On Fri, 10 Feb 1995, Rob Raisch wrote:

> There are no HTTP servers that support multiple domain names per 
> machine because they cannot under the current protocols.  (There are 
> some versions of Unix which will support multiple peer IP addresses 
> per host, but this is not the same thing.)

As far as I can tell the concern about this issue stems from a desire to
bring up a web server on the cheap and appear to be a giant unique
entity to the world.  The issue can be solved w/o any changes to http
or more important cluttering up an already verbose protocol costing 
many in bandwidth and processing cycles to save for the few.  
Since there are companies (e.g., specializing in providing
web servers for multiple folks I suspect they have solved the problem
but I don't know that for a fact.  Some suggestions:
1)  Most UNIX boxes can have multiple IP addresses, some per adapter and
    some by having multiple adapters.  In my limited to the metal
    TCP and UDP programming I always could get BOTH IP addresses for
    the 'connection' so if the host were configured for multiple
    addresses, a simple change to the publicly available server code
    (CERN & NCSA at least) would support differentiation.
2)  A credible WWW server can be brought up on LINUX for roughly $2K
    in hardware costs.  Then you have a truly unique hardware box and
    no tricks, just a rack full of servers attached to a LAN and thus
    the Internet.  No funny software, etc.
3)  It wouldn't be a difficult problem with source access as with
    LINUX etc. to modify the network support to allow a trully large
    number of IP addresses per host.  Each could be locally bound to
    a different HTTPD or the HTTPD code modified to interrogate the
    destination IP address and select the proper home page from

Of course as is often the case, I may have missed a compelling reason why a 
capability is desireable but if not I have attempted to illustrate 
easy solutions which don't require standards activity.


Received on Sunday, 12 February 1995 22:48:08 UTC