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Abstract -- Schizophrenic HTTP Server Application Technology Track
A6: Engineering the Web

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Schizophrenic HTTP Server

Barrett, Alan P. ( barrett@ee.und.ac.za)


Organisations wanting to advertise on the Internet often see establishing a World-Wide Web server as a priority, and may commission a separate organisation to run the server. For example, the server can be placed in a well-connected location and tended by experts, while the organisation that commissioned the server may have poor Internet connectivity.

In order to optimise resource utilisation, the organisations that operate WWW server facilities may wish to run several near-independent servers on each physical host, perhaps on behalf of several independent advertisers.

URLs referring to information related to a particular advertiser encode the name of the host on which the server resides and a host-specific path name. The HTTP protocol used between WWW clients and servers does not pass the host name to the server; servers are expected to know their own names.

This suggests that, where several near-independent servers are run on a single host, the host-specific path name will have to be used to differentiate between them. However, if the host has multiple IP addresses, it is possible to use separate IP address to differentiate between near-independent servers on the host, and to arrange for each IP address to be associated with a different host name. In this way, clients can be presented with a view of several independent servers on independent hosts, despite the reality that the servers reside on a single host.

This paper will discuss methods of implementing schizophrenic WWW servers on a few common Unix-like platforms. It will include information about server software, host configuration, domain name service configuration, and techniques for assigning multiple IP