“wildcard” DNS vs Separate Websites

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We would like to offer a free trial to customers of our SaaS product. So, customers will put the desired sub-domain name while signing up and they will get a site like clientname.ourmainsite.com for free trial. We don’t want to manually setup a sub-domain for each customer. After research I came to know this can be achieved by setting up “wildcard” DNS record for ourmainsite.com, so we need to add a *. ourmainsite.com entry in DNS of ourmainsite.com pointing to our server.

But this seems to point all sub-domains to a single a site which is opposite to our current setup where each client domain has a separate website setup in IIS like client1.com, client2.com, etc. How this option of using single website for multiple domains sounds as compared to separate site for each domain? What are the pros/cons of this approach specially cons? Which option is more secured? Which option uses less resources like memory on server?

My main concern is in current setup we can have separate app pools for each site. But if we go with the approach of “wildcard” DNS record where all domains are pointed to a single site then what will happen if some site is attacked or having huge traffic slowing down other sites on server then how this can be controlled or monitored as we won’t be able to set separate app pool for each domain? Are there any alternatives to this? I have read that many SaaS companies follow the “wildcard” DNS approach. So how do they handle loading or attack on some specific site? Or do they use “wildcard” DNS approach only for trial sites to setup a virtual sub-domain like client1.ourmainsite.com and after trial create separate site in IIS for their domain like client1.com?


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