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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: SSL enabled name virtual hosts
Date Mon, 06 Mar 2006 10:25:29 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Burry [] 
> Sent: Montag, 6. März 2006 11:08
> To:
> Subject: Re: SSL enabled name virtual hosts
> >   
> We use a "wildcard cert" to overcome this situation... the technical 
> limitation is that all the SSL "hosts" have to end with the 
> same domain 

Absolutely. I've no doubt this indeed works - there is nothing in the protocol to prevent
it doing so. 

How did you get your wildcard cert? Did you buy it? Apparently, the cert sellers (Thwate,
Versign etc.) are not too keen on selling wildcards for the simple reason that it reduces
the number of certs required (and hence sold) - a bit like the everlasting light bulb... Was
that your experience?

My understanding is that most people using this solution are using self-signed certs and are
in a non-commercial operation. I guess a commercial vendor could use it if they wanted to
compartmentalise their trade (eg,,,,

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

PS - as Nick points out, Server Name Indication is also a method to achieve SSL-NBVH but,
again, is waiting for browser support (I couldn't get it to work even with Opera 8.5 on XP

> (a wildcard cert is bound to our domain, not any individual 
> host name), 
> but otherwise we can and do indeed run hundreds (soon to be 
> thousands) 
> of customers on their own individual host names under SSL, 
> all on port 
> 443 on one instance of apache.  Unfortunately we have to do funny 
> mod_rewrite trickery to simulate NBVH instead of using real 
> NBVH....  I 
> suspect it would be a major change in Apache architecture to use real 
> NBVH in our case (but otherwise, yes, it absolutely could be 
> technically 
> possible, given the all-must-be-in-the-same-domain, and must use a 
> "wildcard cert" limitations).
> Dave

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