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Our systems people are working on getting us all up and running on virtual machines. There will be a certain set of machines for each performance level, and we'll be able to upgrade and downgrade as required. The problem that I'm seeing is that each virtual machine has a different machine name, and assignment to machines is somewhat arbitrary. So any time we log out and log back in we might be assigned a different machine name.

The question I have is whether there is any way to set things up so that each user has an assigned machine alias, which will be applied to whichever "real" machine we are using. So, when a user would log in, whatever virtual machine they were assigned would be given the alias that is assigned to them. That way users would be able to just remember one machine name, which is rather helpful for remote access (ssh, rdp, etc.) and setting up machine-specific scripts and such.

Any ideas?

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1 Answer

You could do this if you had access to a DNS server on the network. You can assign a user a DNS name on your network. Anytime the "systems" people need to upgrade or downgrade what system you're using, they can just change the DNS entry on the DNS server to point to the appropriate resource, and the users wouldn't be the wiser.

Example:

Day 1; You are assigned DukeBrymin.systems.com

DukeBrymin.systems.com is set to 10.0.0.1
You access the machine via RDP using the DNS name
DNS points you to the correct machine; 10.0.0.1

Day 2; You're using your system too much, so the "systems" people migrate you to a faster system

DukeBrymin.systems.com is now set to 10.0.0.2
You access the machine viaRDP, using the DNS name
DNS points you to the corect machine; 10.0.0.2

So long as your "systems" people manage the DNS properly, this should suffice.

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I submitted this answer to our admin group, and here was their response: We do have an indirect way to impact DNS via our Network Information System application. This process takes approximately 15/20 minutes to update at times. Also since we are using Leostream to broker the host to the user the leostream process would need privileges to update NWIS with the new host relationship (dukebrymin = ceerws#####{a-f}). So it sounds doable, but not very transparently, and definitely not very timely. Are there other possibilities? –  DukeBrymin Oct 7 '13 at 18:45
    
What do you mean by "transparently"? What are you hoping to acheive with transparency? There might be other possibilities, but you'd need to give more info about how your users are currently accessing their system; directly (everyone is given a unique computer/address to log into), indirectly (everyone is given one address to connect to and they're automatically assigned something when they log in), over internet, local only, are profiles managed, are profiles static, and who manages what services in your environment, etc... Lastly: fast, easy, cost effective; pick two. –  CIA Oct 8 '13 at 16:06
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