Since the WinCache Extension for PHP has been released last year it has been widely deployed by customers who run PHP on Windows OS and it has proven to provide a substantial performance boost for PHP applications hosted on Windows-based web servers.
Today IIS team has published a beta of WinCache 1.1, which provides more options for improving performance of PHP applications on Windows. Specifically, the new version includes :
User Cache API’s, that can be used by PHP scripts to store PHP objects and variables in shared memory. This way PHP scripts may improve the execution speed by storing processed data in the cache and then using it in subsequent requests instead of re-creating the data on every request. The addition of these API’s closes the remaining feature gap that WinCache had when compared with other similar caching solutions like APC and XCache.
WinCache Session Handler, that can be used to configure PHP to store the session data in shared memory cache. Using shared memory instead of the default file session storage helps improve performance of PHP applications that store large amount of data in session objects.
This is the beta release and the WinCache team is looking for your feedback on new features and functionality. Use the WinCache Community Forum to ask questions about the extension, report bugs and problems and to suggest features and improvements.
The new release of WinCache Extension for PHP – version 1.0.1 – is available for download. This is a servicing release that has fixes for bugs reported in v1.0. In particular the following fixes and changes have been made in this release:
Fixed require_once on PHP5.3. If the files were absolute and similar files were included in different case, require_once was including it twice.
Changed relative path cache to act as resolve path cache. Incremented refcounts under aplist lock. Did comparison using InterlockedCompareExchange.
Fixed crashes which were happening because aplist refcount and opcode cache refcount can get out of sync due to local cache.
Exposed is_local_cache property from ocache_fileinfo and fcache_fileinfo. Stats page will use this to indicate when local opcode data is shown.
Updated the wincache.php to pass chart data on query string to ensure that the charts show the same data that is displayed in tables
Updated the wincache.php to show whether information about a global or local cache instance is being displayed
Changed variable names and comments to indicate rplist is resolve path cache and not just relative path cache
Changed wincache.php to use resolve_path instead of relative_path
This post describes how to configure IIS to support multiple versions of PHP on the same server. This kind of setup is useful in development environments where it is necessary to test an application with different PHP versions. Also, it is often used in production environments, where many PHP applications are hosted on the same server and some of them have dependency on a particular PHP version.
In order to setup multiple versions of PHP side by side on the same IIS server it is necessary to install PHP manually by following the steps described in php.net documentation for IIS 5.1 and IIS 6.0 and for IIS 7.0 and later. Do not use PHP Windows installer because it does not support side by side installations.
The installation with Web Platform Installer is the easiest as it will automatically place the extension binary into proper location and will update the PHP configuration to enable the extension. Also, if you have the beta or RC release of the extension installed, then Web PI will upgrade it. If you install any PHP application by using Web PI then the Windows Cache Extension for PHP will be offered as an optional component.
PHP.NET web site is known for its well written and very detailed documentation. The excellent content together with tons of user contributed notes has made the PHP.NET the primary place for getting the help on all PHP related questions.
However there was one thing in the PHP docs that was still not up-to-date. The Windows and IIS-specific installation and configuration sections did not cover the latest changes in Windows, such as IIS 7 and FastCGI. Now I am glad to let everyone know that this part of the PHP documentation is also being updated!
The Windows Cache Extension 1.0 for PHP – Release Candidate is available for download. The release contains functionality and stability improvements and it is believed to have the quality level suitable for production deployments.
Install the Windows Cache Extension 1.0 for PHP – RC
The installation with Web Platform Installer is the easiest as it will automatically place the extension binary into proper location and will update the PHP configuration to enable the extension. Also, if you have the beta release of the extension installed, then Web PI will upgrade it. If you install any PHP application by using Web PI then the Windows Cache Extension for PHP – RC will be offered as an optional component.
This post describes how to configure IIS 7 to output syntax highlighted source code for PHP files stored on the web server or site. This feature may be useful for development environments when you want to quickly make the source code accessible to other team members.
WARNING: Never attempt to do what is described below on any internet accessible web site! Doing so will greatly compromise the security of your web application.
The HTTP requests for the PHP source code are usually identified by the “.phps” file extension, e.g. http://localhost/index.phps. You will need to configure IIS to understand and handle the HTTP requests with this extension. There are two options for that: to create an IIS handler mapping for “*.phps” or to use the IIS URL Rewrite Module.
The FastCGI module in IIS has a configuration setting maxInstances, which controls the number of concurrently running php-cgi.exe processes that IIS creates to process PHP requests. To achieve optimal performance, it is recommended to fine tune this setting for your specific environment starting with 8-10 instances per CPU core (e.g. maxInstances=32 for quad-core CPU).
The Windows Cache Extension for PHP can be used to improve performance of PHP applications running on Windows operating systems. The extension caches the compiled PHP opcode in the shared memory, which helps to avoid re-doing of such CPU intensive operations as parsing and compiling of the PHP source code. This means that when Windows Cache Extension for PHP is enabled, less CPU cycles are required for a web server to process PHP requests. Because of that, the previously configured value for the FastCGI maxInstances setting may not be adequate to load the server’s CPU completely and it may be necessary to increase the value further.
Today IIS team has released the beta of the Windows Cache Extension 1.0 for PHP. The Windows Cache Extension for PHP is a PHP accelerator, that is used to increase the speed of PHP applications running on the Windows operating systems. Any PHP application can take advantage of the functionality provided by the Windows Cache Extension for PHP without any code modifications. All that is required is that the extension is enabled and loaded by the PHP engine.
Install the Windows Cache Extension 1.0 for PHP – Beta
About a year ago I wrote an article about how to enable per-site PHP configuration on IIS with FastCGI. The instructions in that article required some non-trivial manipulations of IIS and FastCGI configuration settings. At that time it was one of the primary options for enabling per site php.ini support (other option was to use the htscanner extension for PHP). Now, with PHP 5.3 final release available, it is much simpler to implement the same configuration because PHP 5.3 has built-in support for per-directory INI settings and for user-defined INI files. This post describes how to use these features of PHP 5.3 with IIS to enable per-site and per-directory PHP configuration.