In the world of hardware and networking you would have heard this term being used often. When two networking gurus meet these terms comes in between and to be honest I didn’t know what this is. I just Googled as always and here are the relevant patches that I found which can be collated as below:
Abbreviated as VIPA, a virtual IP address is an IP address that is shared among multiple domain names or multiple servers. A virtual IP address eliminates a host’s dependency upon individualnetwork interfaces. Incoming packets are sent to the system’s VIPA address, but all packets travel through the real network interfaces.
Pasted from <http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/V/virtual_IP_address.html>
A virtual IP address (VIP or VIPA) is an IP address assigned to multiple applications residing on a single server, multiple domain names, or multiple servers, rather than being assigned to a specific single server or network interface card (NIC). Incoming data packets are sent to the VIP address which are routed to actual network interfaces.
VIPs are mostly used to consolidate resources through the allocation of one network interface per hosted application.
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_IP_address>
There are many uses of VIP, but for me the one which is more important is how using a domain name the routing happens correctly to the exact web application in a web server in which there are multiple web applications being hosted. Figures are easy to understand and below is one such figure which made me understand this concept which I got in the internet.
Image courtesy: http://www.foundrynet.com/services/documentation/sixl/images/slb-real-hosting-virtual.jpg
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