Welcome!

PHP Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Hovhannes Avoyan, Lori MacVittie, Trevor Parsons

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...