One IP Address, One Port, Multiple Web Sites on seperate servers?

Posted on 2006-04-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I'm looking to find out if it's possible to share a single IP address and port for multiple websites by using some type of traffic inspector/director.

Basically I want to host multiple web sites using a single IP, but I have a requirement to have the web sites on physically seperated servers.

Yes, I am fully aware of Host name headers and have been using them for years, but all of the websites must co-exist on a single physical server and I can not do this here.

I'm wondering if there is software or hardware which could recieve the incoming traffic, inspect the hostname header information and then direct it to the appropriate server?

I would think some form of network load balancer might do this, but havent found one yet.

Is there any technical reasons why something like this couldn't exist?
Question by:Dave_Hunt
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Im not sure on that.

    Couldn't you forward the request to another server from the Web Hosting Software your using?;en-us;313074&sd=tech

    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    Maybe try:



    run the actual web service on a single machine, and pull the data from the other machines using netbios or your favorite file-serving mechanism.

    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    If you could give us some more background and context for doing all this, we can probably be of more help.


    Author Comment

    Basically I want to have three different servers with three different owners using the same IP address (trying to avoid getting three Public IP addresses.

    One is Linux w/ Apache
    Two are 2003 Server w/ IIS

    this is why I was looking for something that can do the redirection at a network layer before the request gets to the specific host.

    adam: Your reference says "IIS instructs the browser to use the new URL"  The issue is that all public traffic should (in my theory) see the websites as the same external IP... I don't see how this could help.

    Captain:  I'm not sure how squid could help me as it seems like it is a web proxy.

    Author Comment

    adam... you got me thinking....

    Would this work???

    If I had a forth server on port 80 (HTTP) that was Running IIS and hosted the three sites, it could simply have a redirect page on them for each of the sites pointing them to a new port....

    Example redirect to redirect to redirect to

    then have the single Public IP redirect each of the different ports to different internal servers like this

    Port 80 redirect to -> "redirector server" Running IIS (contains host name headers and redirect pages)
    Port 81 redirect to -> Apache Server listening on port 81
    Port 82 redirect to -> IIS Server Site 2 listening on port 82
    Port 83 redirect to -> IIs Server Site 3 listening on port 83

    I am going to go home and try this, I will let everyone know how it works out....


    Author Comment

    Using IIS and hostname headers on a redirection box worked seamlessly!

    All three DNS records pointed to the same external IP address.  I created three sites on the redirector server each with a simple default.htm page using the following line.

    <meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" content="0; url=">

    This automatically redirected the browser to and therefore the request was then forwarded by the router to the correct internal web server and port.

    Now my web visitors dont need to worry about which port they need to use.

    NOTE:  I tested this with IE and did not try any other browser.  (IIS hostname headers may not work correctly with all browsers)

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