With the Death of NetBIOS, anyone seeing Windows Computers with longer names?

I’ve got a situation with a Windows server where the computer name, on the server, is 16 characters long, but the “Computer Name” property only returns 15 characters of the actual computer name.

The Computer’s object name in Active Directory is 16 characters long. The DNS Name it is registered to is 16 characters long (plus the domain).

The “DNS Name” property returns the correct FQDN.

Anyone else seen anything like this?

Yes, I see it all the time. I’ve had to create a new property called “hostname” (relevance = “hostname”) because it doesn’t have the 15 character limitation.

Guess I’ll open a PMR with IBM to see if they can adjust/correct the BES Client so that the “Computer Name” property reports the correct Computer Name rather than a truncated one.

Case is … TS000077123

The frustrating thing is that we feed an Enterprise CMDB from BigFix and several other sources. Because of the Computer Name truncation in BigFix, there are multiple entries for the Windows server(s?) with longer names. This is the first one I’ve seen myself.

@TimRice - what was the outcome of your case?

Nothing as far as I am aware.
I had to create a new Property to capture the proper name for the computers. Much like @cstoneba I based mine off of “hostname” but I took the opportunity to correct another issue as well.

When our Linux team builds systems, someone has been entering the FQDN in as the Hostname when the system is built. That value is then stored in the /etc/hostname file which is where BigFix get’s the Computer Name property from under Linux. I strip it down to JUST the Hostname portion, without the Domain added to it.

(IF (Length of Hostname > 0) THEN (/*HostName Exists */if (Hostname as string contains ".") THEN (((Tuple String Item 0 of (concatenation ", " of (substrings before "." of Hostname))))) else (Hostname)) ELSE (/*HostName NOT Exists*/if (DNS Name as string contains ".") THEN (((Tuple String Item 0 of (concatenation ", " of (substrings before "." of DNS Name))))) else (DNS Name))) AS Lowercase

The next thing I need to address are “Vendor” delivered systems that have duplicate names internal to the OS, but where someone has “cleverly” registered a different DNS Name that doesn’t match the internal name. (!!).

I’ll need to address this with a Task that resolves the “Registration IP” for each client and stores it as a Client setting so I can parse it later.

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That’s helpful, thanks!

But how do you deal with targeting multiple hosts - by Computer Name - where the 15 character root is the same for multiple hosts? E.g.



Fortunately, even with +53k endpoints, we don’t have too many systems that show duplicates because of this. We’ve made the issue with Computer Name length known to the Console Operators (we have ~150 of them at this point) and the folks that build the systems. They try to limit their use of longer Computer Names as a result. Most would rather be able to use the longer names, but until HCL fixes how Computer Name is evaluated, they find it easier to abide by the 15 character limit most of the time.

There are always those few who just want to “watch the world burn” and will insist on using really long Computer Names “because we can”. Those folks get to use the SystemName property to do their targeting if they need to specify a particular system. Most of the time, they end up targeting “All Computers” when it comes to deploying Patches anyway.

I really created the property so that our CMDB could have the “correct” hostname listed for each system.

That’s really interesting, Tim. I can emulate your System Name property, but our centralised patching groups target hundreds of machines per action (or more), so just copy & paste in the hostnames… can’t foresee anyone trying to target any other way.

Also, the nightly Computer Remover (BESAdmin) task would remove what are perceived to be duplicates, but are really just long computer names using the same root. So say of MyComputerNameIs1, MyComputerNameIs2 & MyComputerNameIs3; only one would remain.

Thanks for your input though, some stuff I can use here!

If they show the ‘ID’ column, they should be able to paste in Computer IDs instead of the truncated Computer Names.

(Of course, dynamic-by-property is better for actions to hundreds of computers)

@it_cat that would depend on how you have the Remover configured.

I have mine configured so that systems are “deleted” after 90 days of not reporting (not my choice) and then the data is not PURGED until 180 days. So if a computer is “deleted”, but then reports again before that 180 day limit, it will be “reinstated” with no loss of data.

The “Delete” function really only flags the record to “not display” in the Console or Web Reports. The computer and all it’s data is still in the database until the conditions for the PURGE are met. Purging data is a separate setting.

In our case, we have 10-15 Apple Mac’s that are configured with the names “Admin’s MacBook Pro” or “Administrator’s MacBook”. The Computer Remover tool dutifully removes all but one each night, and the rest of them report again the next morning when the folks show up in their offices.

@JasonWalker - one can paste in Computer IDs for targeting an action? In the Computers tab?! Must be something I’m missing!

No, you’re not missing it. I was.

Apologies, I confused that with an API interface I was using.

Ahhh, that make sense! I thought it was one of those situations where one learns something mind-blowingly simple after using a product for years :wink: Thanks anyway