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Virtual Hosting

The term Virtual Host refers to the practice of maintaining more than one server on one machine, as differentiated by their apparent hostname. For example, it is often desirable for companies sharing a web server to have their own domains, with web servers accessible as www.company1.com and www.company2.com, without requiring the user to know any extra path information.

Apache was one of the first servers to support IP-based virtual hosts right out of the box. Versions 1.1 and later of Apache support both, IP-based and name-based virtual hosts (vhosts). The latter variant of virtual hosts is sometimes also called host-based or non-IP virtual hosts

IP-based virtual hosting

IP-based virtual hosts use the IP address of the connection to determine the correct virtual host to serve. Therefore you need to have a separate IP address for each host. With name-based virtual hosting, the server relies on the client to report the hostname as part of the HTTP headers. Using this technique, many different hosts can share the same IP address.

Name-based virtual hosting

Name-based virtual hosting is usually simpler, since you need only configure your DNS server to map each hostname to the correct IP address and then configure the Apache HTTP Server to recognize the different hostnames. Name-based virtual hosting also eases the demand for scarce IP addresses. Therefore you should use name-based virtual hosting unless there is a specific reason to choose IP-based virtual hosting. Some reasons why you might consider using IP-based virtual hosting:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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