guideline for name-based web hosting justification

Alec H. Peterson ahp at
Tue Sep 12 12:10:13 EDT 2000

"John A. Tamplin" wrote:
> I suspect the rest of them would have similar results.
> We do high-volume (in terms of customers, not traffic) low-cost hosting
> for small businesses under Cornerpost, where all of the pages are
> generated dynamically out of a database using a custom web server.  Only a
> small number of customers have a domain name associated with it (the rest
> get URLs like, and that all uses name-based
> hosting.  If an HTTP/1.0 request comes in without the identifier, they get
> a "sorry, please upgrade your browser" message.  When we started this, we
> knew we were leaving out a large number of people with older browsers, but
> this was the only way we could accomplish what we wanted in a scalable
> fashion (people-wise as well as hardware).  Fortunately, since relatively
> few of these customers go to the trouble to get a domain name (although it is
> increasing), it hasn't been an issue.

Interesting numbers, although some other people have pointed out that some
browsers that use HTTP/1.0 requests still send the Host: header as well.  Is
there an easy way to get numbers on that?

> For the more traditional hosting customers, we use IP-based hosting and
> provide SMTP/POP/IMAP/FTP (including anonymous), and SSL if they pay for
> that.  It would require massive changes to our management tools, customer
> setup, and business model to switch these to name-based hosting.  

No doubt; especially since today's methods of doing SSL require a unique IP.

The policy allows for exceptions, and I hope we will be able to list some
specific ones at the next meeting.

If you don't mind sharing it, what percentage of your virtual hosts have
these other services (SMTP/POP/IMAP/FTP/SSL)?  I'm just curious (I'm curious
what percentage of people want to pay for it).

> In
> addition, while if everyone did this it might spur those with older browsers
> to upgrade (assuming they can -- some of them are using browsers on TV
> set-top boxes, video game consoles, etc), if only some sites do this then
> the customers will probably just go to other sites that still work.  I doubt
> customer paying for hosting want to lose even 10% of their customers, much
> less 30-40%.

Agreed, although if some of these older browsers are also sending Host:
headers then it might not be as big an issue as it seems....


Alec H. Peterson - ahp at
Staff Scientist
CenterGate Research Group -
"Technology so advanced, even _we_ don't understand it!"

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