Name or IP, how do you know your network?

On February 26, 2010, in news, by

Joe comments:

  Aside from being necessary to remote into the server when the DNS service isn’t operating, do you ever find that using DNS names for devices is a bit more managable than IP addresses?  I mean, there’s a few ways you can address devices:  a)  static IP address on the device, b)  DHCP-reserved IP address, or c)  DNS name specified on the device.  I find using DNS names for printers seems to be preferable, because it pretty much dead simple to add a printer into the network, let SBS pick it up by the DNS name, and not have to preconfigure an IP port driver or set it up in DHCP.  Likewise, it doesn’t matter if SBS reassigns a new IP to it when the lease expires.

I have a wireless access point that acts as a DHCP “guest” obtains an IP address from SBS, and connected wireless PC’s get IP’s from SBS also.  I use the same option for it – specify a DNS name in the device, so I don’t have to remember if I set up an IP address on it or in SBS, and what it would be.  Names are just easier.

YMMV though.

FYI:  I have never found an instance where I needed to specify an additional DNS entry on SBS for name resolution for any device that supports specifying it in the firmware.  I once saw an old printer that did network printing but didn’t have a built-in print server that needed additional configuration though, but it was about 8 years old.

In SBS 2003 I always made sure that computers had an identifying name of the person who RWW’d into it because they never knew what they were remoting into.  So to make it easy I would name the computer a variation with the name of the person.  Now with SBS 2008 it makes no difference because you can ‘mask’ the computer so the person remoting in never ever sees the list of the workstation, they just immediately go to the computer they are assigned. 

When you VPN in from the outside on SBS 2008 one thing you’ll find is that you need to put in computername.domain.lan in the remote desktop windows.  Computername alone no longer cuts it.  I still find that I reserve IPs for computers printers and set them up with IP addresses.  I also find that I don’t remember which server is on what IP with the exception of the main SBS box.  That one I have the IP address burned into my brain, but the rest of the servers, I know them more by name than IP.  Not to mention in the Active Directory Users and Computers, which is the tool I typically go to view remotely the  event logs of the workstations, I see the servers and computers by name, not by IP.

So for me…. computers and servers I know by name

Printers, managed switches and the main SBS box I know by IP.


One Response to Name or IP, how do you know your network?

  1. Joe Raby says:

    When I mentioned “DNS name” I was generalizing. What I was referring to was mostly just the NetBIOS name. All my printers have NetBIOS names that I can easily track. Some allow you to specify the entire DNS name (NetBIOS name with the domain tacked on) in the firmware setup, but most just pick that up automatically on the network when they detect the DC.

    FWIW, I don’t bother setting up anything in WINS either. Everything works automatically.

    Sometimes one forgets the differences between DNS and NetBIOS when it all just works together now. 😉