Nevis Linux Cluster Node Names

These are the names of the computers in the Nevis Linux Cluster.

Some machines that are not listed:

  • the systems on the Nevis condor batch farm;
  • machines that are not part of the cluster (e.g., electronics testing foxes).
Most Linux machines at Nevis are typically used by a particular working group, though there are many virtual machines for administrative purposes.

Each group has an informal naming convention for its machines. The list below includes the different groups with machines in the cluster, the basis for the names, and description of each Linux machine normally used by that group.


Mostly named after members of the Romanov dynasty

Name Function CPU Memory Disk Derived from
kolya ATLAS workgroup server Dual 3.2 GHz Xeon 4 GB 2.5 TB Tsar Nikolai II Alexandrovich (1868-1918)
tanya ATLAS client 3.2 GHz Dual-Core Pentium D 1 GB 60 GB Grand Duchess Tatiana Nicolaievna (1897-1918)
xenia ATLAS tier3 server Quad 2.26 GHz 4-core Xeon 24 GB 15 TB Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna
elecsim Electronics shop chip-design workstation 2.4 Intel Xeon 24 GB 800 GB Sometimes we have to use a practical name
elecdesign Electronics shop chip-design workstation 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 1 GB 160 GB

DOE / Heavy-ion

Named for Chinese imperial dynasties ( pronunciation guide)

Name Function CPU Memory Disk Derived from
shang DOE workgroup server Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620 2GHz six-core 8 GB 1.8 TB Shang Dynasty, 16th century B.C. - 1066 B.C.


Named after streets in the area of Columbia University

Name Function CPU Memory Disk Derived from
houston Neutrino home directories Dual 0.8 GHz Eight-core Opteron 16 GB 320 GB  
riverside Neutrino file server Quad 2.27 GHz Four-core Xeon 12 GB 14 TB
westside Neutrino file server Quad 2.27 GHz Four-core Xeon 12 GB 14 TB
amsterdam Neutrino file server AMD Opteron 6128 32 GB 22 TB
bleeker Neutrino file server AMD Opteron 6128 32 GB 22 TB typo when naming; missing a 'c'


Named after characters in the Earthsea books by Ursula K. LeGuin

Name Function CPU Memory Disk Derived from
tehanu VERITAS workgroup server Dual 2.27 GHz Xeon quad-core 53 GB 13 TB Tehanu is the fourth book in the series
vetch VERITAS file server Four 8-core AMD 6272 processors 64 GB 20 TB A friend of Ged
ged VERITAS file server Four 8-core AMD 6272 processors 64 GB 20 TB Ged is the main protagonist of the first book
serret VERITAS file server Four 8-core AMD 6272 processors 64 GB 20 TB Daughter of the Lord of Re Albi

Shared between workgroups

Named (initially) for characters and locations from the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling. The reason for mixed naming scheme is these systems were at one time dedicated to specific workgroups.

Name Function CPU Memory Disk Derived from
hogwarts General shared server Xen virtual machine Hogwarts, a school where wizards are trained
notebook Jupyter server Xeon E5-2650 32 GB 200 GB Another dull practical name.
milne student file server Xeon E5-2620 32 GB 5 TB A. A. Milne, creator of characters in the Hundred-Acre Wood

Administrative machines

Named for historical figures who made important contributions to Western thought

Name Function CPU Memory Disk Derived from
hypatia central admin server Four AMD Opteron 6128 (32 cores total) 32 GB 4 TB Hypatia of Alexandria (d. 415), a teacher and philosopher who was killed for advocating experimental science and other heresies.
hermes Condor, DNS, and print server Dual-core 1.86 GHz Xeon 1 GB 128 GB Hermes was the messenger of the gods; a god of intellect, invention, travelers, communication, and many other attributes.
franklin mail server Xen virtual machine Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was (among many other things) the first Postmaster General of the United Sates.
ada web server Xen virtual machine Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), the founder of scientific computing.
lincoln log server alias for hermes Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), lawyer, statesman, and 16th American President; said to have been born in a log cabin.
shelley backup server Dual Core 1.5 GHz Intel Xeon 3050 2 GB 4 TB Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851), writer and philosopher, best known as the author of Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus.
sullivan mailing-list server Xen virtual machine Take your pick:

Why the funny names?

Well, there's the sheer intellectual over-indulgence of it all, but there's also a serious reason: the function of a given computer can change over time; for example, a computer that used to be Jones' Linux desktop client may become an FTP server in the future. If the computer's name was jonespc or d0pc3, we'd want to change it to ftpserver or something like that. If the computer's name was, there'd be no reason to change it, nor any need to update the various databases of names (/etc/hosts, NIS, DNS, etc.).

Obviously, we have this luxury because there are relatively few computers at Nevis. We can configure them individually and know each one by name. If we had a hundred boxes, this would be impossible.

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Topic revision: r27 - 2022-05-13 - WilliamSeligman
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