How Do I ... Request a Virtual Host on the Corporate Web Server

Contents


Introduction

The main corporate web server (http://www.uwo.ca) contains sites for many faculties, departments and units on campus. Some sites choose to be published with their own URL (i.e. http://www.faculty.uwo.ca). Instead of setting up a new server to do this, the main server can be configured to handle requests for other names like www.faculty.uwo.ca. Requests for pages using these other names can be mapped to the current home area of the site. A site that is set up in this way is called a virtual host. With our corporate web server, virtual hosts can be set up in the .uwo.ca domain or in external domains like .on.ca, .com, .org, .net. If required, stats like those created for the main server can be created for virtual hosts.

This How do I ... describes how to request the set up of a virtual host for your site on the main corporate web server.
Note: There are set up and maintenance charges for virtual hosts. Please see Section 7. Hosting Domain Name and Web Services in the  ITS Services Document for details on these charges.

Before you proceed with this process, you should already have a site set up on the main corporate web server (www.uwo.ca). If you are not already set up, please contact Web Admin <webadm@uwo.ca> and request space for your site. (Keep in mind that space on www.uwo.ca is allocated for official departmental web sites.)

Choose a domain

Choose one of the following:

  1. Within uwo.ca: While it is possible to have external domains, we strongly recommend that you stay within the .uwo.ca domain. This domain is the only one that is free to use and requires little or no set up on your part. If you wish to use this domain, you can go to Choose a Name for your virtual host below.
  2. External: If you want to have an external domain set up for your site, it is your responsibility to register the domain with the proper authorities. Any fees associated with this registration are also your responsibility. Note that the Network Operations Center <noc@uwo.ca> at ITS has fees associated with setting up an external domain as they are required to host the domain for you.

    Before you register a domain, please check with Web Admin <webadm@uwo.ca> and the Network Operations Centre <noc@uwo.ca> to confirm that the setup of a virtual host in the desired domain is acceptable and that we will host the domain for you.

    To register a .ca domain you need to contact one of the organizations on the Registrar's List provided by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (http://www.cira.ca/). We recommend Web Names (http://www.webnames.ca).

    When registering a domain, you will be asked to provide certain information which will also be used for the hosting of the site. It will expedite matters if you know in advance what information you need to provide the group registering the domain that will also be required for hosting the site. Please contact the Network Operations Centre <noc@uwo.ca> and discuss your plans for registering your domain.

Choose a name

Once you have chosen your domain (and registered it if not .uwo.ca) you need to choose a name. If you have a domain like faculty.org then a suitable name may just be www giving you www.faculty.org. If you are in the .uwo.ca domain then you need something larger like www.faculty giving you www.faculty.uwo.ca. This is really your choice but remember it should represent your site and be professional. Note that www is just a convention and does not need to appear in the name.

Do I want stats?

Statistics can be created for virtual hosts. The resulting stats will look exactly like the main corporate web stats (http://www.uwo.ca/Usage). There are charges associated with generating stats for your virtual host. You choose whether or not to have stats generated and this can be done at the beginning or added on at a later date, but it is easiest if it is done during the initial set up.

Submit the request for a virtual host.

Once you have chosen your domain name (and registered it if external) and decided if you want stats, please complete and submit the Virtual Host Request form. This request will be processed by Web Admin. They will:

  • follow up with the Network Operations Center to complete the domain set up (if external) and set up the DNS data for the host name
  • then set up the virtual host on the web server at which time requests to your old site will be redirected to your new name.

You will then need to update all links to pages inside your site to the new name.

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