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I inherited a project with no documentation and I am now in a spot where I need to update a certain web service. I have a configuration file that contains the url for the web service:

But I don't know how to determine what server this is. I tried pinging the url, but when I do that I get an unfamiliar ip address returned to me. If I drop the url into my browser, nothing it found.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


The url I posted is bogus. Sorry for the confusion.

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closed as not a real question by EEAA, Scott Pack, Ward, Jenny D, mdpc Jun 5 '13 at 16:20

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

That "unfamiliar IP address is where the service lives. – EEAA Jun 4 '13 at 22:44
bogus urls are fine, but use to save confusion – Colin Pickard Jun 4 '13 at 22:49
Ok will do, updated. – Abe Miessler Jun 4 '13 at 22:50
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sounds like a near-impossible situation but there might be a few things to help you.

Is the address actually, or did you use this as an example? If it is, it's probably used as an example or placeholder. You'll need to use another method to discover the real value to put here.

If not, then you have a Fully Qualified Domain Name which resolves to an IP address that responds to a ping. You're trying to locate the physical or virtual machine corresponding to that address. Is the IP in the private address space? If it is, find or create a network map and trace the server from the switch port it is connected to.

If it's not a private IP, then use fdmillion's suggestion and use whois on the IP address. This should give you an organisation name, address and phone number. Take this information around your company until you find someone who knows something about it - start with the accounts dept :)

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Seems to me that you have to find out some more information.

Sounds like perhaps you're developing an app that needs to connect out to that server?

The whois command can help you find out information about a domain or IP. If you're on Linux, OS X, Solaris, or any kind of UNIX, you probably have access to whois in a terminal session. Otherwise, you can search the web for "whois search" and find plenty of web gateways that will perform the query in your browser.

If the domain you gave is the actual domain indicated by your project, however, you are probably going to hit a dead end. is a hosting provider, and accessing provides a landing page indicating the domain is not in use. This means that the IP you would get from pinging this domain is at a hosting provider and is going to be of little use in your hunt.

I think your only option is to either see if you can figure out who to contact for more information, or you may end up being forced to code a new web service. Hopefully this wouldn't be the case - ideally, you'd be able to somehow get access to the existing code...

Good luck!

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No I posted a bogus URL, sorry for the confusion. I have the existing code for the web service and I have updated it. Now I just need to find the spot to deploy it to. I will let you know if I make any progress – Abe Miessler Jun 4 '13 at 22:39

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