Need for Speed: PHP Drift

It’s no secret that PHP, while being one of the most favored programming languages on the Web, isn’t exactly a sprinter in terms of served requests per second. Thus most of the sites I know use some sort of PHP accelerator to boost their performance. Currently, there’s the choice between Zend Optimizer from the owners of PHP, eAccelerator (the artist formerly known as Turck MMCache), APC and lately Xcache.
I tested all of them over time and felt that now might be a good time for another round. Since the performance (if any) of Zend Optimizer kept underwhelming me and eAccelerator this time didn’t attract my interest, I ended up testing APC and Xcache only. Lots of work saved, so to say.
Tests were run on Solaris and Linux and both accelerators came out head to head with a slight advantage in speed for Xcache (less then 1% faster on average). However, the penalty is that Xcache (at least the current version) had some stability issues when run on Solaris and also seems to have problems when doing garbage collection. So I went for APC this time, which as I found out later also is what Sun uses in their CoolTools package. The systems are in production use now, we’ll se how it works out.

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