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QaFoo Blog:
Common Bottlenecks in Performance Tests
Apr 22, 2016 @ 11:24:46

On the QaFoo blog there's a post sharing some of what they've learned about the common bottlenecks in performance testing and some things you can to do determine the issues in your own tests.

Most developers by now internalized that we should not invest time in optimizations before we know what happens exactly. [...] This is true for optimizations in your PHP code but also for optimizations regarding your infrastructure. We should measure before we try to optimize and waste time. When it comes to the assumed performance problems in your system architecture most people guess the root cause will be the database. This might be true but in most projects we put under load it proved to be false.

So, how can we figure out where the problems are located in our stack?

They talk about some common testing practices using basic tools (like ab and siege) and having them perform common operations on the application. They then talk about testing for high load, monitoring the stack for the impact and a few tools you can use to gather statistics. They end the post with a quick mention that, despite popular opinion, the issue isn't always the database's fault. Sometimes other technology that's in play - like file locking issues or processing for server-side includes - and other things that may only show up under high load.

tagged: common bottleneck performance test advice server monitor tool

Link: https://qafoo.com/blog/082_common_bottlenecks_in_performance_tests.html

Loïc Faugeron:
Super Speed Symfony - ReactPHP
Apr 14, 2016 @ 09:10:57

Loïc Faugeron, author of the recent "Ultimate Guide" to Symfony components series has a new kind of post to his site today. In this latest article he shows you how to integrate Symfony and ReactPHP for "super speed Symfony" sites.

HTTP frameworks, such as Symfony, allow us to build applications that have the potential to achieve Super Speed.

A first way to make use of it is to run our application as a HTTP server. In this article we'll take a Symfony application and demonstrate how to run it as HTTP server using ReactPHP.

He walks you through the installation of the ReactPHP HTTP server and provides some simple code to get a server up and running. He uses this to provide a "Hello world" example and helps you test it to be sure everything's up and running as expected. He then creates a basic Symfony application that uses the HttpFoundationRequest handling to wrap that same server and yield the same results. He includes some benchmarking examples and some updates he needed to make to have it work correctly with the Blackfire.io profiling service. He ends the post with a look at some of the alternatives to ReactPHP (including IcicleIO, Aerys and PHP FastCGI), why it improves performance and how to make it production ready with [] Supervisord(http://supervisord.org/).

tagged: symfony reactphp tutorial introduction server performance alternatives

Link: https://gnugat.github.io/2016/04/13/super-speed-sf-react-php.html

CloudWays Blog:
Using Memcached With PHP
Apr 13, 2016 @ 13:48:10

On the Cloudways blog they have a new tutorial posted showing you how to use memcached with PHP to help improve the overall performance of your application through cached data.

Memcached is a distributed memory caching system. It speeds up websites having large dynamic databasing by storing database object in Dynamic Memory to reduce the pressure on a server whenever an external data source requests a read. A memcached layer reduces the number of times database requests are made.

[..] Why Memcached? It increases the response time of your web pages, which in return enhances the overall customer’s experience. A better response time allows users to fetch data seamlessly.

He starts by ensuring that you already have a memcached instance up and running (it's external to PHP). They suggest using their own Cloudways setup, but it's relatively easy to install with packages on most Linux distributions. With that verified, he shows how to check for memchace functionality in your PHP installation and provides a bit of code to create a connection. Next is an example showing how to pull information from a MySQL database and push that data directly into the waiting memcache server via a set method call. It also includes a get example, showing if the caching was a success or not.

tagged: memcached caching tutorial introduction server configuration example

Link: http://www.cloudways.com/blog/memcached-with-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PredictionIO: Bootstrapping a Movie Recommendation App
Apr 05, 2016 @ 11:22:11

On the SitePoint PHP blog they've posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Prediction.IO server to create a movie recommendation application. Prediction.io is "an open source Machine Learning Server built on top of state-of-the-art open source stack for developers and data scientists create predictive engines for any machine learning task".

In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through PredictionIO, an open-source machine learning server, which allows you to create applications that could do the following: recommend items (e.g. movies, products, food), predict user behavior, identify item similarity and rank items.

You can pretty much build any machine learning application with ease using PredictionIO. You don’t have to deal with numbers and algorithms and you can just concentrate on building the app itself.

The tutorial, the first part of a series, refreshes some older instructions for getting the Prediction.IO system up and running. He walks you through the creation of an AWS instance for the server a few different ways (Vagrant, Docker, etc). He then talks about the use of the Movie API from MovieDB and the two parts of the application that will be implemented on top of it: a learning phase and a recommendation phase. They show how to use Prediction.io to create the recommendation engine and make the new application on top of it. He helps you install some dependencies to use in the PHP side of the application and briefly explains what they're for.

This wraps up part one of the series. In the second part he starts putting this all to use and creates the PHP functionality to lay on top of the machine learning engine and handle learning and recommendations for users.

tagged: predictionio machinelearning server tutorial movie recommendation application part1 series

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/predictionio-bootstrapping-a-movie-recommendation-app/

php[architect]:
Book Release: Integrating Web Services with OAuth and PHP
Feb 25, 2016 @ 14:08:17

php|architect has officially announced the release of their latest book: Integrating Web Services with OAuth and PHP from author and PHP community member Matt Frost.

Modern web applications are no longer standalone, monolithic codebases. Instead, they are expected to integrate with external, 3rd party applications to allow users to tap into new features, integrate with their social networks, and to easily migrate their data between systems. Many services afford these integrations by building web services that use the OAuth standard to authenticate users and allow “secure delegated access” on their behalf.

The book covers both of the major versions of OAuth currently in use (v1 and v2), how they differ and provides working PHP examples of both the client and server sides of the functionality. If you're interested you can "try before you buy" with an excerpt from the book to get a feel for the writing style and content. You can get more information and pick up a copy of your own directly from the php[architect] site.

tagged: server oauth webservice integrate release book client mattfrost

Link: https://www.phparch.com/books/integrating-web-services-with-oauth-and-php/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Appserver – Server Configuration, Dir Structure and Threads
Feb 01, 2016 @ 09:25:05

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their series looking at the features of the appserver.io project in this second post covering its server configuration, directory structure and how it handles threads during processing.

In the first part of our Appserver series, we discussed the very high level differences of Appserver’s architecture to standard web server stacks and got you up and running with an Appserver instance.

[...] In this part, we will be exploring the Appserver architecture a bit more in depth. We will go through the concepts of the different contexts and the parts of Appserver you get out of the box, which cover some of the ground most of the popular PHP frameworks offer. We will also configure the web server and look into an application’s structure. Once we are finished, you should have a fair understanding about Appserver’s contexts in relation to threading, the web server, and its setup.

They start with the threading functionality, showing how "contexts" come in to play and how the code executes as long as this context is alive. The post then gets into some of the code-related differences with using appserver such as extra annotation handling and AOP (aspect oriented programming) practices. From there they get into the tech behind the scenes: configuring the web server, setting up a virtual host and pointing it at the sample application. Finally they talk about the servlet engine and the server's directory structure underneath.

tagged: appserverio project opensource server configuration directory structure thread processsing

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/appserver-server-configuration-dir-structure-and-threads/

ProDevTips.com:
Proxying with PHP in Ubuntu 14.04 (Apache 2.4, PHP 5.4+)
Jan 21, 2016 @ 10:46:38

The ProDevTips.com site has a tutorial posted showing you how to proxy requests with PHP on Ubuntu using Apache 2.4 and PHP version 5.4 or later.

I’ve just had to evade a Russian block of one of my employer’s sites, let’s call it CasinoX. Presumably they had blocked both www.casinox.com and www.casinox.com’s IP address (which is a Cloud Flare IP btw).

Simply pointing ru.casinox.com to the real IP address of www.casinox.com’s server was a not a viable solution though as that would expose the real IP publicly which is a no-go in the online casino business as it is basically an invitation to be DDoS’ed.

The solution they came up with was to set up a server that operates as a proxy and sends all traffic to the actual web server, save the assets (images, Javascript files, etc). They include the changes you'll need to the .htaccess configuration on the proxy server to forward the requests. Then they show the updated version of your virtual hosts configuration to match these changes. From there the rest of the handling lives in PHP. They include the code for the index.php proxy handling, a Proxy class that makes curl requests to the actual web server and an ip_in_range function to get the actual IP of the user/client making the request.

tagged: proxy server apache webserver tutorial htaccess virtualhost

Link: http://www.prodevtips.com/2016/01/16/proxying-with-php-in-ubuntu-1404-apache-24-php-54/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Setting up PHP 7 Servers with Laravel Forge and DigitalOcean
Jan 07, 2016 @ 11:11:38

The SitePoint PHP blog has another new article from editor Bruno Skvorc showing you how to set up PHP 7 servers in two different ways: one the DigitalOcean platform and the other using the Laravel Forge service.

In this quick guide, we’ll cover two ways to bring a PHP 7 server online on DigitalOcean – a popular VPS provider. We’ll use two approaches, the latter of which will be applicable to any Ubuntu installation whereas the former will only work on DigitalOcean.

He starts with a brief description of what Laravel Forge is for those not familiar with it and how to use it to set up your new server instance. Screenshots of the interface are included showing the setup of the instance, backups, configuration of the server and how to link it to a repository. Then he gets into the more "manual" installation, working with a simple low-tier DigitalOcean droplet to secure and configure it with similar kinds of features: PHP 7 installed and working, Nginx and a fresh checkout of the repository.

tagged: php7 server tutorial setup laravelforge digitalocean deploy repository

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/setting-up-php-7-servers-with-laravel-forge-and-digitalocean/

PEAR Blog:
PEAR server fully restored
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:33:14

As is mentioned in this post to the PEAR blog the server hosting the packages and website has been fully restored as of December 11th and should be 100% functional again.

Our server sponsor eUKhost quickly provided us with a new machine after we told them the old had failed, and the last two weeks were spent setting it up to provide the same functionality as before.

This includes not only the pear.php.net site but also the bug tracker, manual and downloads handling. They share a bit about why it took so long to correct (mostly having to do with technological difficulties with the server provided by the host). While backups did exist, they were only for the packages themselves and XML file structure. Unfortunately this did not include the website and blog database or patch files in the bug tracker. The remainder of the post lists several other smaller things that went wrong in the process, all adding up to plenty of difficulties for Christian as he battled to get the server (and services) back up and running.

tagged: pear server issues restored postmortem details

Link: http://blog.pear.php.net/2015/12/11/server-fully-restored/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Build a Superfast PHP Server in Minutes with Icicle
Sep 17, 2015 @ 11:21:44

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a new tutorial by Christopher Pitt showing you how to build a PHP server "super fast" with the help of the Icicle/http library and some event-driven programming techniques.

Event-based programming is a strange topic for PHP developers. In a language as procedural; events are little more than function calls. Nothing happens between events, and all meaningful code is still blocking.

Languages like JavaScript show us what PHP could be like if event loops were at the center. Some folks have taken these insights and coded them into event loops and HTTP servers. Today we’re going to create an HTTP server, in PHP. We’ll connect it to Apache to serve static files quickly. Everything else will pass through our PHP HTTP server, based on Icicle.

They start off showing you how to configure your Apache server to rewrite the requests (only for non-existent files) to the PHP handler. From there, he helps you get the Icicle/http library installed and create a simple HTTP server with it's included functionality. He shows how to set up routing using the LeagueRoute package and return correct HTTP response codes based on the result of the request. Finally he shows the use of the LeaguePlates library to render more complex views than just plain-text results.

tagged: tutorial http server icicle league plates route

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/build-a-superfast-php-server-in-minutes-with-icicle/