tl;dr – AppNeta is the first SaaS APM solution to support PHP 7 in production!
As a web performance company it’s hard not to get excited when you read the hype around PHP 7. At the heart, PHP 7 is just faster. The fact that a large portion of the web, over 80% by some findings, is built on top of PHP means that as providers begin to change over to PHP 7 (currently seeing low adoption in it’s infancy) we’ll see a much better user experience overall.
Zend Engine has been driving PHP since PHP 4 and the developers behind the next generation of PHP (PHPNG) refactored the Zend engine to make PHP 7 up to 2x faster compared to PHP 5.6. The changes around the compacting of data structures also results in reduction of memory usage by 50%. What does this mean? Happier users and the ability to support more concurrent users without adding additional hardware resources.
While a lot has already been written about PHP 7 performance, I wanted to take it for a test drive on my dev box. To do that, I used ApacheBench on a Ubuntu 14.04 LTS machine, and was happy to see out-of-the-box performance gains just on upgrading from PHP 5.5 to PHP 7 for a Codeigniter application.
Case 1 – Requests :1000, Concurrency: 50
Case 2 – Requests: 10,000, Concurrency: 100
The performance gains noticed here are meaningful – as an engineer, it indicates that my servers are better utilized and to support giant spikes in web requests, I am likely to need half as many servers.
While exciting, PHP 7 will only be as good as its adoption. Major content management systems and platforms need to support PHP 7 (e.g., WordPress, Drupal) for it to truly deliver on performance promises but for the PHP developers around the globe, the times are exciting!
Whether you are evaluating PHP 7 today in pre-production environments or planning to roll it out to production over the coming months, AppNeta can help you isolate and fix performance issues with the newer, more performant version of the most common language on the internet.
We love hearing from our customers, so if you have any feedback please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.