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Never Too Old To Learn - Route-Map Naming - MovingPackets.net

Never Too Old To Learn – Route-Map Naming

Never Too Old

It’s said that you’re never to old too learn. I agree, and in fact it’s one of the things that has kept me in the networking industry for so long; there’s always something new going on to keep me interested.

And learn, I did, from a recent set of twitter interactions, some of which I’ll reproduce here in order to share the love with you all as well!

Route-Map Naming

I was browsing some old configurations (not mine, by the way) and came across a route-map which triggered the following tweet:

Tweet by @mrtugs

I am not, as you can tell, a fan of using numbers when a word will do just as well. Older readers will also recall that I like naming things sensibly. So take your “ROUTES4REDIST” prefix-list and bite my shiny metal rack post. One response to this tweet stood out to me though. Bob McCouch (@BobMcCouch) offered the following:

Tweet from @BobMcCouch

Old Dog, New Tricks

First of all, let’s take a moment to applaud Bob for being shameless enough to use a picture of him in his Cisco Live 2013 Orland CAE hat as his Twitter avatar. Bravo, sir! Spongebob McCouch, indeed. 🙂  Anyway, I like this idea. I had no idea that you could use “>” in a route-map name, and indeed I don’t think I have ever seen it in a configuration.

A couple of people said they had come across this while studying for an exam (maybe the CCNP Troubleshooting exam?). As Bob says, BGP->EIGRP seems pretty clear what it does. Of course, so is “BGP-TO-EIGRP”, but it doesn’t look quite as cute, does it? I guess it’s all preference, but it’s nice to have another reasonable option out there.

Why is this new to me though? I don’t know. Maybe it’s relatively new (I suspect not) or more likely it just isn’t commonly known. It appears to apply to both route-map and prefix-list names from what I can see too.

So there you have it. I learned something new, and I’m sharing it so that if you don’t already know it, you can learn it too!


6 Comments on Never Too Old To Learn – Route-Map Naming

  1. I use the “->” characters like Bob does. Pretty sure I first encountered it in a training module somewhere. Love it.

    Other than redistribution, I don’t use hyphens much when naming objects anymore. I used to name all of my ACLs, prefix lists, certificate maps and whathaveyou like this:




    I found that un-shifting to get the hyphen slowed me down more than I like. Everything is underscores now:


    • I agree. I tend to end up using whatever’s in place where I go – because if – is bad compared to _, there’s nothing worse than inconsistency in the router where some use – and some use _; it’s a guaranteed mistake waiting to happen.


    • As a side note, the reason I used RM-BGP->EIGRP was because it felt messy and inconsistent to use RM_BGP->EIGRP, mixing underscores and dashes…

  2. I have 3 principles when I configure and I’m not tied to former conventions:

    1) Hungarian notation
    After reading a good old article about “hungarian notation” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_notation) in c computer programming, I started using extensively in my object naming.

    instead of RM-THIS-IS-A-ROUTE-MAP,
    I use rmTHIS-IS-A-ROUTE-MAP.

    The lower prefix is IMHO simpler to catch as a “type” (prefix, acl, route-map), expecially when you have several object types (VPN on ASAs, anyone?)

    2) dash vs underscores
    As a separator, I use both dash and undescore, using dash with same object attribute, and underscore to differentiate objects. e.g.

    Easier to remember, and cut/paste between interface descrition and vlan name is a snap 🙂

    And of course, just like everyone who does not have long term memory, I prefer as self descriptive names as I can.

    My two cents.


  3. Ivan,

    #1 and #3 are great. Thanks for the pointer to Hungarian notation, and also for sharing your no_spaces logic. Brilliant.

    #2 I understand, but expect I would hate life if I tried to use it.

    I’m glad I circled back to see the commentary here.

    • Definitely – I’m glad I have such awesome readers to share their ideas and experience with us! I love getting new thoughts on old problems like this.

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