Beyond Open Source – 4 Key Considerations When Investing in a PHP Platform

Unanticipated spikes in application usage at inopportune times can have a large impact on the success of an application, and ultimately on the company that depends on it. Companies need to take stock of whether their applications and the platforms they run on can scale to meet demand, and they’re asking themselves whether it’s time to invest in a commercial PHP application platform.

The right commercial PHP platform should provide the ability to cluster servers, easily spin up new server instances and dynamically meet spikes in demand while keeping servers in sync. For true elasticity, all of this should be supported automatically, without human intervention. Further, session clustering needs to be supported to prevent information loss in the event a server fails or suddenly becomes unavailable.

A commercial PHP platform creates value in terms of reliability, security, uptime and support, and it allows developers to focus on more productive tasks. Here’s what to look for in a commercial PHP platform:

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    • Faraz Ahmed

      After reading the document, I am tempted to use Zend Server for my future big projects. I will share the experience of how it went.

    • Jacob Fogg

      Great read. It reveals two areas of weakness for us…. Advanced diagnostics and deployment automation… Back to the drawing board.

    • Daniel Rhodes

      An informative, if somewhat dry, overview of Zend Server’s benefits. I feel like this article needs to be a bit longer. How about an interview with a Zend Server power customer? Or some graphs comparing speed of deployment or speed of bug fixing with plain PHP versus Zend Server.

    • Cal Evans

      Interesting read. Forwarding it over to a friend of mine who asked about Zend Server the other day.


    • Sharon Levy

      The article makes several interesting points with respect to using Zend Server. First of all, core PHP cannot be clustered (now I know) but Zend Server provides that kind of capability. What was a little surprising concerns the fact that Zend makes security hot-fixes. I understand these hot fixes benefit PHP users in general which is a lovely way for Zend to give something back to the community. I’m interested to know the fine details about the caching of user sessions. How exactly is this done? I’d like to know precisely much more about how “user sessions are transitioned to other servers transparently.”

    • skoop

      Whether it is Zend Server or one of the other commercial offerings concerning PHP, once you hit a certain size/popularity/level of professionalism, one of the commercial offerings is a serious consideration to make. I’ve been a huge fan of Zend Server for quite a few years now and I’ve seen it implemented in several of the companies I worked for to a great advantage of both the development team and the ops team.

    • Asgrim

      Interesting read. I’ve long been of the opinion that an organisation can get away for quite some time without looking into a good commercial offering, but there will always come a time where business growth demands absolute, unfaltering stability. It’s at that point, something like Zend Server comes into its own. It’s supported by Zend, has detailed diagnostics which vanilla PHP lacks – who wants to sit there “tail”-ing Apache’s error log?

      Zend Server is thought out well, and clearly targeted to businesses who want a stable, scalable, “clusterable” (is that a word?) PHP platform with as little fuss as possible. Of course there are other great solutions out there, but that involves piecing lots of things together and hoping nothing gives way – Zend Server just has it all there, in one tidy package.

    • Lucas Maliszewski

      I have to strongly agree with the number one the primary reason, Diagnostics. I can’t tell you how much time our team has been able to save with utilizing a strong PHP platform. Ours happens to be Zend of course and we have not looked back.

    • jcarouth

      I’ve spent a lot of time in stacks with various levels of integration with third party services to handle things like diagnostics and such. All said, having a fully integrated and useful setup like Zend Service is something to give you peace of mind if nothing else. Good article.

    • Wim Godden

      Just sent this to a customer who was looking at whether they would be rebuilding their own stack (again) or move to Zend Server.

    • Christian Wenz

      interesting read, yet would probably put deployment ahead of support.