OT 1.3 & Single-Link Multihoming — Mark Kriegsman <[email protected]> of ClearWay Technologies writes:
It’s nice to see Open Transport 1.3 (OT) receiving good press, but I think you missed two important points in "Open Transport 1.3" in TidBITS-414.
Although you focus on the multiple IP address functions of OT 1.3, you overlooked the far more universal and significant point of OT 1.3 for Web servers: it’s much faster for Web servers than older versions of OT. Apple fixed a bug that inserted an unnecessary delay between the first two packets sent for each new connection. For Web servers, this meant an added delay for every hit! OT 1.3 eliminates the delay, speeding every hit on every Mac Web server using OT 1.3.
For over a year, the W3C has strongly recommended that webmasters not consume additional IP addresses simply for Web hosting. The W3C in fact now insists that all Web clients and servers be able to do Web hosting via the HTTP Host field; further, they recommend that when a browser does not supply the Host field, the server should use heuristics to locate the correct file to serve. Although OT 1.3 does support multiple IP addresses, the driving need for this feature has now passed, and the use of multiple IP addresses for Web hosting is strongly discouraged. Having it in OT 1.3 is a nice "brag point" for the Mac, but real-world webmasters should follow current standards.
You mentioned both OpenDoor’s HomeDoor and Jon Stevens’s ClearlyHome as alternative Web hosting packages, but omitted our FireSite VDM. FireSite VDM implements both of the W3C’s recommendations: it uses the HTTP Host field if available, and it uses heuristics to select the correct file otherwise. This allows search engines complete access to FireSite-hosted sites, even using a single IP address. Under OT 1.3 (and W*API 1.3), FireSite VDM does allow webmasters to use multiple IP addresses for Web hosting if they wish. FireSite VDM also includes features to support "seamless DNS transitions" from single to multiple IP setups and back.