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I'm planning to setup new company, with new Active Directory domain for 100-4000 users. I've chosen domain name and now I am wondering about possible computer naming convention. Company is going to have standardized computers from HP.

Is going by Serial Number of machine a good option? Or do you see risks here by exposing machine serial number to the world when user moves away? What would be recommended naming convention assuming we want to go for brandless naming (such as domain name is brand less).

closed as primarily opinion-based by joeqwerty, mdpc, MadHatter, HBruijn Nov 3 '16 at 20:56

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I personally see server name a good place to hold some useful info such as its location/owner/purpose etc. just for easier support purpose. Is there any consideration you want to hide those info from names? It's going to be impossible to recognize a server by serial # but then again that might be exactly your intention? – strongline Oct 31 '16 at 17:42
  • Servers I have other plans and generally wanted to have location/purpose in name. What I was asking about are computer names. My thought was that it's something that won't generally matter and it would be easier to support, nameless hence the question for naming convention. However I am afraid that it will be hard for users give that name to helpdesk if needed. For servers I saw in big company approach with just location and rest random numbers (to hide purpose I guess, since eventually "AD1" will become AD10 at some point after couple of migrations). – MadBoy Oct 31 '16 at 17:50
  • Possible duplicate of Windows Active Directory naming best practices? – MadHatter Nov 2 '16 at 8:48
  • Its not. Domain naming and machines naming convention are 2 separate things – MadBoy Nov 2 '16 at 8:54
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This is probably going to be closed as "too broad" or "opinion-based," but...

I don't know of any risks involved in exposing the serial number. One of my previous places of employment used "PC-[Serial]" or "LT-[Serial]," and then grouped them by department in the desktop management software and labeled them with the user's name there.

What I don't recommend is naming it after the user ("FRED-PC"). If the machine isn't reimaged and/or renamed, this can get confusing (Fred got promoted and got a new PC, so now Mary Ann uses FRED-PC and Fred uses FRED-NEW-PC-OF-HOTNESS).

Have you asked the desktop support team what they would find least confusing?

  • I am setting up desktop support for one company (so kind of asking myself), and setting up new domain for another company. One company goes from 40 to 500 machines in 3 years. The other one has 4000 machines. I am trying to get information before I proceed with documentation. I have my own experiences over the last 12 years just wanted to hear pros and cons from others :) – MadBoy Oct 31 '16 at 18:22
  • Fair enough. I think the biggest potential problem with 4000 machines is duplicate names. Serial numbers should help, although we did once have a vendor give us two PCs with the same serial number once! – Katherine Villyard Oct 31 '16 at 18:24

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