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From Mike Soultanian <msoul...@csulb.edu>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Need help with VirtualHost/forwarding
Date Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:37:48 GMT
On 8/12/2010 6:28 AM, Phil Howard wrote:
>> Our current site is here on server F (failing server):
>
> It looks like a whole different subnet, so I assume it is running
> within your department.

Nope, different department with different admins.  Plus, the 
administrator for server F has taken a new job elsewhere - bad situation.

>> http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/cota
>
> I'm guessing you have limited access there, to only a set of
> subdirectories that include that one (or maybe just that one).

yes, I just have access to /colleges/cota.  I can use .htaccess files 
and I can put requests in for changes to httpd.conf.

>> server - the problem is that it can't be done for another couple weeks (IT
>> department won't do it right away as it involves restarting all of the
>> servers and a whole change management process).
>
> Remind me to not ever set up any kind of change management processes
> like that.  Sounds like IT is "top heavy".

Heh - yeah, kinda frustrating.  The guy that is doing the Apache config 
is going on vacation, so we have to wait until he comes back (a couple 
weeks) before the change can be made.

> I really don't know why restarting servers is such a big deal.  if it
> has such a wide impact, sounds like the server itself has too much on
> it.

 From what they've told me, they restart all 32 instances served by 
their 3 clustered servers, so the downtime is minimal, but this is a 
production environment so taking down something like the campus web 
server needs to go through their Change Management process.  It's 
actually not that bad (except in this particular situation) because they 
send out a notification to the involved parties (the entire campus, in 
this case) so that everyone knows what's happening and people don't 
freak out when something isn't working.

>> - it doesn't even need to keep the same URL in the address bar - I just need
>> the user transferred over to the new site location.
>
> Why can't server I (interim server) just become the effective
> production server just for "cota.csulb.edu" by having the content from
> server F copied there. You'd already be putting a virtual host
> configuration in there, anyway.  Is it a space issue?  A demand load
> issue?

That machine isn't running php and I really don't want to figure out how 
to install it and get everything configured.  Believe me, I could, but 
time's an issue and this needs to work today (Thursday).  I already have 
Apache running and it's stable and I just need this setup to work for 
another two weeks without any lost sleep.  That's why I figured the 
easiest thing to do is just forward everyone over to the main server 
until we're able to make the VirtualHost change on the main server and 
then make the final update to the (www.)cota.csulb.edu DNS entry.

> You might want to consider that the difficulty in undoing things that
> make users used to "http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/cota" is greater.
> If you had the "cota" site separate, you should keep it separate, so
> you have more discrete control.  You can't just replace server F with
> a similar configured new server?

Server F is running ColdFusion and is being depreciated - the 
(www.)cota.csulb.edu DNS name will eventually get depreciated in favor 
of www.csulb.edu/cota (which forwards to www.csulb.edu/colleges/cota).

While this is somewhat of a pain to have the interim server, it does 
give me some time to experiment with httpd.conf settings.  Then when the 
admin comes back from vacation I'll be able to give him my config and 
not have to give him more updates which would involve more Change 
Management requests.

So I was playing around and came up with this:

TEST DNS:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName wwwtest.cota.csulb.edu
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/cota/ [R=permanent]
</VirtualHost>


REAL DNS (goes live sometime on Thursday):

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName cota.csulb.edu
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/cota/ [R=permanent]
</VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName www.cota.csulb.edu
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.csulb.edu/colleges/cota/ [R=permanent]
</VirtualHost>

The first one is just a test to make sure it was working correctly (that 
DNS will be removed later today).  In a couple hours 
(www.)cota.csulb.edu should be updated and the second two will go into 
effect.  I had initially done it with the Redirect directive, but I 
found that RewriteRule saves all the arguments after the ?  (but drops 
the filename) which is really helpful (they're the same for both the php 
and ColdFusion versions of our software).

Is there any way to combine the last two entries into one so that the 
VirtualHost will respond to both www.cota.csulb.edu and cota.csulb.edu?

Thanks!
Mike

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