Can I use the same SSL certificate on two different machine?

deve-lopez used Ask the Experts™

Consider the following setup:

- 1 production Web Sever A supported by Hosting Service A
- 1 backup Web Server B supported by Hosting Service B

Is it OK to install the same SSL Certificate on Web Server A and Web Server B knowing that the DNS will only be pointing to one Web Server at a time since Web Server B is there just as a redundancy backup?

Note: I don't think that would be an issue but just in case Web Server A is Linux based while Web Server B Windows based.

Let me know?

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nope, they're keyed to the server.
Each machine needs its own ssl certificate, but you don't have to pay someone to create a certificate just so you can have encrypted and secure traffic. You can create your own certificate that is just as secure, it just won't be signed by a big company and people will get a warning about it.
This is a link to a tutorial for creating  your own.
In Windows if you have access to the machine you can export the SSL from machine 1 and and install on another machine. I'm sorry - I don't have the expertise to export in Linux, but your host should be able to do this.

Here's how to do ot in IIS 6

IIS 7 is even easier, but slightly different.

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I am guessing my question needs some clarifications:

The certificate I have is signed by an Authority and I have all the info needed for an Installation.

My understanding was that:

If the certificate is installed on two different computers, I can point my domain name using the DNS settings to one computer and when needed (i.e. server maintenance) change the DNS info of my domain name so it points to the other computer.

I would understand that it would not work if it was another domain but here it is the same domain we are talking about, am I missing anything?

Thanks, D.
Neither the domain nor certificate authority matters.

DNS doe not matter either - that just maps the IP address to the domain name.

We move sites from server to server and move or copy (for a server farm) SSL certificates regularly.

We do have access to the physical server though - I don't think you can do that without the help of your hosting company.


That's what I thought too.
Yes I do have access to the physical servers in that case so it should be good.
Thanks for the feedback and confirmation.

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