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Mod PHP and Fast CGI

    {
{

    {Where did we come from?
{      Where are we going?
  Why did we need to get here?

        A look at FastCgi & Mod_PHP architecture


[
               Aimee Maree Forsstrom
The beginning

• HTML Tags – 1991
• HTML v2.0 - 1995
• HTTP v1.0 – 1996

• Computer says
  “213.236.210.9
  Show me your
  home page”
• Web server says
  “HTTP 200 OK
  Here you go
  <HTML> …
  </HTML>”
Dynamic Scripts
• CGI – 1993
• Receives PHP page
  request
• Loads PHP
  environment
• Executes request
• Kills environment
• Cleans it all up
• Repeats for every
  request, yes
  every single one!
Limitations
• The architecture with the worst
  performance. Why?
• Creates new process for every request
• Debugging CGI scripts traditionally
  been difficult. Why?
• Because, hard to study standard output
  and errors
• MOD_PHP and FastCGI came about at the
  same time to deal with the problems of
  CGI


          [                   ]
• .
Mod_PHP takes over
• Apache becomes forerunner
•

                                        ^
  Mod_PHP gains momentum
• Loads as Apache child process


                                        ^
• Preloads PHP environment
• Low latency


                                        ^
• Use persistent database sessions
• Shared memory
• Two requests or one after the other
  can share memory between


                                        ^
• Store persistent data in memory
  (xcache, APC, etc)
Mod|PHP the Downside

• Uses Apache Permission > runs as www
• Increases Apaches memory usage >
  Parent – Child design > need 100
  apache children, if each one uses
  100mb then 1GB of memory needed
• Slows down Apache as Apache does the
  work of PHP
• Apache needs to restart the child
• Leads to loss of connection
• Not suitable for scaling across
  multiple servers 
Mod_PHP
• Checks queue then parses request
• Is it static? Yes/No? Either way > Apache
How does Apache work

•   Procedural based parent/child design
•   Listener at the front
•   Listener places request in queue
•   Queue processed bottom first
•   Therefore, first come first served
•   Backend checks for new processes
•   Pick request from queue
•   Processes request returns results
•   Apache decides what to do with it?
•   PHP runs as a apache child
•   Therefore it can do nothing else until
    the script executes/times out and
    mark-up is delivered
Apache gets a work-out

• Backend =
  mod_php
• Architecture
  leads to
  blocking
• Apache says?
• Spawn more
  backends
• But?
• We run out of
  memory?
• Solution =
  limit them!
• But now the
  queue fills
  up? #fail
Mod_PHP fails
1b.Incoming
requests are
dropped
2b. Queue
fills up and
fails
One + One = Two?


Page load time =

                     {
PHP script load
         +       {
  static load
                [
Fast[Cgi takes over
• Parent/Child model
• Apache does not handle PHP children
  FastCGI does
• Web servers like Apache don’t like
  processing applications
• Web servers like dealing with static
  requests
• Separates application from the web
  server


                                ]
• Web server becomes proxy server and
  sends PHP requests to FCGI
Fast[CGI benefits
• Preloads PHP environment
• Webserver free to process static
  content
• FastCGI handles only PHP requests
• Server does not die if PHP script dies
• Natively load balanced
• Round robin load balancing effect
• Restart PHP without restarting server
• Make configuration changes on the fly


                   _            |
Fast[CGI                ]
• Apache decides if dynamic script
• If yes, hands across to fastCGI
• PHP load does not effect mark-up load
Fast CGI dispatcher
• Similar
  workflow to
  HTTP, but?
• FastCgi is its
  protocol
• Not HTTP
• Listener takes
  request
• Places in queue
• Backends pick
  up
• Processes
  results
Fast[CGI Load Balanced

• Web Server & FCGI Dispatcher separate
• Dispatch among servers randomly
• Dispatch among servers based on list
how are they different?

• FastCGI is interprocess communication
• And mod_PHP is an in-process module

             Example
Persistent connections
Mod_php every persistent connection
would own connection to the database.
This can be expensive as some
connections would be serving static
content such as image files.
the difference

              It’s the
              bottle
              neck


The load is
   balanced
    in FCGI
The future is bright
• Fast CGI, but it’s old? So get into it
  finally!
• Load Balancing
• Increased Security as each backend runs
  as different user
• Multiple PHP environment support 5.2/5.3
• Restart PHP without one dropped
  connection
• Configuration changes without dropping
  connections
• Not language specific
• PHP runs FastCGI natively inside
  application
• PHP compile time option
Thank you
       @aimee_maree
    www.aimeemaree.com




|

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A look at FastCgi & Mod_PHP architecture

  • 1. Mod PHP and Fast CGI { { {Where did we come from? { Where are we going? Why did we need to get here? A look at FastCgi & Mod_PHP architecture [ Aimee Maree Forsstrom
  • 2. The beginning • HTML Tags – 1991 • HTML v2.0 - 1995 • HTTP v1.0 – 1996 • Computer says “213.236.210.9 Show me your home page” • Web server says “HTTP 200 OK Here you go <HTML> … </HTML>”
  • 3. Dynamic Scripts • CGI – 1993 • Receives PHP page request • Loads PHP environment • Executes request • Kills environment • Cleans it all up • Repeats for every request, yes every single one!
  • 4. Limitations • The architecture with the worst performance. Why? • Creates new process for every request • Debugging CGI scripts traditionally been difficult. Why? • Because, hard to study standard output and errors • MOD_PHP and FastCGI came about at the same time to deal with the problems of CGI [ ] • .
  • 5. Mod_PHP takes over • Apache becomes forerunner • ^ Mod_PHP gains momentum • Loads as Apache child process ^ • Preloads PHP environment • Low latency ^ • Use persistent database sessions • Shared memory • Two requests or one after the other can share memory between ^ • Store persistent data in memory (xcache, APC, etc)
  • 6. Mod|PHP the Downside • Uses Apache Permission > runs as www • Increases Apaches memory usage > Parent – Child design > need 100 apache children, if each one uses 100mb then 1GB of memory needed • Slows down Apache as Apache does the work of PHP • Apache needs to restart the child • Leads to loss of connection • Not suitable for scaling across multiple servers 
  • 7. Mod_PHP • Checks queue then parses request • Is it static? Yes/No? Either way > Apache
  • 8. How does Apache work • Procedural based parent/child design • Listener at the front • Listener places request in queue • Queue processed bottom first • Therefore, first come first served • Backend checks for new processes • Pick request from queue • Processes request returns results • Apache decides what to do with it? • PHP runs as a apache child • Therefore it can do nothing else until the script executes/times out and mark-up is delivered
  • 9. Apache gets a work-out • Backend = mod_php • Architecture leads to blocking • Apache says? • Spawn more backends • But? • We run out of memory? • Solution = limit them! • But now the queue fills up? #fail
  • 11. One + One = Two? Page load time = { PHP script load + { static load [
  • 12. Fast[Cgi takes over • Parent/Child model • Apache does not handle PHP children FastCGI does • Web servers like Apache don’t like processing applications • Web servers like dealing with static requests • Separates application from the web server ] • Web server becomes proxy server and sends PHP requests to FCGI
  • 13. Fast[CGI benefits • Preloads PHP environment • Webserver free to process static content • FastCGI handles only PHP requests • Server does not die if PHP script dies • Natively load balanced • Round robin load balancing effect • Restart PHP without restarting server • Make configuration changes on the fly _ |
  • 14. Fast[CGI ] • Apache decides if dynamic script • If yes, hands across to fastCGI • PHP load does not effect mark-up load
  • 15. Fast CGI dispatcher • Similar workflow to HTTP, but? • FastCgi is its protocol • Not HTTP • Listener takes request • Places in queue • Backends pick up • Processes results
  • 16. Fast[CGI Load Balanced • Web Server & FCGI Dispatcher separate • Dispatch among servers randomly • Dispatch among servers based on list
  • 17. how are they different? • FastCGI is interprocess communication • And mod_PHP is an in-process module Example Persistent connections Mod_php every persistent connection would own connection to the database. This can be expensive as some connections would be serving static content such as image files.
  • 18. the difference It’s the bottle neck The load is balanced in FCGI
  • 19. The future is bright • Fast CGI, but it’s old? So get into it finally! • Load Balancing • Increased Security as each backend runs as different user • Multiple PHP environment support 5.2/5.3 • Restart PHP without one dropped connection • Configuration changes without dropping connections • Not language specific • PHP runs FastCGI natively inside application • PHP compile time option
  • 20. Thank you @aimee_maree www.aimeemaree.com |