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There isn't much room on server chassis and I'm wondering where a label with the servers name should go. Is there any other information in addition to the name that should go on the label? Does it make sense to label each hard drive in a server or is that not necessary?

There certainly is overkill. When I worked at Big Blue, labeling was a huge source of bureaucracy; even a projector needed to be labelled and have its whereabouts routinely reported.

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Cambridge; there's always a first-class pub in easy reach for you to repair to once the labelling work is finished. Oh, wait - that's not what you meant, is it? –  MadHatter May 30 at 11:59
For some bizarre reason, this was my first thought on reading this... ;) –  user223253 Jun 1 at 15:32
For practical purposes make sure you have a rack diagram also... keep a pic on your phone so when you are in the DC you have a good reference. If work is planned always use the UID flashing light for identification also, you dont want to pull the wrong server! –  Rqomey Jun 26 at 11:11

8 Answers 8

up vote 34 down vote accepted

HP ProLiant servers, Supermicro servers and surely any non-Dell systems don't have a convenient LCD on the front.

If I do label, the location depends on the server model/type... But this is really a common-sense, do-what-works-for-you question.

For instance, on the 1U rack mount systems pictured below, I'd likely add a label on the CD/DVD drive. enter image description here

For the systems here, I may use the CD/DVD slot/blank or place labels on the rack mount ears. enter image description here

For situations where the CD slot doesn't exist, or there isn't enough vertical height on the server, I end up placing labels on the hard disk drive slots. enter image description here

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I knew this was an ewwhite answer before I even scrolled to the bottom. A photo speaks a thousand words. –  Mark Henderson May 28 at 23:05
They do stand out, don't they :-) –  Tonny May 29 at 12:41
Nice post! If only everyone was as helpful! –  Simon Catlin May 29 at 17:55
That HP pictured on the top row has a little pull out tab that is great for labeling boxes. –  Wyatt Barnett May 29 at 17:56
@MadHatter I said "if I label..." I actually don't feel the need to label server hardware. These days with ILO and nice blue front and rear UID indicators, paper labels aren't that important to me :) –  ewwhite May 30 at 12:10

I seen this a while back and thought it was a good idea. Granted it only works with dell servers.

Replacing the dell logo with a bottle cap

enter image description here


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I don't think this is a good solution, but +1 for creativity. –  davidgo May 30 at 6:32
If you name your servers after beer brands, this actually is the cleanest labeling you can do :p –  GroundZero May 30 at 12:01

Servers vary so much that it's hard to standardize on locations unless you're only buying from one manufacturer; that said, I feel it's very important to label both the front and the back. When you're staring at a bunch of identical chassis backs, it's nice to have another way to double-check that you're about to pull the right power cord.

In deciding where on the front & back to actually stick the labels, I favor locations that are more permanently associated with the chassis itself. I avoid sticking computer labels on removable modules in general & hard-disk carriers in particular because I don't want people thinking I've labelled the disk itself or getting confused if the carrier's pulled out and moved around.

Our minimal label is our institution's name & the server's property number, but if there's space, I'll add the hostname & IP addresses to save a trip back to look it up. On a few systems I've also stuck labels above individual ports to note their purpose, but it's not something I do for most servers.

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I follow the same line of thinking: Especially the label ON THE BACK. If the server has a detachable cover-plate on the front I will label that and the chassis itself behind it. (Just in case covers get mixed up. Usually you have to take the cover OFF before you can do anything at the front, so the chassis label is the authoritative one.) –  Tonny May 29 at 12:47
Yes indeed, a single label is insufficient. It should be labeled in a minimum of 3 locations. –  renegade May 30 at 16:38
+ 1 for a label on the back, be careful of blocking air holes however! Also label all cables at both ends :) –  Rqomey Jun 26 at 11:10

I label them whereever the label will fit. Most of my servers have room on the front where it doesn't cover anything important. These ones just have the server name.

In addition (or if there really is no room on the server itself) they get a label on the rack, both front and back. There is plenty of room for a large label here, so they include the server name, IP of its management interface, and a QR code that links to our documentation wiki, so I can pull up all the server's details from my phone instead of heading back to my desk.

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I've used Dell servers exclusively throughout my career and I always put the label on the front bezel and on the front of the chassis behind the bezel. I try to put the label in the same spot on all the severs when and where it's possible (upper left, upper right, etc.).

As for labeling other components and for the amount of detail to include, that's a personal preference. I've seen people label hard drives, optical drives, etc. and I've seen them put an awful lot of detail on the label (server name, ip address, specs, etc.). I've very rarely used any information other then the name. I can get everything else I need from my asset management system, management software or from the vendor.

The main use of labels for me is so that "remote hands" operators can quickly identify and locate a piece of equipment if I need them to. I simply tell them "It's the server labeled CORPDC1 in Rack 35 position U 25.".

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We used to label each server individually, but with the increasing ability to stuff more into the chassis we had to find a better way. There simply weren't places to stick a label in some cases and waiting for the small lcd to scroll through was annoying.

We started to use a laminated sheet of paper cut in half length-wise with an excel spreadsheet with two columns. One with the "U" numbers filled in and one for server information. We attach these to the rack doors, front and back. For more permanent enclosures we would fill in the information before laminating, but for racks that change often we leave them blank and have fine point dry erase markers available.

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We always like to go with the Server Name and IP address anywhere you can prominently display it.

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I use the rack and put the labels sideways. Then you also notice when a server doesn't have a label.

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