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url forwarding (DNS issue)

Posted on 2002-07-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Is there any way to redirect support.xxx.com to
www.xxx.com/support on DNS server.
I want any user that types http://support.xxx.com goes to www.xxx.com/support without assigning differentt public IP to support.xxx.com and create a dummy web site to redirect the request.
Can it get done just on DNS server?
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Question by:prokni
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12 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:edmonds_robert
ID: 7175290
What is the cause for this?  Are people having trouble finding the website?  Are they typing support.xxx.com and getting nothing?  I believe you will have to have your ISP add a DNS record for support.xxx.com pointing to the IP address of your www server.  Then create the virtual directory called support on that server, and it should find it.  

That's my two cents.
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Expert Comment

by:edmonds_robert
ID: 7175308
Just to let you know.  I tried this same thing on my internal network, and it works fine.  Should work the same on your external web servers also.
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Author Comment

by:prokni
ID: 7175315
1-I do have the directory suppport on my web site.
www.xxx.com
2-There is no entry for support.qlogic.com on our DNS server.
Still I don't understand how it works. If we add an entry in dns server to point to the same ip as www.xxx.com then when users browse support.xxx.com they go to www.xxx.com site. (the url still would be support.xxx.com) also they don't go to virtual directory directly.
Am i missing anything?
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Expert Comment

by:edmonds_robert
ID: 7175320
oops, no it didn't.  I didn't do exactly what you were asking.  When I did it, I added the /support to the url, so that's not what you're asking.  I'll shut up now.
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Expert Comment

by:edmonds_robert
ID: 7175355
oops, no it didn't.  I didn't do exactly what you were asking.  When I did it, I added the /support to the url, so that's not what you're asking.  I'll shut up now.
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Expert Comment

by:edmonds_robert
ID: 7175392
oops, no it didn't.  I didn't do exactly what you were asking.  When I did it, I added the /support to the url, so that's not what you're asking.  I'll shut up now.
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LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
scraig84 earned 200 total points
ID: 7175563
No it can't.  DNS provides hostname to IP resolution, not hostname to web page redirection.  You should do this on your web server.

>>Still I don't understand how it works. If we add an entry in dns server to point to the same ip as www.xxx.com then when users browse support.xxx.com they go to www.xxx.com site. (the url still would be support.xxx.com) also they don't go to virtual directory directly.
Am i missing anything?

Yes you are.  Most (if not all) web servers can distinguish requests based on the URL requested.  Therefore you can host hundreds of web sites off the same IP address.  This is extremely common.  This is called Host Header support.  If you are using IIS, under the "web site" tab, just click on the "advanced" button next to the IP address section, click "add" and type in the URL in the "Host Header Name" section.  So, all you need to do is add a "dummy" site on the web server and redirect it to the page on the other site - unless of course you want to host those pages on their own site since your main reason for using a virtual directory seemed to be for getting around using multiple IP addresses.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:prokni
ID: 7175584
I am using apache web server and I know how to create virtual host on it but
These are the main issue about name-based virtual host.

1-Some ancient clients are not compatible with name-based virtual hosting. For name-based virtual hosting to work, the client must send the HTTP Host header. This is required by HTTP/1.1, and is implemented by all modern HTTP/1.0 browsers as an extension.
2-Name-based virtual hosting cannot be used with SSL secure servers because of the nature of the SSL protocol.
3-Some operating systems and network equipment implement bandwidth management techniques that cannot differentiate between hosts unless they are on separate IP addresses.

My main concern is SSL. If I go with name-based virtual host then I have  a problem with SSL connections.
I dont care that much about old browsers.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 7175645
>>2-Name-based virtual hosting cannot be used with SSL secure servers because of the nature of the SSL protocol.

This is not entirely true.  You are correct that you can't host multiple SSL sites off of a single IP using Host Headers.  However, you can still host multiple sites off of one IP and still have 1 site use SSL on that IP.  So if your primary site uses SSL, just have the other name redirect the user to that site and use the others as a "dummy" like we originally talked about.  You only run into problems if you have two distinct sites that you need SSL for.  Then you need 2 IP addresses.

Like you said, I wouldn't worry about older browsers.  I would be willing to guess that well over half of the sites out there use host headers.
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Expert Comment

by:edmonds_robert
ID: 7175662
I hate to do this on someone else's question, but I hope prokni will forgive me.  Scraig, do you have a link that will explain in a little more detail about host headers?  I'm not a web design guru, so I can use all the help I can get.  Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:prokni
ID: 7175699
scraig84

Is there any limitation on the number of web sites hosted on one IP in IIS and apache web server?
Do you any other problem with going in this way? have you experinced it by yourself?

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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:scraig84
ID: 7178540
Sorry for taking so long to get back.  I don't know of any limitations but there is probably a good chance that there is some limit.  However, I have seen production web servers (IIS) with a very high number (I am guessing over 100 sites on one IP address) so I would say it would have to be awfully high.  This is especially common with web site hosting companies etc.  Sorry I couldn't be more specific.

Edmonds_robert - Here is a link to a little info on the MS site:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q190008

Otherwise, you may want to pick up a book on IIS or something for a full understanding.  In basic terms, host headers carry the requested URL in the HTTP request, allowing web sites to determine which site a particular request belongs to.  This way you can host multiple sites on one IP address and one TCP port - as opposed to traditional application hosting that requires either multiple IP addresses or the use of different ports.
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