Wildcard DNS and Rackspace Cloud

I’ve been using Rackspace Cloud Sites for awhile and so far I’ve been very happy. However, their biggest problem seems to be their inability to support wild card DNS. Basically if you want to have *.domain.com all handled by their cloud servers, you can’t do it. I think this is going to start hurting them because WordPress 3.0 has the multi site capabilities built in. For example, if you register a domain for your city like gotham.com, you could let people create their own subdomain blogs automatically. So you could have joker.gotham.com and batman.gotham.com just like Blogger and WordPress.com, but targeted to your specific audience.

However, to do this in Rackspace Cloud Sites, you have to manually create an alias for each new domain–you can’t let it handle things automatically. I’ve gone round and round with them asking for them to consider changing this. At first they told me that they couldn’t because there would be no way to know which node should handle an incoming request since it could be handled by a number of different physical machines. They were saying that not only would the system not support it in its current form, but it would but there was no way to change it so it wasn’t worth even requesting that they consider adding the capability in the future.

I didn’t quite buy this, but it sounded like they were saying they couldn’t do this because a single IP address handles request for multiple domains. I had heard that enabling SSL on the account (another $20 per month) will give you the ability to have a dedicated IP address for your website. I asked if this was true and they confirmed it. So I asked if wildcard DNS would be possible if we added the SSL capabilities.

They still said it was still impossible. Keep in mind, I wasn’t asking if it would work today–I wanted to know what was possible if they were willing to make changes to their system so I could ask them to consider an enhancement to their service. I find it hard to believe that there is no possible way to make it handle wildcard DNS–even when you have a dedicated IP address.

WordPress can handle multi-site on their service if you don’t mind using the same domain for everyone. So instead of joker.gotham.com you’d use gotham.com/joker. For what I’m trying to do, I prefer the subdomain.


5 Replies to “Wildcard DNS and Rackspace Cloud”

  1. Can you use another DNS provider and sent the wildcard DNS there to Rackspaces Dedicated IP? You would then need to setup an SSL, just to get the Dedicated IP.

    1. It isn’t a problem getting the DNS pointed in the right place. It is getting Rackspace to respond to the requests correctly. So no you can’t just use a different DNS provider.

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