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White paper: Optimizing Drupal Performance - Benchmark Results

This paper presents the results of performance benchmarks for comparing several common PHP runtime environments and configurations. The application used for benchmarking is Drupal, the open source social publishing platform.
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Produced with Zend. A simple Drupal-based website was set up and tested in various commonly used Windows and Linux configurations. The results demonstrate that impressive speed improvements can be obtained using a variety of caching techniques and by taking advantage of Zend's optimized PHP runtime environment. Bytecode caching alone results in an over 300% speed improvement and configuring Drupal to take advantage of Zend Server's full-page caching results in over a 2500% speed improvement.

Tested runtime environments on both Linux and Windows included plain PHP, Zend Server, and open-source optimizers, such as APC and WinCache. Performance improvements were tested using the following technologies:

  • Plain PHP 5.2.10
  • APC bytecode caching
  • APC bytecode caching + shared memory caching
  • WinCache
  • Zend Server bytecode caching (Optimizer+)
  • Zend Server bytecode caching + shared memory/disk caching
  • Zend Server full-page caching + PressFlow's Drupal caching extensions

Acquia takes advantage of several of these optimizations in its Acquia Hosting and Drupal Gardens services.