Run Multiple IIS Virtual Servers on Windows XP Pro
One of the major development features that didn’t make it from Windows 2000 to Windows XP was the ability to host multiple virtual Web servers on a single machine. Essentially, Microsoft disabled (hid) the menu item in the IIS Management Console that allows you create a new virtual server.
Steven M. Cohn describes an alternative way of creating multiple virtual servers in Windows XP Pro in his blog. He shows you how the feature is only hidden, not stripped out completely. While you cannot create a new virtual server through the MMC, you can still use the administrative scripts that come with IIS, specifically, the adsutil.vbs script.
According to Steven, the caveat in this whole thing is that while you can create multiple virtual Web servers on a single Windows XP Pro machine, you can only run one at a time. Even applying a unique port number to each virtual server doesn’t seem to work. But it’s not so bad…all you have to do is open the IIS MMC, stop the currently running virtual server and start the one you want. You can read the entire article posted in his blog.
You can also download a free graphical tool called IIS Admin. The tool allows you to create multiple Web sites on Windows XP Professional and easily switch between them.
Yet another method is to use an ISAPI filter which runs at the root, interrogates the host header of the incoming HTTP request and on the outcome of that redirects the request to the relevant place in the file system. Click here for more details.