A Better PHP

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2001-11-19 Print this article Print

A Better PHP

Zeus Web Server 4.0 now lets sites run PHP through FastCGI, a much better option than the often-problematic, ISAPI-based implementation of PHP that Zeus used previously. In eWeek Labs tests, which we performed using RadView Software Ltd.s WebLoad 5.0, we did see improved performance, especially over the ISAPI-based PHP.

In comparison with Apache 1.39 with mod_php, we saw the performance improve by almost 50 percent, especially when comparing total throughput and pages per second. All tests were run on identical systems with Red Hat Inc.s RedHat Linux 7.1 installed.

Zeus can also run in conjunction with Zend Technologies Ltd.s Accelerator, which should increase PHP performance even more. Sites not looking to upgrade to Zeus Web Server should also keep in mind that it is possible to run FastCGI-based PHP on Apache. Information on this can be found at www.fastcgi.com. In tests using this configuration, we saw improved performance for Apache but not up to the same level as Zeus when running PHP.

Setting up the FastCGI and PHP took a little work, and a link on the Zeus support site took us to the wrong version of the FastCGI development kit.

The browser-based administration interface for the Zeus Web Server has always been functional, if a little bare-bones, with confusion about where some settings would be configured. Version 4.0 has greatly improved this area, including an intuitive interface that makes it possible to see a servers configuration at a glance.

Zeus has also added some very good reporting and real-time monitoring tools, features that competitors such as iPlanet have had for many years. Using these tools, we could easily check to see the load on our server and check usage statistics.

Zeus has also improved its already superb support for multiple languages, making it well suited for developers and users in non-English- speaking companies.

East Coast Technical Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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