How to Create a Virtual Server

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Article ID: 165180 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q165180
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With Internet Information Server (IIS), you can create virtual servers that enable a single server to appear as several servers. By convention, each domain name (for example, represents an individual computer. However, it is possible to use a single computer and make it appear to be not only a primary server (for example, named, but also servers for different departments of your company (for example,,, etc.). You can create virtual servers for these departments with Microsoft Internet Information Server. You do not need a different computer for each domain name.


To create virtual servers, you must get Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the primary server and for each virtual server you want to create. For example, you assign the first IP address ( in the Domain Name System (DNS) as (your primary server), and assign C:\Wwwroot as its content home directory. You register the second IP address ( in the DNS as, and assign a different drive or directory as its content home directory. Therefore, it appears to users on the Internet that there are two computers when in fact it is the same computer running one copy of the WWW Service.

NOTE: If you create a home directory without specifying an IP address, that home directory will be used for all requests containing server IP addresses not specified in other home directories.

These multiple IP addresses can be assigned to multiple network adapter cards or to a single card. You use the Control Panel, Network to bind the additional IP addresses to your network adapter card. On the Protocol tab, click TCP/IP protocol, and click Properties. Type the first IP address, subnet mask, and the computer's default gateway under Specify an IP Address on the IP Address tab.

Then click the Advanced tab to display the Advanced IP Addressing dialog box. To add additional IP addresses to your network interface card, click the Add button under IP Addresses.

NOTE: When you assign more than one IP address to a single network interface card, you must disable automatic DHCP configuration. The DHCP server cannot assign multiple IP addresses to the same network interface card.

To set up a virtual server

You set up a virtual server by using the Directories Property in Internet Service Manager.
  1. To display property sheets in Internet Service Manager, double-click the WWW Service or the computer name.
  2. Click the Directories tab.
  3. Click the Add button.
  4. In the Directory box of the Directory Properties dialog box, select a directory by clicking the Browse button.
  5. Click Home Directory.
  6. Select the Virtual Server check box.
  7. Type the IP address for the virtual server.
  8. Click OK.

To specify directories with virtual servers

If you have assigned more than one IP address to your server, when you create a virtual directory, you must specify which IP address has access to that directory. If no IP address is specified, that directory will be visible to all virtual servers.

NOTE: The default directories created during setup do not specify an IP address. You may need to specify IP addresses for the default directories when you add virtual servers.


Article ID: 165180 - Last Review: June 23, 2005 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0
kbhowto kbinfo kbother KB165180
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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