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From Jim Winstead <j...@trainedmonkey.com>
Subject Re: [PATCH] apache_1.3.9-mod_rewrite-hash-patch
Date Sun, 10 Oct 1999 20:49:17 GMT
On Oct 10, Tony Finch wrote:
> os@wol.dk (WOL - Odinn Sorensen) wrote:
> >While investigating ways to do really massive virtual hosting, I needed some
> >way to introduce hashing of document roots, without the overhead of calling 
> >external mapping programs.
> 
> How big is "really massive"? Demon use a layout similar to the second
> example described in http://www.apache.org/docs/mod/mod_vhost_alias on
> the Homepages system which has about 70,000 vhosts.

At HomePage.com, we're using something similar to what Odinn
suggests. Our last press release says we had 375,000 users (vhosts)
back in the beginning of September.

I find the choice of hash function in Odinn's patch pretty
questionable, though. There's one I've always meant to test at
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/bob_jenkins/doobs.htm,
and of course MD5 is already in Apache.

> Using a hash is attractive from the point of view of doing it
> properly, but in my experience it makes it harder for the sysadmins to
> locate a particular web site in the filesystem for debugging or
> support or whatever.

We haven't found this to be a problem at all. We have a simple
command-line tool that can do the hashing (so you can do something
along the lines of "cd `lookup janedoe.homepage.com`"). And of
course all of our web-based adminstration tools just know how to
handle things automatically and none of the support people even
have to know what sorts of hashing happens behind the scenes if
they stick to those tools.

> >The following patch to mod_rewrite (against 1.3.9), adds a new internal
> >mapping function, "hash" and the configuration directive RewriteHashBuckets.
> 
> Cool, but I still think you should use mod_vhost_alias (of course I would).

Undoubtedly the right way to go these days. It may be worthwhile
adding hash-like functionality to mod_vhost_alias, though, for
those that are really concerned about good distribution of the
virtual hosts (different parts of the hash tree may be mounted on
different filesystems, for example).

Now if only there was a mod_block_warez_and_mp3z....

Jim

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