mod_proxy and mod_vhost_alias are two very important extensions/modules for Apache web-server. When it comes to hosting multiple websites on same Web-Server using Apache or requirement to run Apache and IIS together then mod_proxy and mod_vhost_alias are key to succeed.
Here is summary of definition for both modules from Apache docs.
This module implements a proxy/gateway for Apache. It implements proxying capability for
HTTP/1.1. The module can be configured to connect to other proxy modules for these and other protocols.
Apache's proxy features are divided into several modules in addition to
mod_proxy_connect. Thus, if you want to use one or more of the particular proxy functions, load
mod_proxyand the appropriate module(s) into the server (either statically at compile-time or dynamically via the
In addition, extended features are provided by other modules. Caching is provided by
mod_cacheand related modules. The ability to contact remote servers using the SSL/TLS protocol is provided by the
mod_ssl. These additional modules will need to be loaded and configured to take advantage of these features.
This module creates dynamically configured virtual hosts, by allowing the IP address and/or the
Host:header of the HTTP request to be used as part of the pathname to determine what files to serve. This allows for easy use of a huge number of virtual hosts with similar configurations.
How to host multiple domains/sub-domains on a web-server using Apache Virtual-Hosting (mod_vhost_alias)?
This is another common requirement where we need to host multiple domains or sub-domains on a single web-server, to do if you are using Apache 2.x then just un-comment following line from httpd.conf file if it is commented.
LoadModule vhost_alias_module modules/mod_vhost_alias.so
With Apache 2.x directory structure for go to /apache/conf/extra/httpd-vhost.conf and paste following line of code:
<VirtualHost *:80> DocumentRoot D:/www/digitss.com ServerName digitss.com ServerAlias www.digitss.com ServerAlias digitss.net ErrorLog logs/digitss.com-error.log CustomLog logs/digitss.com-access.log common <Directory "D:/www/digitss.com"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks # # AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files. # It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords: # Options FileInfo AuthConfig Limit # AllowOverride None # # Controls who can get stuff from this server. # Order allow,deny Allow from all </Directory> </VirtualHost>
We can specify another web-root for specific virtual-host as well and it can have complete different configuration too. We can also specify as much ServerAlias as we want, all of which will point to a single server.
How to pass request from Apache to ISS or any other web-server running on another port of same/other server?
This could be a common requirement when we need to have one main domain running with Apache Server serving LAMP web-app and we want some IIS application to host on same server but we don't want user to access them by typing in www.domain.com:88 or something similar we just want it to be accessible via regular port 80. Yes, we would need mod_vhost_alias and mod_proxy both of them active to make it work. Un-comment following lines from Apache's httpd.conf file:
LoadModule proxy_module modules/mod_proxy.so LoadModule proxy_http_module modules/mod_proxy_http.so
Here is the simple set of line, placing them in /apache/conf/extra/httpd-vhost.conf file should do the magic for you:
<VirtualHost *:80> ProxyPreserveHost On ProxyPass / http://127.0.0.1:88/ ProxyPassReverse / http://127.0.0.1:88/ ServerName apps.digitss.com ErrorLog logs/apps.digitss.com-error.log CustomLog logs/apps.digitss.com-access.log common </VirtualHost> #or <VirtualHost *:80> ProxyPreserveHost On ProxyPass / http://anotherdomain.com:8008/ ProxyPassReverse / http://anotherdomain.com:8008/ ServerName apps.digitss.com ErrorLog logs/apps.digitss.com-error.log CustomLog logs/apps.digitss.com-access.log common </VirtualHost>
For above example, apps.digitss.com will point to either local or remote proxy server running on other port and will be transparent to users.
Please comment and let me know if mod_proxy or mod_vhost_alias has done some other magic for you.!