Sometimes having a dedicated server is more than you need. You still want the security and reliability of your own server, but don’t want to pay the cost of having an entire server dedicated to just you. This is where Virtual Hosting comes in. Virtual Hosting allows for you to have your own independent server ‘virtually’ existing within a physical piece of equipment.
Virtual hosting is a method for hosting multiple domain names (with separate handling of each name) on a single server (or pool of servers). This allows one server to share its resources, such as memory and processor cycles, without requiring all services provided to use the same host name. Virtual servers offer the flexibility of having a custom-configured environment without the cost associated with a dedicated server. The server’s configuration would be tuned to your specific needs. Whether your needs are specific libraries for your application or different versions of software, a virtual server is a perfect solution for your business.
One major advantage to virtual server hosting is that, as opposed to traditional shared hosting, your environment is completely configured to your applications needs. You need not worry about what software is installed or which versions are running. Within a virtual server, your requirements define how we setup the environment.
The biggest issue with name-based virtual hosting is that it is difficult to host multiple secure websites running SSL/TLS. Because the SSL/TLS handshake takes place before the expected hostname is sent to the server, the server doesn’t know which certificate to present in the handshake. It is possible for a single certificate to cover multiple names either through the “subject alt name” field or through wildcards but the practical application of this approach is limited by administrative considerations and by the matching rules for wildcards. There is an extension to TLS called Server Name Indication, that presents the name at the start of the handshake to circumvent that issue, except for some older clients (in particular Internet Explorer on Windows XP or older Android versions) which do not implement SNI.
MVI offers virtual servers in both Windows and Linux varieties.