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Ive always wonder how its possible to host many websites on one server.
For example dreamhost can have 100+ pages hosted on one server,
how is this abstracted?

Does it have 1 ip for every webpage hosted?

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"Pages" is trivial, but I assume you mean "domains". – Dennis Williamson Feb 26 '11 at 0:02
up vote 7 down vote accepted

From the Wikipedia article:

In name-based virtual hosting, also called shared IP hosting, the virtual hosts serve multiple hostnames on a single machine with a single IP address. When a web browser requests a resource from a web server using HTTP/1.1 it includes the requested hostname as part of the request. The server uses this information to determine which web site to show the user.

In IP-based virtual hosting, also called dedicated IP hosting, each virtual host has a different IP address. The web server is configured with multiple physical network interfaces, or virtual network interfaces on the same physical interface. The web server software uses the IP address the client connects to in order to determine which web site to show the user. The primary reason for a site to use a dedicated IP is to be able to use its own SSL certificate rather than a shared certificate.

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thanks, not sure why i didnt wiki it. – madmaze Feb 26 '11 at 1:47

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