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A Method of Sharing Tools in a Web Hosting Center Using VLANs Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015618D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Mar-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

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We describe a method to allow web Hosting service providers to utilize VLAN technology to share tools between customers. Web Hosting Service providers have a problem managing large numbers of customer devices with dedicated sets of tools for each and every customer. The overall cost of providing this service is increased substantially. Managing large sets of tools become nightmares from provisioning and administration standpoints. Virtual Local Area Networks (or VLANS) allow a switch to support multiple Ethernet LANs that are logically distinct from each other. Two devices on different VLANs cannot communicate with each other any more than if they were on separate LANs. A router is required to forward the traffic between the VLANs. This property is used to provide service for multiple customers in a shared infrastructure in a manner that provides additional features and services at a reduced cost. The specific set of resources that are shared are the tools resources in a web hosting site. The big advantage of this method is that an ISP does not have to replicate tools for each customer at significantly high cost. It uses VLANS to separate the customers accessing a central tools segments. Customer flows cannot access data bases or web servers which pertain to other customers or the service provider. However, all the customers can access a set of tools that are used by the service provider to provision and administer devices that are owned by the different customers. C om m on Tools Custom er A