Subdomain Pointing to Hosting Account

So here's the situation:

My company is selling a website management platform called Cola.  It's basically a CMS with integrated eCommerce, but made to be super user-friendly and built around a fine-tuned deployment process to make it easy for clients to get up and running and comfortable with the system.  As part of the seamless deployment process, we are providing and managing hosting for all of our clients.  We've purchased a dedicated Linux server running Red Hat Fedora Core 2 through GoDaddy, have 4 IP's on it, and have full control via Plesk 7.

Now ultimately what we are doing for each client is changing their domain name's name servers to point to us and setting up a hosting account around that.  However, in many cases, clients want to keep their old site live until the new site is fully completed.  During this time, we need a way to access their new site under development.  All of our clients are on shared IP's, so going direct to the IP doesn't work so well.

We decided the solution to be to register GotCola.com, and give them a specific subdomain (ie. todd.gotcola.com) to use until the site is ready to go live.

I've found that I can easily create subdomain hosting accounts in Plesk, but it does in fact create a whole new hosting account.  What I want to do is an entry for the subdomain in the DNS settings for GotCola.com and have it point to the hosting account for the actual domain.  For example, I want todd.gotcola.com to simply be a pointer to the hosting account for www.todd.com.

I'm pulling out my hair as I wade through CNAME's, A's, Master/Slave DNS, and a couple dozen other things I haven't the faintest understanding of, trying to figure out how to make this work.

Thanks!
aedeasAsked:
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btrevarthenCommented:
We run Plesk and do the same thing you're talking about with an "alias" domain for the client until their real domain is pointed to the server.  We have found that Plesk does not create additional host-headers so if you create the client's site in Plesk as "alias-domain.com" when you want to add their real domain name to the host-header you would be creating a whole new site for that client, and the directory would be different etc.  It's a real pain but the only thing we've been able to do at this stage is manage the insertion of the alias host-headers seperately.

Plesk is easy to modify so you can just add a script that runs when you create a site, so that it goes off and adds "real-domain.gotcola.com" when you add a site in Plesk (where "real-domain" is the unique element of their domain name).
Note that you'll get caught out here in terms of scalability if you only use the unnique part of the domain name "myDomain" of the full version "myDomain.com".  Because that would result in myDomain.com and myDomain.net and myDomain.org (etc) getting the same alias of "myDomain.gotcola.com".  So you might be best to create sub domains on gotcola.com first, so then you can have mydomain.com.gotcola.com - a bit long but means it's unique.

How we do it is every client has an ID so we use that, vs012345.server-web.co.nz where server-web.co.nz is the generic alias domain.

-Bruce

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aedeasAuthor Commented:
Bruce,

This sounds perfect.  How do I create this script?
btrevarthenCommented:
There should be a default folder in the inetpub directory called "AdminScripts".
You can write a script (ASP is best since it's a VB file) to invoke the required API to talk to IIS for adding a hostheader.
It was a while back when we did ours so I'll have to go and dig out what we did but you need to know what site you're adding it to etc.

Cheers
Bruce
btrevarthenCommented:
Thanks.
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