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Setting up externally facing websites

    Question

  • Hello, I need some assistance with setting up an externally facing website. I am primarily a hardware guy but was handed off this project. So to start, I have a 2003 box with my DNS and DHCP located on it. The box that I am trying to setup the externally facing websites is a 2008 R2 box. The 2008 R2 box has IIS 7 installed and ready to go. I am a noob as far as setting up the sites. I am familiar with IIS 5 and 6 but this is my first involvement with 7. Also I do have a static IP from my ISP.

    What settings do I need to apply to the DNS and DHCP to get the 2008 R2 box externally facing. Then what settings do I need to apply to the individual websites to allow the external pipe to flow?

    Thank you for your assistance,

    Tucker<o:p></o:p>


    Monday, March 05, 2012 7:35 PM

Answers

  • Hi Tucker,

    Firstly, I am going to assume that your Windows Server 2003 DNS box does not host the public DNS zone for the websites that you want to enable external access for (but please correct me if I am wrong).  If not then then DNS Settings and DHCP settings on the Server 2003 box should have no real relevance to the Server 2008 R2 box.  I would strongly advise setting the Server 2008 R2 box to use a static IP address.

    Once you have a static IP address on your Server 2008 R2 box you can then allow the web traffic through your firewall \ router, either via a regular firewall rule if your server is in a DMZ or via NAT if required.  The rule you require should allow HTTP traffic on port 80 inbound, you will also need to ensure that you allow the traffic through the Windows Firewall on your Server 2008 R2 box.

    Once your firewall is setup and traffic is passing through correctly then the final step is to setup the sites in IIS.  The key setting for creating externally accessible websites is the Host Header, particularly if you are hosting multiple web sites on the same IP address.  For each site on your IIS server you should setup a host header for the URL's that the site will be accessed by, bound to the IP address on the server that is listening for web traffic (for information on how to setup Host Headers in IIS 7.5 see http://www.dotnetscraps.com/dotnetscraps/post/Did-you-know-Add-host-header-to-a-Web-Site-in-IIS-7-IIS-75.aspx)

    Once you have setup the firewall and host headers then you will need to ensure that public A records for the sites that you are hosting are pointed at your servers IP address and you should then be up and running.

    Let me know if you need more info

    Cheers
    Chris


    Monday, March 05, 2012 10:58 PM

All replies

  • Hi Tucker,

    Firstly, I am going to assume that your Windows Server 2003 DNS box does not host the public DNS zone for the websites that you want to enable external access for (but please correct me if I am wrong).  If not then then DNS Settings and DHCP settings on the Server 2003 box should have no real relevance to the Server 2008 R2 box.  I would strongly advise setting the Server 2008 R2 box to use a static IP address.

    Once you have a static IP address on your Server 2008 R2 box you can then allow the web traffic through your firewall \ router, either via a regular firewall rule if your server is in a DMZ or via NAT if required.  The rule you require should allow HTTP traffic on port 80 inbound, you will also need to ensure that you allow the traffic through the Windows Firewall on your Server 2008 R2 box.

    Once your firewall is setup and traffic is passing through correctly then the final step is to setup the sites in IIS.  The key setting for creating externally accessible websites is the Host Header, particularly if you are hosting multiple web sites on the same IP address.  For each site on your IIS server you should setup a host header for the URL's that the site will be accessed by, bound to the IP address on the server that is listening for web traffic (for information on how to setup Host Headers in IIS 7.5 see http://www.dotnetscraps.com/dotnetscraps/post/Did-you-know-Add-host-header-to-a-Web-Site-in-IIS-7-IIS-75.aspx)

    Once you have setup the firewall and host headers then you will need to ensure that public A records for the sites that you are hosting are pointed at your servers IP address and you should then be up and running.

    Let me know if you need more info

    Cheers
    Chris


    Monday, March 05, 2012 10:58 PM
  • Setting up this IIS server is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you already have a domain name, your domain registrar is most likely including DNS management.  If they do, its already included in the cost of your registration.  In this case, I would not bother hosting your own DNs server.  For one, the registar has already invested in a highly reliable and fault tolerant DNS infrastructure.  Even if you host your own, it would be recommended that you have at least two DNS servers, preferrably not on the same network.  Of course, the decision really depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what your needs are.  If you are just learning about websites and DNS management, then that is a different story.  As Chris recommended, DHCP is not a role needed for web site hosting, or DNS management. 

    I would recommend that you read over the tutorials that I have on my site.  They provided a high level summary of the steps and you'll be more familiar with the steps you need to take.  http://www.itgeared.com, Web Building series.  Some of the topics include:

    • Typical costs for running a website
    • Obtaining a domain name
    • Having your domain name resolve on the Internet
    • Types of web sites you can host
    • Where to host your web site
    • How to set up a website
    • Options for programming and coding your site
    • Add-ons to your website such as blogs, forums, shopping carts
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
    • Getting listed on the web
    • How to get users to visit your website

    Guides and tutorials, visit ITGeared.com.

    itgeared.com facebook twitter youtube

    Monday, March 05, 2012 11:50 PM