Welcome!

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Machine Learning , PHP

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Top PHP Performance Tips for Continuous Delivery | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

The top performance bottlenecks are fairly easy to spot

Are you developing or hosting PHP applications? Are you doing performance sanity checks along your delivery pipeline? No? Not Yet? Then start with a quick check. It only takes 15 minutes and it really pays off. As a developer you can improve your code, and as somebody responsible for your build pipeline you can automate these checks and enforce additional quality gates. And as a PHP Hosting company / group you will be able optimize your deployment and run more of these apps and sustain more load on the same infrastructure.

Just like Java, .NET, and Ruby type applications, the top performance bottlenecks are fairly easy to spot and fixing them improves end user performance and saves compute power for your servers.

Here is what we discovered when analyzing our own Moodle-based educational platform using the 15 Day Free Trial of dynaTrace:

  • High PHP Compilation Time: Our App spends up to 66% of the time in compilation
  • Bad database access patterns: Some of our web requests execute up to 592 SQL requests
  • Inefficient PHP coding: Rendering HTML lists in result pages takes 5+ seconds

If you are interested in learning more about PHP Performance, be sure to check these posts out: Basic PHP Performance Tips (Google Dev) and 5 Things to Improve PHP Performance (DZone).

#1: PHP Compilation Time
In a standard PHP installation every web request processed by the PHP engine will be compiled. The compiled code will not be cached which means PHP needs to re-compile the same code when the next request comes in. In our system we saw compilation time spikes of up to 66% of the total execution time:

Many of our requests spend a lot of time in compiling complex PHP files. Optimizing these files will improve overall response time

It also pays off to analyze PHP Compilation Time long term. In our case we noticed that a new deployment let the Compilation Time Contribution jump to twice of what it was before. Having this insight allows you to review your code changes as well as think off using PHP Compilation Caching using PHP Accelerators.

Warning Signal for PHP Monitoring: A change in our deployment in combination with more traffic on April 3rd caused our PHP Compilation Time contribution to double

Key Takeaways

  • Developers: Analyze compilation time of your PHP code to identify complex coding early on
  • Testers: Watch out for PHP Compilation Time changes from build to build to identify regressions early on
  • Operations: Use PHP Accelerators as part of your PHP deployment in order to speed up overall PHP performance

#2: Bad database access patterns
Bad database access patterns are a common theme in the blog posts we write, mainly focusing on Java and .NET Enterprise Apps. Check out DB Access Patterns Gone Wild or When It Really Is The DB To Blame.

PHP Applications face the same problems. Watch out for the N+1 Query Problem; executing the same SQL multiple times per request or requesting data with multiple SQLs instead of optimizing a single SELECT statement:

Instead of specifying a proper IN-Clause the same SQL is executed hundreds of times with different WHERE-Clause causing unnecessary DB Roundtrips

Executing the exact same SQL up to 95 times is a sign for caching the data instead of requesting it over and over again from the database

To spot these problematic access patterns in production simply monitor the number of database executions and compare them with the incoming transactions as well as total database time as shown in the following chart:

In a production environment you do not want to see many spikes in database execution count and time that don't correlate to incoming load. That would indicate a data-driven performance/architectural problem

Key takeaways

  • Developers: Analyze which statements get really executed by your code as well as any third-party libraries you use to access code
  • Database Engineers: Watch out for SQL Executions from PHP and sit down with engineers to optimize their SQL queries in their code. Provide guidance on SQL coding or stored procedures instead of having them execute hundreds of SELECT queries
  • Testers: When executing load tests watch out for any load-related DB access patterns. Which "static" data is queried all the time and might be better off by caching it in the application?
  • Operations: Monitor spikes in # of SQL Executions and whether that relates to a data-driven problem such as a user using a very exotic search term that results in too many SQL queries

For tip #3, and for further insight, click here for the full article

More Stories By Andreas Grabner

Andreas Grabner has been helping companies improve their application performance for 15+ years. He is a regular contributor within Web Performance and DevOps communities and a prolific speaker at user groups and conferences around the world. Reach him at @grabnerandi

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
The technologies behind big data and cloud computing are converging quickly, offering businesses new capabilities for fast, easy, wide-ranging access to data. However, to capitalize on the cost-efficiencies and time-to-value opportunities of analytics in the cloud, big data and cloud technologies must be integrated and managed properly. Pythian's Director of Big Data and Data Science, Danil Zburivsky will explore: The main technology components and best practices being deployed to take advantage...
For years the world's most security-focused and distributed organizations - banks, military/defense agencies, global enterprises - have sought to adopt cloud technologies that can reduce costs, future-proof against data growth, and improve user productivity. The challenges of cloud transformation for these kinds of secure organizations have centered around data security, migration from legacy systems, and performance. In our presentation, we will discuss the notion that cloud computing, properl...
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
By 2021, 500 million sensors are set to be deployed worldwide, nearly 40x as many as exist today. In order to scale fast and keep pace with industry growth, the team at Unacast turned to the public cloud to build the world's largest location data platform with optimal scalability, minimal DevOps, and maximum flexibility. Drawing from his experience with the Google Cloud Platform, VP of Engineering Andreas Heim will speak to the architecture of Unacast's platform and developer-focused processes.
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
The vast majority of businesses now use cloud services, yet many still struggle with realizing the full potential of their IT investments. In particular, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the internal IT staff and expertise to fully move to and manage workloads in public cloud environments. Speaker Todd Schwartz will help session attendees better navigate the complex cloud market and maximize their technical investments. The SkyKick co-founder and co-CEO will share the biggest challe...
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will d...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Machine learning provides predictive models which a business can apply in countless ways to better understand its customers and operations. Since machine learning was first developed with flat, tabular data in mind, it is still not widely understood: when does it make sense to use graph databases and machine learning in combination? This talk tackles the question from two ends: classifying predictive analytics methods and assessing graph database attributes. It also examines the ongoing lifecycl...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
Everyone wants the rainbow - reduced IT costs, scalability, continuity, flexibility, manageability, and innovation. But in order to get to that collaboration rainbow, you need the cloud! In this presentation, we'll cover three areas: First - the rainbow of benefits from cloud collaboration. There are many different reasons why more and more companies and institutions are moving to the cloud. Benefits include: cost savings (reducing on-prem infrastructure, reducing data center foot print, r...
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.