Benchmarking Zend Download Server

Posted in PHP, Programming and Zend Platform on Saturday, the 12th of July, 2008.

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Recently I've started looking into ways that the PHP dev team in which I work can make better use of our Zend Platform installation.

For that reason, the recent Ibuildings/Zend seminar in London on the subject of "Enterprise PHP" was well timed, as it included a pretty detailed run through of a lot of what Platform has to offer.

One feature which really struck me as having the potential to bring performance benefits to one of our systems was the Zend Download Server. Back at the office, I looked into the feature, and ran a few benchmarks. Oddly though, the results don't seem to flatter Zend Download Server.


Posted by Ciaran McNulty on Saturday, the 12th of July, 2008.

I think the advantages of zend_send_file might come out when in a situation where PHP processes typically have a high memory usage.

On a project I've helped out with recently, most of the PHP scripts use about 20MB of memory per request. As the VPS it runs on has only 256MB RAM, we've had to set MaxClients to 8 in Apache.

Now, what we've found is that this affects even the few rare lightweight PHP scripts that are present, that just do things like serve up cached files, because the server has this hard limit of 8 simultaneous requests.

The promise of zend_send_file for me is that these lightweight processes get to 'opt out' of the MaxClients limit and instead hand off the file delivery to the one zend platform process, freeing Apache up to serve another request.

How to properly profile this, I've not yet worked out!

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