Austin Active Directory service structure is designed to include hundreds of departments across several campuses, it is equally essential that virtual constructs such as Groups, Group Policy Objects (GPOs), and other objects published to the Active Directory follow a naming convention so that they can be easily located, managed, and utilized.

Last updated August 6, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

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