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We just converted about 90 virtual directories on our server into rewrite rules in the URL rewrite tool. I don't notice any sort of slowness due to overhead of these rules on the webserver right now, but I couldn't find very much documentation regarding which method was better (virtual directory or rewrite). I was hoping to get some other feedback from users who have used the tool.

Here are some insights I have noticed:

  • With the rewrite tool, you don't have to repeat the folder setup as you do with the virtual directory (authentication rules, SSL, etc). Any changes to the regular folder will automatically be in sync with the rewrite tool.
  • You cannot point to a folder above the root using the URL rewrite tool but you can with a virtual directory
  • The rewrite tool stores the rules in the web.config file for easy exporting, backup, or migrating
  • The rewrite tool keeps the server more organized since you don't have so many virtual directories taking up space (using IIS Server manager)
  • Setting up a rewrite rule to redirect to a specific url is more intuitive than setting up a virtual directory (I noticed the screens changed between IIS6 and IIS7 for virtual directories redirecting to a specific URL)
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I would love to have the answer to this question. –  Evik James Jan 21 '14 at 22:00
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@EvikJames - We've now been running our server with these URL Rewrites for about 4 months now and have not noticed any performance degradation. It's also much easier to keep our development and production server in sync by just copying the web.config file for any changes. –  azam Jan 23 '14 at 15:09

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