Moving Server and SSL Fun

Server Screenshot

I've been a bit quiet lately, but that was because of all the work going on behind-the-scenes. I just finished the move of all the websites and mail domains I host to a new server which should provide plenty of muscle for years to come.

I also took this opportunity to configure SSL with proper certificates for my pages and a couple of other sites I host. This was initially triggered by Google's sudden decision to enforce strict SSL checks for importing external mail into GMail, and it's also a requirement for proper interaction with third-party websites (like Facebook for example).

That was a fun little project, however now that I have it running on this site it makes me wish I had the same setup everywhere... Of course that would be easy to do, except for one little hitch: IP addresses. HTTPS pretty much requires one IP address per website, unless you resort to trickery. There are ways around it, but they each have disadvantages. For now, IP addresses remain the safest bet, except of course that we pretty much ran out of the IPv4 kind, and my hosting provider now charges €1 + VAT for each per month. The newer (still 15 years old) IPv6 protocol could solve the problem nicely, and they do provide me with a few trillion IPv6 addresses for free — if only I could get more than 2% of the Internet population to use them :)

I believe this to be a good example of how IPv6 enhances security and authentication on-line, and it will be interesting to watch its evolution in relation to HTTPS as more people become interested in security while IPv4 availability declines.


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