Maybe, you remember turck-mmcache, a bytcode-cache for PHP, released under the GNU GPL which was said to be extremely fast.
It’s author got employed by Zend (the maker of another bytecode-cache, but a commercial one) and turck-mmcache was lingering around unmaintained since then (about a year ago).
Then PHP5 was released and truck-mmcache stopped working.
Finally, last month, some guys forked the dead mmcache and created eAccelerator, first fixing up the cache and optimizer to work with PHP5
And today, I gave it a shot on our developement-server, just to see, if this magical cache-thing really works.
I run ab on one of the most calculating intensive pages of my current project (which makes heavy use of PHP5s new object oriented language features).
Most interesting would be the “Requests per second” value:
Without eAccelerator: Requests per second: 7.89 [#/sec] (mean)
With eAccelerator: Requests per second: 24.77 [#/sec] (mean)
Which is a factor 3 speed increase.
Please note that the absolute values are somewhat irrelevant as this server is quite a weak developement server and DB, Application and ab all run on this same machine. Anyway. The relative three-fold speed-increase is quite cool. As soon as I have more confidence in eAccelerator, I think I’m going to deploy it in the productive environement.
Btw: if your are trying this out for yourselves: Your mileage may vary somewhat. The tested application uses quite many classes all separated into different files, so this is a case where a bytecode-cache can help greatly.