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Symfony Blog:
PHP-PM grows up to be a credible option for high performance PHP
Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:29:58

On the Symfony Finland site there's a post about a relatively new way to run PHP applications and how it's "growing up" to become a viable option: PHP-PM.

PHP-PM is a novel way of running PHP applications. Instead of creating an exotic high performance runtime for the PHP language, it takes an alternative route to mechanism of running PHP applications with existing runtimes.

This translates to real performance gains with existing complex applications, not just impressive theoretical benchmark results.

Instead of the usual complete bootstrap that normal PHP process goes through in its lifecycle, PHP-PM runs them as a continuous process, making for a huge boost in overall performance. The project has started gathering more momentum and is being worked on to make it a more credible platform for PHP applications.

From the humble beginnings the PHP-PM now has over 1700 stars on GitHub and a number of developers working on it. Great strides have been done since the early stages with the documentation and ease of use, but most importantly the platform now supports multiple frameworks: Symfony, Zend and Laravel.
tagged: phppm process option high performance application project symfony

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/php-pm-grows-up-to-be-a-credible-option-for-high-performance-php

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 - nginx
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:48:49

Loïc Faugeron has continued his series about speeding up Symfony applications and getting the best overall performance you can. In this new post he gets into more detail about tuning a Nginx web server (with PHP-FPM) and the web server's own caching features.

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

We've already seen a first way to do so (by turning it into a HTTP server), another way would be to put a reverse proxy in front of it. In this article we'll take a Symfony application and demonstrate how to do so using nginx.

He starts by helping you get Nginx and PHP-FPM all set up and running on a Unix-based system (installed via apt-get). He provides a simple configuration including the user to run as and a virtual host for the application. There's a few command line checks to ensure it's working correctly and a bit of benchmarking as a baseline for the performance testing later. He then gets to the caching functionality and gives some of the basics on how it works inside of Nginx itself. He includes a basic caching configuration (caching to files) and adding this to the already created virtual host. Finally he includes sample Symfony code to send the "Cache-Control" header with every request and runs the benchmarks again (resulting in about 140x faster than without the cache).

tagged: tutorial nginx performance symfony speed phpfpm setup configuration cache cachecontrol

Link: https://gnugat.github.io/2016/04/20/super-speed-sf-nginx.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

Zeev Suraski:
PHP 7 Is Gaining Momentum
Apr 04, 2016 @ 11:56:17

In his new post to his site Zeev Suraski talks about the momentum growing behind PHP 7 and some of the recent articles about companies making the move and the overall impression of the new version.

We’re now a few months since PHP 7 came out, and if you’ve been following what’s going on in the PHP world, things are looking pretty exciting! [...] First, InfoWorld gave PHP 7 the 2016 Technology of the Year Award, which is quite remarkable. Remarkable is also how InfoWorld chose to describe the performance gains that are promised by PHP 7 – and I absolutely agree.

[...] As more and more people are trying PHP 7 out, we’re seeing more and more evidence that the promise of 2x performance is being realized, big time. Most recently, Badoo published an article detailing their experience migrating for PHP 5.6 to 7.0

He gets into a bit more detail about the numbers that Badoo published and gives a quick "thank you" to Dmitry Stogov for helping to spearhead the effort to get PHP 7 out the door from Zend. Finally, he points out that there's a Zend Server version that already runs on PHP 7 if you'd like to try it out.

tagged: php7 momentum infoworld award badoo performance memory zendserver

Link: http://zsuraski.blogspot.com/2016/03/php-7-is-gaining-momentum.html

Jeff Geerling:
Yes, Drupal 8 is slower than Drupal 7 - here's why
Mar 25, 2016 @ 12:05:44

Jeff Geerling has an interesting post to his site showing the results of some of his own testing around the performance of Drupal 8 versus Drupal 7...and that 8 comes out to be slower than 7. He also includes some of the things that the Drupal project is doing to help the situation.

When some people see reports of Drupal 8 being 'dramatically' slower than Drupal 7, they wonder why, and they also use this performance change as ammunition against some of the major architectural changes that were made during Drupal 8's development cycle.

First, I wanted to give some more concrete data behind why Drupal 8 is slower (specifically, what kinds of things does Drupal 8 do that make it take longer per request than Drupal 7 on an otherwise-identical system), and also why this might or might not make any difference in your choice to upgrade to Drupal 8 sooner rather than later.

He shares the results of some of his own benchmarking on a cluster (bramble) of Raspberry Pis for the requests per second on the standard setup for each version. He includes the output from an XHProf profiling run too, showing the large call stack on both sides, not just Drupal 8. He then talks about some of the Drupal 8 updates that are included to help mitigate some of these issues: architecture changes, easier caching, authenticated user handing and slow loading content management.

tagged: drupal8 drupal7 performance raspberrypi cluster testing results benchmark

Link: http://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2016/yes-drupal-8-slower-drupal-7-heres-why

Carlos Buenosvinos:
First tests with #PHP7 in production at @AtrapaloEng
Mar 18, 2016 @ 11:15:45

On his site Carlos Buenosvinos has a new post talking about the experience they had at @AtrapaloEng with PHP 7 and shares some of the improvements they've already seen so far.

On Monday, Badoo blogged about its migration to PHP7 (https://techblog.badoo.com/blog/2016/03/14/how-badoo-saved-one-million-dollars-switching-to-php7/). Those are great results! At @AtrapaloEng, we’re running already tests in production to perform the same step. We could have started some months before, but we’ve been struggling with the php-msgpack extension and its (un)support for PHP7. We hope to deploy PHP7 in all our server during this week but we would like to share with you what we have seen so far.

They share some graphs showing the changes when PHP 7 was deployed on their systems for both memory consumption and overall load average. They also talk about the boost in performance as far as response times and, an often not reported statistic, how it sped up their unit test runs too.

tagged: test php7 atrapaloeng performance results graph unittest

Link: https://carlosbuenosvinos.com/first-tests-with-php7-in-production-at-atrapaloeng/

eZ Blog:
How to optimize performance of the LAMP stack with eZ (Part 1)
Mar 03, 2016 @ 11:43:51

On the eZ blog there's a new post, the first part of a series, showing how to optimize the performance of your LAMP stack with the help of some tuning on the server and software levels.

Nowadays, a website is not only a simple HTML page. Your visitors expect dynamic, personalized information fast and you need a scalable way to deliver content as quickly as possible. This, of course, puts significant pressure on page loads and response time. In this series of posts, we’ll explore eZ’s system architecture and provide recommendations on how you can optimize caching and decrease response time with eZ software.

They then talk about the various pieces of software that make up a typical environment and some tips on optimizing them:

  • Varnish
  • Apache
  • MySQL and MariaDB

Each includes the configuration changes and setup that's helped eZ get the most out of their stack and links to other tools to help you evaluate the performance differences.

tagged: optimize performance lamp stack series part1 varnish apache mysql mariadb

Link: http://ez.no/Blog/How-to-optimize-performance-of-the-LAMP-stack-with-eZ-Part-1

Maximizing PHP 7 Performance with NGINX, Part I: Web Serving and Caching
Feb 29, 2016 @ 13:55:10

On the Nginx.com site they've posted the first part of a series showing you how to maximize your performance with PHP 7 and this already speedy web server.

PHP is the most popular way to create a server-side Web application, with roughly 80% market share. (ASP.net is a distant second, and Java an even more distant third.) [...] Now the PHP team is releasing a new version, PHP 7 – more than a decade after the introduction of PHP 5. During this time, usage of the web and the demands on websites have both increased exponentially.

[...] This blog post is the first in a two-part series about maximizing the performance of your websites that use PHP 7. Here we focus on upgrading to PHP 7, implementing open source NGINX or NGINX Plus as your web server software, rewriting URLs (necessary for requests to be handled properly), caching static files, and caching dynamic files (also called application caching or microcaching).

They start by looking at why "PHP hits a wall" in its execution in high load situations, stepping through the process it follows to handle each request. They also share some of the common ways PHP developers have combatted these issues including more hardware, better server software and multi-server setups. They then get into the actual tips themselves:

  • Tip 1. Upgrade to PHP 7
  • Tip 2. Choose Open Source NGINX or NGINX Plus
  • Tip 3. Convert Apache Configuration to NGINX Syntax
  • Tip 4. Implement Static File Caching
  • Tip 5. Implement Microcaching

For each tip there's a summary with more information on why they make the suggestion and, for some, how to make the transition happen. In the next part of the series they'll get into reverse proxy servers and a multi-server Nginx implementation to boost performance even more.

tagged: performance php7 nginx series part1 maximize tutorial static cache apache conversion

Link: https://www.nginx.com/blog/maximizing-php-7-performance-with-nginx-part-i-web-serving-and-caching/

Troubleshooting (Web) Application Performance Issues with Strace
Feb 01, 2016 @ 11:51:21

On the Speedemy.com site there's a post showing you how to get down to a seriously low level of processing and identify performance issues with strace, the debugging tool that helps monitor interactions between processes, the kernel, system calls, etc.

What do you do when your Linux web app starts acting out? You troubleshoot it, of course! Me too. And today I would like to talk to you about one tool that works really well with all sorts of applications and application servers – ranging from apache http server running modules (mod_php, mod_perl, etc.), to applications running in fast cgi setting or even simple single-threaded programs.

The tool I’m talking about is strace, and if you’re not familiar with it, it will be my pleasure to introduce you two.

They start off by answering the question of when you shouldn't use strace for testing (like when an application can actually be profiled properly) before shows where it can actually help. The post then briefly introduces strace and what it can do, pointing out what kind of information it can provide. From there they start in on using it to do the debugging and show examples of the output it can provide. They help you use some other command line options to refine this output into something a bit more useful and even include an awk command to narrow it down even more .

tagged: strace performance issue application tutorial

Link: http://www.speedemy.com/troubleshooting-web-application-performance-issues/