how many ips on a server?

I'm not certain which sub category I should pose this question in.  I work mostly in html, but one of my clients would like to purchase a large number of domains.  The fees for hosting different domains, even on a dedicated server, each with a different IP number are a lot per month.  He is considering purchasing his own server.  Probably it would be linux or unix, although I can't say for sure.  The general question here is, assuming the sites are each only one or two pages in or alternatively perhaps some might be three, but could be dynamic with a database, how many such sites can fit on a typical server, and if this is a hard drive issue, I can be more specific.  How large a hard drive, and how fast a processor would it take to run 1000 different domains with different IP numbers, (or is this not even possible)  some of which might be dynamic.  How about if none were dynamic?
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The number of IPs that can be assigned to a physical NIC is largely a function of the OS and driver software. Frankly, I've never researched this sort of thing, but I would expect any competent OS and drivers to be able to handle at least 256 IP addresses per physical NIC.

But you probably wouldn't want to do that, because your performance is going to suffer when you try to shovel that much traffic thru one board and one bus interface.

There's also no such thing as a "typical server", any more than there is such a thing as a "typical rock". Server hardware comes in a variety of architectures (Intel, Sparc, Power PC just to name a few), instruction sets (RISC and CISC) and so forth. *NIX and NetWare systems typically require a fraction of the resources to accomplish the same tasks as Windoze.

Your server design is going to be driven by your budget, your personnel's areas of expertise (or the budget for contracting people with expertise), and a host of other factors, such as what web technologies you want to support (e.g. Perl, PHP, MySQL, Apache, Tomcat, CGI scripting, et. al.) This is not a casual set of questions, these are often complex decisions involving considerable thought.

Personally, I would not implement an environment accessible to the public at large that placed a web server with a database backend on the same physical machine. The two would exist on separate physical servers, and the web server would be in a DMZ, with limited communication to the back end. Thus a web server compromise would not necessarily lead to a database server compromise.

Even at 500 points, I really think that the kinda of information and deliberation you need is outside the scope of what can be reasonably accomplished in this forum. You have numerous technical issues and options, and they really need to be explored by someone with both the technical expertise and an understanding of your business model - in short, a consultant.

This question deasn't have one answer but several due to many reasons(experience, personal preference,...)
For something like what your client is trying doing, i would suggest a Dell or HP server with three to five HD setup as a combination of Raid 0, 1 10...or even RAID5

Hope this helps...

linqueAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for taking the time to explain to me the real nature of what might be behind my naive questions.  You've both rather gently shown me that this is not such a simple undertaking.  I appreciate the advice and will pass it along.

You can host 10000+ websites on one IP.  So thats not a problem for sure.
Ok let me attempt. If sites are just 2 or 3 pages, and you have 1000 domains.
That means 3000 pages. dynamic or not dynamic it all fits on a average linux server.

Actually the truth is, it doesnt matter if its 10000 pages or 100000domains, the thing is how many people will visit those websites?

And the harddisk is easy to figure out, if one page is 5kb, you have 3000 pages, its 15000kb. Thats 15mb, thats like nothing ;p But you understand how to calculate that.

And processor, well depends on the load. How many visitors.

Actually if you tell me what the estimated visitors will be in a day, then I can estimate better.

I disagree with the post above, about consultant, you just need a good administrator. Its piece of cake for a good admin.
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