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Naming convention for Active Directory objects
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README.md

Title: Naming Standards for Active Directory.

Purpose: This document is designed to provide an example for naming Active Directory objects. This document is designed to facilitate multiple organizations combined into one Active Directory. The code is what allows this

Section 1 - Naming Standards for Workstations and Laptops:
Section 2 – Naming Standards for Servers:
Section 3 – Naming Standards for Virtual Servers:
Section 4 – Naming Standards for Network Infrastructure:
Section 5 – Naming Standards for Network Peripherals:
Section 6 – Naming Standards for Service Accounts:
Section 7 – Naming Standards for Security Groups used as Access Control Lists (ACL):
Section 8 – Naming Standards for Security Groups that contain users:
Section 9 – Naming Standards for Security Groups that contain computers:
Section 10 – Administrator account naming convention:
Section 11 – User account naming convention:
Section 12 – User account email address naming convention:
Section 13 – Distribution List and Organizational Mailbox naming convention:
Section 14 – Active Directory Sites and Services names:
Section 15 – ACL, USR and CMP Role Base group examples of implementation:
Section 16 – Active Directory OU Structure based on resources:

Section 1 - Naming Standards for Workstations and Laptops:

  1. Objects in this classification include: Workstations, Desktops, Laptops, Tablet PC’s, and windows mobile devices. Windows still has a 15 character limit for NetBIOS names, so this example is designed to maintain that limit.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity. For objects under control of the Domain, the example code for this document is “XYZ”.
Note: If entity abbreviation is greater than 3 characters, then it must be reduced to fit or the entity must eliminate the site and use these allocated spaces.
4-5 Functions Code. This code described the role of the device. The authorized options within this category are:
MD - Mobile Device
NB - Notebook / Laptop computer
NX - Notebook / Laptop non-Domain Member (requires ISO Approval memo)
TC - Thin Client Computing Device
WK - Workstation / Desktop computer
WX - Workstation non-Domain Member (requires ISO Approval memo)
6-7 Department. The 2 digit code that identifies the activity within the entity assigned the device for usage. If the device is a shared device, then the primary agency responsible for its proper usage will be identified.
8-10 Site Code. The 3 digit code identifies the city. Here is a good reference for CA city name codes Each state should have a state government website with similar codes. This site has some cities with 4 character abbreviations, but in order to maintain the overall consistency with other areas of this document, use only 3 characters.
11-15 Asset Tag. The 5 digit code that reflects the official asset tag affixed to the device. This provides the asset a unique identity should the Entity or Primary Site code require modification. This code is unique and cannot be duplicated between devices. If the entity does not use entity specific Asset Tags, then use the last 5 characters of the Serial Number. If necessary to ensure uniqueness of active devices, replace the last character with an alphabetical character.

Example Computer Name

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Section 2 – Naming Standards for Servers:

  1. Objects in this classification include server role names.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity. For objects under control of the Domain, the example code for this document is “XYZ”
4-5 Functions Code. The authorized options in this category are:
AP - Application Server
AV - Anti-Virus Server
BE - Back End Mail Server
BG - Backup Gateway Server
BH - Bridgehead Mail Server
CA - Certificate Authority Server
DB - Database Server
DC - Domain Controller
DF - Distributed File System (DFS) Server
DH - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
DN - Domain Name Service
FE - Front End Mail Server
FS - File Server
FX - Fax Server
GA - Gateway / Bridge Server
GC - Global Catalog Server
LS - List Server
MD - Mobile Device
ML - Mail Server
MQ - Message Queue Serve
GC - Global Catalog Server
ML - Mail Server
MS - Media Server
NM - Network Management Server
PS - Print Server
PX - Proxy Server
RA - Remote Access Server
SM - System Management Server
SE - Security Server
WS - Web Server
VM - Voice Messaging
VP - Voice Processor
6-7 Department – The 3 digit code that identifies the activity or agency assigned the device for usage. If the device is a shared device, then the primary agency responsible for its proper usage will be identified.
8-10 Site Code. The 3 digit code identifies the city. Here is a good reference for CA city name codes: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog/table_c.htm This site has some cities with 4 character abbreviations, but in order to maintain the overall consistency with other areas of this document, use only 3 characters.
11-15 Asset Tag. The 5 digit code that reflects the official asset tag affixed to the device. This provides the asset a unique identity should the Entity or Primary Site code require modification. This code is unique and cannot be duplicated between devices. If the entity does not use entity specific Asset Tags, then use the last 5 characters of the Serial Number. If necessary to ensure uniqueness of active devices, replace the last character with an alphabetical character.

Example Server Name

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Section 3 – Naming Standards for Virtual Servers:

  1. Objects in this classification include virtual servers.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity. For objects under control of the Domain, the example code for this document is “XYZ”
4-5 Functions Code. The authorized options in this category are:
AP - Application Server
AV - Anti-Virus Server
BE - Back End Mail Server
BG - Backup Gateway Server
BH - Bridgehead Mail Server
CA - Certificate Authority Server
DB - Database Server
DC - Domain Controller
DF - Distributed File System (DFS) Server
DH - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
DN - Domain Name Service
FE - Front End Mail Server
FS - File Server
FX - Fax Server
GA - Gateway / Bridge Server
GC - Global Catalog Server
LS - List Server
MD - Mobile Device
ML - Mail Server
MQ - Message Queue Serve
GC - Global Catalog Server
ML - Mail Server
MS - Media Server
NM - Network Management Server
PS - Print Server
PX - Proxy Server
RA - Remote Access Server
SM - System Management Server
SE - Security Server
WS - Web Server
VM - Voice Messaging
VP - Voice Processor
6-7 Department – The 3 digit code that identifies the activity or agency assigned the device for usage. If the device is a shared device, then the primary agency responsible for its proper usage will be identified.
8-10 Site Code. The 3 digit code identifies the city. Here is a good reference for CA city name codes: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog/table_c.htm This site has some cities with 4 character abbreviations, but in order to maintain the overall consistency with other areas of this document, use only 3 characters.
11-15 Virtual Machine Session ID: This number begins with VM and contains 3 additional digits to represent the unique identification for the virtual machines session at that location (e.g. VM021).

Example Virtual Server Name

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Section 4 – Naming Standards for Network Infrastructure:

  1. Objects in this classification include switches, firewalls and routers.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity. For objects under control of the Domain, the example code for this document is “XYZ”
4-5 Functions Code. The authorized options in this category are:
FW - Firewall
GW - VoIP Gateway Router
RT - Router
SW - Switch
6-7 Department – The 3 digit code that identifies the activity or agency assigned the device for usage. If the device is a shared device, then the primary agency responsible for its proper usage will be identified.
8-10 Site Code. The 3 digit code identifies the city. Here is a good reference for CA city name codes: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog/table_c.htm This site has some cities with 4 character abbreviations, but in order to maintain the overall consistency with other areas of this document, use only 3 characters.
11-15 Asset Tag. The 5 digit code that reflects the official asset tag affixed to the device. This provides the asset a unique identity should the Entity or Primary Site code require modification. This code is unique and cannot be duplicated between devices. If the entity does not use entity specific Asset Tags, then use the last 5 characters of the Serial Number. If necessary to ensure uniqueness of active devices, replace the last character with an alphabetical character.

Example Network Infrastructure Name

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Section 6 – Naming Standards for Network Peripherals:

  1. Objects in this classification include network devices, such as printers.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity. For objects under control of the Domain, the example code for this document is “XYZ”
4-5 Functions Code. The authorized options in this category are:
DM - Monitoring Device for HVAC / Environmental status
DS - Stand Alone Digital Senders
PL - Plotter
PR - Printers or Multi-function Print Devices (MFP)
SC - Security Device, such as door badge system
6-7 Department – The 3 digit code that identifies the activity or agency assigned the device for usage. If the device is a shared device, then the primary agency responsible for its proper usage will be identified.
8-10 Site Code. The 3 digit code identifies the city. Here is a good reference for CA city name codes: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog/table_c.htm This site has some cities with 4 character abbreviations, but in order to maintain the overall consistency with other areas of this document, use only 3 characters.
11-15 Asset Tag. The 5 digit code that reflects the official asset tag affixed to the device. This provides the asset a unique identity should the Entity or Primary Site code require modification. This code is unique and cannot be duplicated between devices. If the entity does not use entity specific Asset Tags, then use the last 5 characters of the Serial Number. If necessary to ensure uniqueness of active devices, replace the last character with an alphabetical character.

Example Network Peripherals Name

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Section 6 – Naming Standards for Service Accounts:

  1. Objects in this classification include any accounts that are used to run services or processes on server systems. The overall length of service accounts should be no longer than 15 characters to comply with the NetBIOS limitation.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity Code. For objects under control of the Domain, the example code for this document is “XYZ”.
4 This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
5-11 Service Name. This will generally be a friendly name to identify what the service account is used for.
12 This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
13-15 Account Type. The 3 digit code will identify the Active Directory accounts use. The authorized options in this category are:
SVC - Service Account
TSK - Scheduled Task

Example Service Account Name

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Section 7 – Naming Standards for Security Groups used as Access Control Lists (ACL):

  1. Objects in this classification include any Security Groups that are applied directly to an object, or used by any device referencing an LDAP group for permissions. These should always be Domain Local Groups.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-6 Security Group Type. For objects under control of the < Entity Code Security Group Type >, the example code for this document is “XYZACL”.
7 This position will use a “_” to delimit the different positions.
8-X Object Identifier. This will generally be a friendly name to identify what the object is used for. Try to make the Object Identifier as descriptive as possible and unique for each object you might apply permissions to.
AD - Active Directory Delegation of OU
GPO - Group Policy Object e.g. Security Filtering of GPO
File - Network File Server Shared Folder
Workstation - Local Groups of Workstation e.g. Built-in Administrators Group (Workstation or Laptop)
Network - Network device access. e.g. router and switch
Server - Local Groups of Server e.g. Built-in Administrators Group
SPSite - Sharepoint Site
SPList - Sharepoint List
SPLibrary - Sharepoint Document Repository
VMWare - VMWare permission delegation
X-X This position will use a “_” to delimit the different positions
X-X Object Name. This will be the friendly name of the object. e.g. OU Name, GPO Name, Folder Name. This field is not required if the object is being applied to all objects (for example: XYZACL_Workstation_LocalAdmins ). Additionally, an Object Name would be necessary if the group is being applied to only one system, (for example: XYZACL_Workstation_XYZNBSAC12345_LocalAdmins ).
X-X Permission. The permission will identify exact permission that the ACL is used (e.g. FullControl, Modify, LocalAdmins ). Try to make the permission as descriptive as possible.

Example Security group that has delegated control of the Laptops OU

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Example Security group that is added to the built-in Administrators Group of all client systems.

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Example Security group that is added to the built-in Administrators Group of one client system.

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Section 8 – Naming Standards for Security Groups that contain users:

  1. Objects in this classification include any Security Groups that are applied directly to an object, or used by any device referencing an LDAP group for permissions. These should always be Domain Local Groups.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-6 Security Group Type. For objects under control of the < Entity > domain. The example code for this document is “XYZUSR”.
7 This position will use a “_” to delimit the different positions.
8-13 Department/Team. This is the six digit code for the department and team. There is no set standard, each Entity will have to derive their own set of abbreviations. The first three digits should indicate the Department and the last three digits would be the sub team with-in the department, if it exists. Below are some examples.
TECSVC - Technical Services
HRSBEN - Human Resources Benefits Section
EXECUT - Executive Suite. E.g. CEO, CIO
BRDDIR - Board of Directors
14 This position will use a “_” to delimit the different positions.
15-X Job Title. This will be the friendly job title of the employee. It should be based off the Human Resources position title document.

Example of Security group User Job Title

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Example of Security Group User for department “all” groups. In order to facilitate combining all the users in one department there should be a group that all the job title groups can be combined into.

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Section 9 – Naming Standards for Security Groups that contain computers:

  1. Objects in this classification include any Security Groups that are applied directly to an object, or used by any device referencing an LDAP group for permissions. These should always be Domain Local Groups.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-6 Security Group Type. For objects under control of the < Entity > domain. The example code for this document is “XYZCMP”.
7 This position will use a “_” to delimit the different positions.
8-13 Department/Team. This is the six digit code for the department and team. There is no set standard, each Entity will have to derive their own set of abbreviations. The first three digits should indicate the Department and the last three digits would be the sub team with-in the department, if it exists. Below are some examples.
TECSVC - Technical Services
HUMRES - Human Resources
EXECUT - Executive Suite. e.g. CEO, CIO
BRDDIR - Board of Directors
14 This position will use a “_” to delimit the different positions.
15-X Group Designation. This will be the friendly group name. e.g. “All” or “Test”.

Example of Security Group Computers

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Section 10 – Administrator account naming convention:

  1. Objects in this classification include any domain accounts that are used in an administrative capacity.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1 First Initial. This position should be the first name initial.
2-X Last Name. These positions should be the last name.
X This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions
X-X Admin Function. These last two characters indicate what administrative function the account is used for.
wk - Workstation Administrator
sv - Server Administrator
dc - Domain Administrator
nd - Network Administrator e.g. router/switch account
admin - Security appliance Administrator

Example Client Administrator account name

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Section 11 – User account naming convention:

  1. Objects in this classification include any standard user accounts.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1 First Initial. This position should be the first name initial.
2-X Last Name. These positions should be the last name.
X This position will use a “.” To delimit the different positions.
X-X Account Classification. These three characters will be used to indicate the user type for purposes of any special restrictions that might need to be applied.
emp - Employee
ctr - Contractor
ven - Vendor
vol - Volunteer
int - Intern
X-X Unique Identifier. This is an optional field and is only used if two or more people have the same first initial and last name.
01-99 - Second and subsequent accounts

Examples of standard employee user account

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Examples of second standard employee user account for users with the same name

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Examples of third standard employee user account for users with the same name

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Section 12 – User account email address naming convention:

  1. Objects in this classification include any standard user email accounts.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-X First Name. This position should be the first name.
X This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
X Middle Initial. This positions should be the middle initial. (If no middle initial just place a single “.” Between first and last
X This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
X-X Last Name. This position should be the last name.
X This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
X-X Account Classification. These three characters will be used to indicate the user type for purposes of any special restrictions that might need to be applied.
emp - Employee
ctr - Contractor
ven - Vendor
vol - Volunteer
int - Intern
X This position will use a “@” to delimit the start of the email domain.
X-X Company Domain Name. For the purposes of this document “XYZ” will be used.
X This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
X-X TLD. This position is the top level domain name of “com”

Example of standard user email account naming breakdown

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Section 13 – Distribution List and Organizational Mailbox naming convention:

  1. Objects in this classification include any distribution lists and Organizational Mailboxes.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Agency Code. For the purposes of this document “XYZ” will be used.
4 In the Display name field this position will use a “ “ to delimit the different positions. In the Alias name field this position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
5-X Object Type. These positions will indicate whether the object is a Distribution List or Organizational Mailbox.
Distribution List. This position will use “list” to indicate the object is a distribution list.
Organizational Mailbox. In the Display name field this position will use “Mailbox” and “mbx” in the alias field.
X In the Display name field this position will use a “ “ to delimit the different positions.
In the Alias name field this position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
X-X Object Name. This position should be the department name, abbreviation or friendly name of the distribution list. e.g. “IT Network Admins”, “IT” “ISO”, “IT HelpDesk”, “IT System Admins”. Each Object name should begin with the Department abbreviation when applicable. e.g “IT”, “HR”, “FIN” or contain a friendly generic name, such as:
In the Display name field a “ “ will be used between words.
In the Alias name field a “-” will be used between words.
X This position will use a “@” to delimit the start of the email domain.
X-X Company Domain Name. For the purposes of this document “XYZ” will be used.
X This position will use a “.” to delimit the different positions.
X-X TLD. This position is the top level domain name of “com”

Example of Distribution List

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Example of Organizational Mailbox

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Section 14 – Active Directory Sites and Services names:

  1. Objects in this classification include any Active Directory Sites that are created.
  2. Objects in this classification will be named using the following breakdown.
Position Description
1-3 Entity Code. For objects under control of the < Entity > domain. The example code for this document is “XYZ”.
4-6 Site Code. The 3 digit code that identifies the city. Here is a good reference for CA city name codes: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/structur/strmaint/brlog/table_c.htm This site has some cities with 4 character abbreviations, but in order to maintain the overall consistency with other areas of this document, use only 3 characters.
7-8 Site Number. This will identify any cities that might have multiple sites.
01 - First or only site in a city
02-99 - Second and subsequent sites in a city

Example of Active Directory Sites and Services naming breakdown for a city with only one site

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Example of Active Directory Sites and Services naming breakdown for a city with multiple sites.

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Section 15 – ACL, USR and CMP group examples of implementation:

This section is designed to provide an example for how to implement role based access. It can be used for both user and administrator delegation. Depending on the size of the organization, it could be very manpower intensive to implement, but provides a lot of value in the end. For the job title

  1. File Share permissions – The XYZACL_ group is applied as NTFS permissions on a shared folder for a department, with the XYZUSR_ groups nested inside.

Example of Role Based security groups used on a file server

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  1. Workstation Built-in Administrators group – The XYZACL_Workstation_LocalAdmins is added to the built-in Administrators group of every client using Group Policy Preferences (GPP), with the XYZUSR_ groupname, for the Help Desk Administrator accounts, nested inside.

Example of Role Based security group used for local administrative access of clients

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  1. Group Policy Permissions – This would allow the filtering of a GPO that is applied to only a specific group of computers. The same could be done for user accounts using USR groups.

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Section 16 – Active Directory OU Structure based on resources:

  1. This document is designed to give an example of an OU structure based on resources. Often times OU structure is designed by physical location but the objects are not treated any different from a security perspective. If the structure is designed using resources as a base, other sub OUs can created under each resource to further break down objects by physical location, department or function type if needed. This allows applying GPOs at the resource level so all objects have the base GPO, but still allows deviations by applying another GPO to the subordinate OU.

domain.com

  • orgname (I prefer to create a root level OU and create resource OUs under it. This makes for a cleaner interface. It is also usefull for a large enterprise that has multiple departments, each with their own IT department)
    • computers
      • clients
        • HR
        • IT
        • OPS
      • servers
        • Application
        • Database
        • Web
    • contacts
    • distributionlists
      • admin
      • organizational
    • securitygroups (Separating OUs by function allows easier delegation for different teams and also easier to find when manually searching)
      • activedirectory (These security groups should be used Active Directory delegations)
      • file (These security groups are used for NTFS permissions no network shares)
      • clients (These security groupts are used for local group access of client systems)
      • servers (These security groupts are used for local group access of server systems)
      • vmware (These security groups are used for vSphere/VMware delegation/access)
      • network (These security groups are used for access to network devices, i.e. in conjuction with Radius, TACACS and LDAP)
      • firewall (These security groups are used for access to firewall devices, i.e. in conjuction with Radius, TACACS and LDAP)
    • users
      • standard
      • admin
      • serviceaccount

Example OU structure

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Example OU with security group for file share

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Example OU with security group for client local administrator group

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Example OU with security group for Active Directory delegation

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