Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

To be up front, I'm developer who is mildly dangerous with server configs....when it goes right, else I'm more than useless. So here's the setup. I have a server whose sole purpose to to host a single RESTful application. I have created that as a Site in IIS. Now, an external DNS has been setup as a subdomain (by our lone Tech Ops guy) which is This is NOT in the internal DNS, so that being said I'm stuck. If I create a regular site in IIS I can use some internal DNS to resolve http://internalfoo/bar.html. But how is this done when I don't have an internal DNS?

Is it possible to just have all traffic to that server (via IP) bind to the site without a host name? I guess I can remove the Default Web Site and that'll do it?

enter image description here

So lost...

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Just access it via IP. Based on that screenshot, your IIS is not configured to care about host headers.
  2. Systems secret: All modern OSes have a tiny hidden DNS database! It's called a hosts file and it stores some hard-coded name-to-IP mappings. Modify your hosts file at c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and add a line like this:

Please note that this overrules all other settings, no matter what DNS server you set for yourself in IPv4 settings. Leave a post-it or something on your monitor to remind you of this. If you're getting crazy DNS issues, check your modified hosts file first.

share|improve this answer
so I has tried this on a whim earlier and it didn't work. BUT I ahve no clue what I'm doing. So the internal IP is and we don't care about the external IP for this right now I don't think. If I leave things as they are (and get the hosts to work), should just work right? In theory that's all that's needed? There is an external IP but I don't want to deal with that right now, I just want to be able to access this via the IP. – BryanGrimes Feb 6 '12 at 20:34
side note, does accessing off the straight IP mean I need this in the default site as an application? – BryanGrimes Feb 6 '12 at 20:35
Quick answer: If IIS is doing what you want, you're all set! The default site doesn't have any inherently special meaning to IIS. It's really more of a "site that's enabled out of the box to serve c:\inetpub\wwwroot." You've already modified the site and the directory structure to serve out your application. – Joel E Salas Feb 6 '12 at 22:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.