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Hosting DBs & PHP on separate servers?


bRiZonG
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Hi everyone,

Please let me know if this is a dumb idea to begin with!

We have a small e-commerce website built w/PHP and using Filemaker 5 DBs on the back-end. Currently, we have Apache on Mac OS X serving the PHP files, and a separate FMP5.5 Unlimited machine to accept requests from FX.PHP (which in turn is connected to a separate FMP5 Server machine). To help reduce load on our in-house machines & network, we would like to begin hosting all PHP/HTML/image files with a standard online web hosting company. But we would like to maintain our control & access to the DBs and continue serving them in-house for logistical & security reasons.

Can this be made possible by specifying our in-house FMP-Unlimited IP address in the serverdata.php file (stored at the online web host), and continuing to serve the FMP-Unlimited and FMP-Server platforms in-house?

For security purposes, we would of course restrict public access to the FMP-Unlimited machine by telling FMP to only accept connections from the IP address of the web host.

Would this situation even work, assuming the web host & our in-house machines maintained our uptime?

Thanks for your help!! FMForums rocks!

Brian

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I too am using a MacOS/Apache webserver machine (at my home) that also hosts many files on FMServer 8Adv along with a 1-user email server. I use many fx.php files on the webserver side making many requests to the various FM8srvr files.

I've only used 1 machine to handle it all so far; obviously not enough bandwidth to yet be a problem. Am interested in this forum thread to hear of any problems or issues for my future expansion to more machines and/or off-site web hosting as you are talking about.

I'm curious for the reason you chose to have fx.php requests going to your 5.5Un-ltd & then being passed onto your FMP5srvr.

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I'm curious for the reason you chose to have fx.php requests going to your 5.5Un-ltd & then being passed onto your FMP5srvr.

The reason is that FMP5 Server is just the DB server while FMP Unlimited is logged in to the Server as a client. FMP Unlimited strictly provides the web interface (XML) to Apache/PHP, because it can't reliably serve the DBs to the whole office and fulfill its web duties simultaneously. This is the only way to serve our FMP5 stuff to the web, as FMP5 Server does not actually do any web hosting (it only serves the DBs to the Filemaker client, which in my case is FMP Unlimited).

I hear that FMP8 Server Advanced provides a more efficient setup, and doesn't require separate servers for the DBs and web interface, but we're not ready to make that leap just yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I have done some testing and thought I would post my results for others' consideration.

YES, I can access my FileMaker Unlimited machine while hosting the actual HTML/PHP/image files on an outside host. I can restrict access to the IP address of the outside host. :) HOWEVER, after some security considerations, we have decided against using this method because of the potential risk of someone masking their IP, or somehow using a sophisticated hack to fool FMP Unlimited to believe they are accessing the XML interface legitimately. :(

Also I personally don't trust the FMP Unlimited security at all. For some reason it doesn't give me a warm/fuzzy feeling. : The potential security risks are staggering, as the Web Companion's XML interface could potentially leave the all databases and all data exposed to anyone who wished to view them. This was discussed in other forums on this site, and we verified by using DigitalPoint.com's FMDigger tool with some test databases.

So we've made the decision to keep hosting the Apache/PHP stuff in-house behind our firewalls, only accessible from our in-house network. :

As a result of testing, we will upgrade some of our network equipment and increasing our bandwith with our ISP. Hopefully this will give us a bit more capacity for a while. If only I knew how a real hosting company handled this stuff. :

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