General Question

superjuicebox's avatar

Can i have my website files on one server, but run them through another using IIS?

Asked by superjuicebox (381points) October 13th, 2010

I have two xeon blade servers. I want to have the files for my website on my slower older machine, but i want to run the website through the faster newer one (this isn’t just a small normal website, this is being built to be extremely dynamic and to hold extremely large amounts of data). It sounds like this should be possible through IIS and port forwarding, i just need to know if it is built in to windows server 2003 and 2008. – thanks.

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5 Answers

jasonwhite's avatar

You can do this, but it’s going to lag considerably. I would highly recommend keeping your web server and files local to one another. Or at least keep the data on the faster server other wise you are going to run into a lot of server side lag.

meiosis's avatar

What exactly do you mean by “files for my website”? Data? Code? Both?

mrlaconic's avatar

No the files need to be hosted on the same server. Fortunately, IIS isn’t that hard to setup. Unless I am misunderstanding the question but as someone who hosts websites on the side it’s not possible to do what you want.

Vortico's avatar

This is possible, but I would recommend only hosting static files. For example, all code, databases, and HTML templates would be hosted on the fast server, and the CSS files, videos, file downloads, images, etc. would be hosted on the server with lots of HD space. Instead of setting up the first server to forward requests of static content to the second server, you should set up a completely separate Windows Server instance (or lighttpd server for a possible optimization for static content) and host it at All links to static content on the root domain should point to the second server’s subdomain.

camertron's avatar

I’m going to have to agree with @Vortico and @jasonwhite – you should really be putting the data on your faster server. In the web hosting game, disk speed is really important. You don’t want your website visitors to be impeded by a slow disk that’s serving up your documents at a glacial pace. The slower computer should be the one running the IIS server – chances are its NIC can handle the bandwidth requirements. The best solution, though, is to have the IIS server and the data/files on the same computer.

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