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From Andrew Ho <>
Subject Re: Apache VirtualHost design
Date Fri, 09 Mar 2001 19:47:20 GMT

SK>With Apache 1.2, if you change IPs, you don't have to change the
SK>configuration file.  You don't even have to restart Apache!  Only
SK>HTTP/1.0 requests will have problems during the migration, just as they
SK>would with Apache 1.3.
SK>With Apache 1.3, you are screwed.  The new IP will be useless until you
SK>restart Apache, and then the old IP will be broken unless you have
SK>manually duplicated the <VirtualHost> block in the configuration file so
SK>that Apache will recognize it on both IPs.

There is another situation where needing IPs in the configuration file is
a big pain, which is when you have load balanced servers that share the
same config (except for IPs), too.

Have you looked at Apache 1.3.12 and up? They allow you to use the syntax:

    <VirtualHost *>

This is super convenient and eliminates the IP managing annoyance. I think
this would give you back the convenience that you are looking for.

SK>I don't see why this change to make requests _more_ dependent on IP
SK>address was made, especially with HTTP/1.1 supposed to be _removing_
SK>dependencies on IPs. The browser is _never_ going to send the wrong
SK>name, so why not always host the name if available?

To be fair, there ARE excellent reasons to need explicit binding to IP
addresses. For example, if your machine is multi-homed and certain
requests must be limited to certain networks.

Note that in the case of where your whole machine need to be limited (I
want to listen only on the private interface for example) you can use
Listen to bind to an explicit IP, then <VirtualHost *> and at least reduce
the occurrence of the IP to one spot. Also, if you're transitioning IPs
you can spend one day with Listen * and then switch the Listen to your new
IP after the switch is complete.



Andrew Ho     
Engineer                   Voice 650-930-9062
Tellme Networks, Inc.       1-800-555-TELL            Fax 650-930-9101

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