What’s New in IIS 6

It’s fair to presume that everyone involved in computing now has surfed the Web. The Web has become integrated into popular culture and many people now consider it a necessary utility, such as power and water. Microsoft recognizes this implantation of the Web into everyday life and has capitalized on it. Of course, the company also believes web services are the foundation of its revenue base in the future, so one shouldn’t find it too hard to believe that Microsoft would improve the product on which it’s basing its existence. But, no matter the impetus behind the revision, we all benefit from these improvements, as I’ll discuss in this section.

In IIS 6 you can create multiple virtual servers on a single physical machine, with each virtual server acting as its own copy of IIS, having its own properties and security configuration. The most popular use of this is among commercial web hosting companies that host tens or hundreds of individual web sites on one machine. By configuring multiple virtual servers, these companies can isolate each customer’s traffic and configuration.

Although virtual servers are nice, perhaps the most important architectural improvement in IIS 6 is the new web service DLL that is independent from the web serving mechanism. The new DLL is called into memory by worker processes, which you know from the previous section are simply separate “threads” that work on requests from the kernel mode web server driver, HTTP.SYS. These worker processes ...

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