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From "Tim Nagel" <>
Subject Re: Advanced Mass Hosting Module
Date Fri, 14 Mar 2003 00:00:09 GMT
I would also love to see such a module available, and im very willing to
contribute in any way i can, however, im skillless in the C arena :(

Good luck.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nathan Ollerenshaw" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 10:27 PM
Subject: Advanced Mass Hosting Module

> Resending this to this list as I got no response on users list.
> Currently, we are using flat config files generated by our website
> provisioning software to support our mass hosted customers. The reason
> for doing it this way, and not using the mod_vhost_alias module is
> because we need to be able to turn on/off CGI, PHP, Java, shtml etc on
> a per vhost basis. We need the power that having a distinct
> <VirtualHost> directive for each site gives you.
> Is there a better way?
> What I have in mind is a module that fits in with our current LDAP
> based infrastructure. Currently, LDAP services our mail users, and I
> would like to see the Apache mass hosting configuration held in LDAP as
> well. In this way, we can just scale by adding more apache servers,
> mounting the shared docroot and pointing them to the LDAP server.
> The LDAP entry would look something like this:
> #, base
> dn:, o=base
> siteGidNumber: 10045
> siteUidNumber: 10045
> objectClass: top
> objectClass: apacheVhost
> serverName:
> serverAlias:
> serverAlias:
> docRoot: /data/web/04/09/
> vhostStatus: enabled
> phpStatus: enabled
> shtmlStatus: enabled
> cgiStatus: enabled
> dataOutSoftLimit: 1000000 (in bytes per month)
> dataOutHardLimit: 10000000
> dataInSoftLimit: 1000000
> dataInHardLimit: 10000000
> dataThrottleRate: 1000000 (in bits/sec)
> Then, as a request came in, the imaginary mod_advanced_masshosting
> module would first check to see if it had the information about the
> domain already cached in memory (to avoid hitting LDAP for every HTTP
> request, which would be a Bad Idea) and then if not, it would grab the
> entry from LDAP, cache it, and service the incoming requests.
> The cache itself would need to be shared among the actual child apache
> processes somehow.
> In addition to these features, the module would keep track of the
> amount of data transferred in & out for each vhost and apply a
> soft/hard limit when the limits defined in the LDAP entry were reached.
> The amount of actual data transferred would periodically be written to
> either a GDBM file or even to an LDAP entry (not sure what is best -
> probably LDAP for consistency) and the data would also need to be
> shared among any servers in a cluster somehow.
> This would enable ISPs to bill on a per vhost basis fairly accurately,
> and limit abusive sites.
> Now, I've looked around for something like this, and as far as I can
> see, there isn't anything that does vhosting quite like this, except
> for the commercial systems out there such as Zeus.
> Do people think this is a good approach?
> Will another method give me what I want? (LDAP is not a dependency,
> just a nice-to-have)
> Finally, I am thinking about starting an Open Source project to write
> this module. My C is pretty primitive right now, though I have got
> simple LDAP lookup code working already (just not in Apache, yet).
> Would anyone else see this as a worthwhile project for Apache?
> It certainly would solve our problems, but it sometimes feels like I'm
> trying to fix a simple problem with something very heavy - though
> implemented correctly, I don't think performance will be a problem.
> Comments gratefully received :)
> Regards,
> Nathan.
> --
> Nathan Ollerenshaw - Systems Engineer - Shared Hosting
> ValueCommerce Japan -
> If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a
> couple of car payments.

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