This document presents a consolidated reference for consistent naming of Cloud Resources across all IT Organizations in the University. Having a single, consistent Cloud Resource Naming Convention would benefit the University in cost savings, automation and reduction of ambiguity. The objective in having a single standard naming convention is the ability to rely on the name to reflect the state of the resource in order to supply downstream automation with valid values.


Affiliates of all Harvard University IT organizations


The use of naming conventions are important for an organization wide scheme when referencing Cloud based IT resources. Following a well defined naming convention can provide value across teams.

  • Allows for other necessary information to be inferred (e.g. cloud-dev-app is a Cloud based application in a development environment)
  • Describes relationships within resources.
  • Ensures a unique name within a given scope.

Logical relationships between resources will be easier to classify and organize using asset management or configuration management systems and databases.


Resource - The compute or data object that represents part of a software application.

Configuration Management System - A system that regulates the desired state or configuration of installed software and has the ability to enforce changes.

Configuration Management Database - A repository that reflects the current state of an asset and its relationships to other assets. Attributes can include the asset's business purpose or cost.

Additional Considerations

  • A standard naming convention is scalable can be adopted by an organization of any size.
  • Applying a standard naming convention makes identification of the resource easier by visual inspection or automated consumption.

Security Considerations

  • Production resources will be easily classified and monitored.
  • Classification types of the data stored on the resource can have additional visibility for policy application.
  • Logging and traffic identification used in forensics will be made more traceable.



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1 Comment

  1. The first sentence in the abstract is a bit unclear to me.  Perhaps something like: This document presents a consolidated reference for consistent naming of Cloud Resources across all IT Organization in the University.