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Colin O'Dell:
Optimizing colinodell/json5 with Blackfire
Jan 15, 2018 @ 09:50:37

In a post to his site Colin O'Dell shows how he used the Blackfire.io service to optimize the colinodell/json5 package he created to parse JSON5 in PHP. Blackfire.io is a performance profiling service (from the folks behind Symfony) that shows where the pain points are in your code. They also have a "developer" plan that you can use to try out the service.

Back in November, I released colinodell/json5 - a JSON5 parser for PHP. It's essentially a drop-in replacement for PHP's json_decode() function, but it allows things like comments, trailing commas, and more.

Fast forward to this weekend when I received [a] bug report from a user named Antonio [about slowness in parsing large JSON documents]. Yikes! I always knew that a PHP-based implementation would be slower than PHP's native C implementation, but execution time measured in minutes was completely unacceptable!

So I fired up Blackfire (which I've previously used to optimize league/commonmark) and got to work.

He starts off by getting a baseline to work from, executing the parsing on a custom document he created (not quite as large as in the bug report but still large). After locating a few issues he then started in on the optimizations. The first was an issue with the use of mb_substr, the second was around the remainder of the document to parse and the last an optimization for a regular expression. The post ends with a few other micro-optimizations he also made to the package and a check to use json_decode for faster parsing and only kick in the JSON5 parsing when needed.

tagged: optimize json json5 package blackfireio performance

Link: https://www.colinodell.com/blog/201801/optimizing-colinodelljson5-blackfire

Fabien Potencier:
Symfony 4: Performance out of the Box
Dec 12, 2017 @ 13:48:07

In a quick post to his site Fabien Potencier (of Sensio Labs and the Symfony framework) has a post sharing some information around the performance of Symfony 4 and what kind of speed you can expect in your applications based on it.

Performance is an interesting and sensitive topic. Suffice to say that most projects should not care too much; modern PHP frameworks are fast enough for most use cases and projects. And PHP 7 performance improvements help a lot as well. But people like to compare frameworks, and I guess performance is one way to do so.

What about Symfony 4? During its development cycle, we did some nice performance optimizations: mainly to improve the router and container speed. But several non-related changes in Symfony 4 also help with performance... Your mileage may vary depending on your specific project of course.

He talks about some of the testing and evaluation that's already been done on "Hello world" script performance but points out that this isn't a very real world situation. He shares these metrics, however, to at least give a baseline to compare it against previous Symfony versions. The post also links to another resource that shares these and other benchmarks related to various PHP projects.

tagged: symfony4 performance symfony framework version benchmark

Link: http://fabien.potencier.org/symfony4-performance.html

Delicious Brains:
SQL Query Optimization for Faster Sites
Nov 07, 2017 @ 09:53:47

On the Delicious Brains site they've posted a tutorial that provides some helpful tips and tricks for optimizing your SQL queries on your WordPress sites with the help of some basic techniques and software to analyze your current use.

With dynamic database-driven websites like WordPress, you might still have one problem on your hands: database queries slowing down your site.

In this post, I’ll take you through how to identify the queries causing bottlenecks, how to understand the problems with them, along with quick fixes and other approaches to speed things up. I’ll be using an actual query we recently tackled that was slowing things down on the customer portal of deliciousbrains.com.

They then walk through some of the methods for locating the queries that could be causing issues including the use of the QueryMonitor plugin and the MySQL slow query log. They provide some tips for understanding what makes the query slow and how to use the MySQL Workbench tool to determine the structure of the database and look for optimizations. Finally they get into some of the things they did to solve their own issue including adding caching, better understanding the need of the query and "thinking outside the box" with indexes and normalization.

tagged: sql query optimization performance mysqlworkbench slowquerylog mysql wordpress

Link: https://deliciousbrains.com/sql-query-optimization/

Trivago Tech Blog:
Continuous Performance Monitoring for PHP - The tale of Blackfire at trivago
Oct 30, 2017 @ 11:48:38

On the Trivago Tech blog they've shared some of their experience in continuous performance improvements in PHP applications and how the Blackfire.io service helped them get their best performance.

Our mission is to provide the user with the ideal hotel at the lowest rate. Our backend consists of several services written in different languages. To succeed at this goal we do complex tasks in our main application developed in PHP. While doing this we need to keep the website as fast as possible.

We started to look for some tool that could help us identify performance issues in our code base. We evaluated Blackfire and decided that it was a good fit for our use case.

The article starts by answering the question of "why Blackfire?" and continues on, showing how they integrated it with their workflow. They use the SaltStack tooling to set up servers and configure them so it was just a matter of integrating the Blackfire agent and probe extension via that. They include an overall diagram of how it fits into the architecture and how they worked around the lack of Bitbucket server support. The post finishes with some examples of performance metrics from before and after the optimizations from their results stored in InfluxDB.

tagged: trivago continuous performance monitoring blackfire blackfireio metrics results architecture

Link: http://tech.trivago.com/2017/10/27/continuous-performance-monitoring-for-php---the-tale-of-blackfire-at-trivago/

Hayden James:
PHP-FPM tuning: Using ‘pm static’ for max performance
Oct 13, 2017 @ 11:28:13

Hayden James has a post on his site sharing a method he's found for getting better performance out of PHP-FPM with the help of a configuration change. In this tutorial he shows how to use the pm static setting to squeeze the best performance out of your web server.

Lets take a very quick look at how best to setup PHP-FPM for high throughput, low latency and a more stable use of CPU and memory. By default, most setups have PHP-FPM’s PM (process manager) string set to dynamic and there’s also the common advice to use ondemand if you suffer from available memory issues.

He starts by defining the three "pm" settings and what they do: dynamic, ondemand and static. He then talks some about how the PHP-FPM process manager is similar to CPUFreq Governor and the settings it allows. Finally he gets into talking about the "pm static" handling, how it relates to available memory and when it makes more sense to use "dynamic" over "static".

tagged: phpfpm tuning performance static dynamic ondemand tutorial memory

Link: https://haydenjames.io/php-fpm-tuning-using-pm-static-max-performance/

Kevin Schroeder:
Magento 2 Performance on Docker (a preliminary test)
Aug 14, 2017 @ 09:58:17

Kevin Schroeder has a post to his site sharing some of the results from his initial testing with Magento in a Docker-built environment.

I can’t speak to the cost of Docker experts (I’m not one, but my experience is that once you get through the annoyance of the Dockerfile it doesn’t require much more advanced knowledge than a regular sysadmin), but I found the response interesting because my experience with Docker in production has been so good that I’ve Dockerized practically everything, including this blog. But this guy knows his stuff, and I give a lot of weight to his perspective. But my experience has been different.

Except in one place. Magento 2 on Docker on Mac is a horrible experience and it is specifically because of file system performance. But on Linux I’ve had good experiences. However, those experiences were with Magento 1 and not Magento 2. Magento 2 relies on the file system more than Magento 1 so it is quite plausible that Magento 2 is slow as molasses on Docker.

He decided that he'd try a different platform and see if the results were similar to those on an OSX system. He includes a list of four caveats and the setup including the fact that it is a "smoke test" (prelimary results) and that the rest was being done on a bit older machine. He shares the testing setup and what he used to test and compares the results to it running on "bare metal" (a normal custom setup server). His findings show that the "bare metal" instance ran only slightly better than the Dockerized version. He includes graphs for the requests handled, CPU usage and throughput from each of the tests executed.

tagged: magento docker performance testing results

Link: http://www.eschrade.com/page/magento-2-performance-on-docker

Laravel News:
Optimize Eloquent Queries with Eager Loading
Aug 11, 2017 @ 09:23:29

On the Laravel News site they've posted a tutorial sharing some of the basics around the optimizing Eloquent queries with the help of its own "eager loading" feature.

Object Relational mapping (ORM) makes working with databases amazingly simple. While defining database relationships in an object-oriented way makes it easy to query related model data, developers might not pay attention to the underlying database calls.

A standard database optimization for an ORM is eager-loading related data. We will set up some example relationships and then walk through how queries change with and without eager loading. I like to get my hands directly on code and experiment with things, and I hope to illustrate how eager loading works with some examples will further help you understand how to optimize your queries.

They start with a classic example of the "N+1 problem" when working with database records and how, without you knowing, you might be causing it with lazy loading. The article then talks about eager loading vs lazy loading and how they differ in most ORMs. It then covers Eloquent, setting up some migrations for an example blog application and creating the relationships between Author (user) and the Posts. The models are created and seeders are built to populate the tables with Faker data. Finally it gets to the use of eager loading, making use of the "with" functionality to modify the query structure behind the scenes. The post finishes with mentions of two other eager loading types - lazy eager loading and nested eager loading.

tagged: optimize query eager loading laravel eloquent performance nplusone

Link: https://laravel-news.com/eloquent-eager-loading

Symfony Finland:
Porting a Symfony 3 application to Flex
Jun 26, 2017 @ 11:42:12

On the Symfony Finland site they've posted a retrospective about moving an application from Symfony 3 to Flex including the work that was done in the switch and the performance of the result.

Earlier this year I did some experimenting with a Hybrid state object between Symfony Twig templates and front end JavaScript frameworks. Since that time I did that experiment, the Symfony Flex project has progressed. I thought I would try how to port the state prototype to Symfony Flex.

[...] In my case the application was rather simple and all built in the AppBundle, which is best-practise in Symfony3 for many applications. I mostly had to move files and configurations around and change namespaces.

He starts by spending some time talking about the difference between a Symfony 3 environment and the environment Flex provides. He then goes through the eight or so steps to move from one to the other including file/directory changes and configuration updates. Next comes the look at performance differences between the two. Unsurprisingly Flex came out on top in every measurement he threw at it.

In addition to the new structure, the apparent improvement in performance is obviously welcome. This would likely be even more evident where I could leave more dependencies out, for example in API workloads. This obviously won't magically push Symfony/PHP into Golang or Node.js territory for raw API throughput, but for existing large code bases it could provide a low-effort boost.
tagged: symfony symfony3 symfonyflex migration performance benchmark process tutorial

Link: https://symfony.fi/entry/porting-a-symfony-3-application-to-flex

Laravel News:
Learn how to Improve the performance of your Laravel app with Performant Laravel
Jun 15, 2017 @ 09:32:38

On the Laravel News site they've spotlighted a resource that can help you get the best performance out of your Laravel-based applications: Performant Laravel.

Performant Laravel is a new free video course created by Chris Fidao that covers quick performance wins you can implement right now into your Laravel apps.

The course includes 12 videos that range from three minutes up to twenty minutes, which makes them the perfect size for binge watching during your breaks.

Topics include the use of the "optimize" command, configuration caching, eager loading, MySQL indexing and object caching. The course is free but you do have to sign up to gain access.

tagged: laravel improve performance performantlaravel course training

Link: https://laravel-news.com/performant-laravel

Olav van Schie:
Make your Laravel App Fly with PHP OPcache
Jun 14, 2017 @ 10:16:21

On his Medium site Olav van Schie shows you how to "make your Laravel app fly" with the help of OPcache. While OPcache isn't something that's specific to Laravel, he does include a package near the end that makes it easier to use it with the caching built into "artisan".

Every time you execute a PHP script, the script needs to be compiled to byte code. OPcache leverages a cache for this bytecode, so the next time the same script is requested, it doesn’t have to recompile it. This can save some precious execution time, and thus make your app faster (and maybe save some server costs).

He starts with a brief overview of OPcache and the main benefit it provides. He also shares some benchmarks he performed on a Digital Ocean server based on the results of performance testing the default Laravel "welcome" page. He then shows how to check and be sure it's installed and enabled on your PHP installation and some good default settings to configure in your php.ini. The post wraps up mentioning the package that helps integrate it with the Laravel application and the command required to clear out the OPcache on deploy.

tagged: laravel application opcache caching opcode performance tutorial

Link: https://medium.com/appstract/make-your-laravel-app-fly-with-php-opcache-9948db2a5f93