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Profiling PHP applications

Profiling PHP applications

It's nothing new that speed is important for the success of any web application. Only a few hundred milliseconds may lie between a user leaving your site or staying. Unfortunately performance problems are oftentimes hard to fix and even harder to pinpoint.

In this talk I will show you how we at ResearchGate measure web application performance, which means not only timing how long the PHP backend took to deliver a page, but also tracking the speed the users actually perceives in the browser. After that you will see how you can track down and analyze any problems you found through measuring with the help of tools like Xdebug, XHProf and the Symfony Debug Toolbar. And if you still need to get faster after optimizing and fixing all these issues, I'll introduce you to some tricks, techniques and patterns to even further decrease load times.


Bastian Hofmann

November 07, 2013

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  1. My site is slow, what can I do? @BastianHofmann Profiling

    PHP applications
  2. This talk is all about... ...

  3. Speed. And with that I mean, not the drug, the

    movie or any game, but
  4. Speed of your web application the ..

  5. We'll talk about...

  6. Why it matters and why you should care about it

  7. How to measure it what actually is pagespeed and ...

  8. How to find out where the problems are and ..

  9. Before we start ...

  10. A few words about me ...

  11. I work at ResearchGate, the professional network for scientists and

  12. ResearchGate gives science back to the people who make it

    happen. We help researchers build reputation and accelerate scientific progress. On their terms. ‟ the goal is to give...
  13. over 3 million users

  14. here some impressions of the page

  15. you may have read about us in the news recently

  16. http://gigaom.com/2013/06/05/heres-how-bill-gatess- researchgate-investment-might-change-the-world-for-the- better http://venturevillage.eu/researchgate

  17. have this, and also work on some cool stuff

  18. we are hiring

  19. Questions? Ask by the way, if you have any questions

    throughout this talk, if you don't understand something, just raise your hand and ask.
  20. http://speakerdeck.com/u/bastianhofmann the slides will be available on speakerdeck

  21. Why should you care? so, pagespeed...

  22. It is really important of course because ...

  23. None
  24. but seriously, in the last years multiple studies were made

    on the importance of speed for a web application. how does it affect usage and conversion? how long are people waiting for content? how does it affect sales? if people left because the site is slow, are they coming back?
  25. Every ms counts in short, the result of every study

    was the same: ...
  26. in detail

  27. in detail

  28. ..

  29. So what is pagespeed?

  30. Server the first thing the contributes to pagespeed is what

    happens on the server. this is also the easiest part, because it is completely under our control
  31. Your PHP application Request Response so what your server and

    your application is doing between incoming request and outgoing response
  32. Your PHP application Request Response Load balancer though this does

    not mean only your application, but also the rest of your setup, like a loadbalancer
  33. Your PHP application Request Response Load balancer and also your

    application is probably not a single small php script, but a big application with multiple components that each can affect speed differently. so getting a more detailed view on these components might be interesting as well. more to that later
  34. web server db http service http service cache user request

    additionally most bigger applications have some kind of a service oriented architecture, same things apply here. knowing about the speed of the different services is important.
  35. what is your web application like?

  36. But there is more ... your application does not stop

    at your server. somehow it needs to get to your user
  37. so internet connectivity is also a big part, contributing to

    pagespeed, that means everything from dns lookup, over ssl handshake to actually transporting the content over the wire
  38. when your user received the content, he needs to display

    it. and some browsers are way slower than others in doing it
  39. so the dom needs to be rendered, css fetched and

    applied, images loaded
  40. and of course nearly no web application comes without javascript.

    this needs to be loaded and executed as well
  41. http://www.stevesouders.com/blog/2012/02/10/the-performance-golden-rule/

  42. So what happens on your server is really iportant

  43. But the rest as well my point is: what is

    important is the pagespeed your user perceives. this contains everything from server to his browser. in the end it's your fault if the site is slow, even if the user's computer and browser is crappy.
  44. Step 1 how to deal with this...

  45. Measuring measuring your actual pagespeed

  46. who is doing it?

  47. if you start: it's going to hurt

  48. because although everything seems to be fine on your fast,

    2 month old machine, with lot's of ram, cpu power, latest chrome, from your 50mbit vdsl connection with a very low ping to your data center.
  49. reality is: Old computers

  50. Old feature phones, slower smart phones, mobile networks in general

    (edge anyone?)
  51. old browsers

  52. people in countries with big latencies to your datacenter and/or

    slow internet connections (rember dial up)
  53. So you need to measure at your users side

  54. Navigation Timing API https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/ Navigation_timing there is actually a great

    javascript up that is supported by a lot of modern browsers
  55. you get timestamps for all important events of a pageload

  56. DEMO

  57. For older browsers you have to do it yourself though

    ... e.g. by manually measuring the time with javascript and on the server. this is actually kind of hard (clock offsets, etc)
  58. Or

  59. https://github.com/lognormal/boomerang use something of people who already did this for

  60. Getting it back to the server so now you have

    all the timestamps in your javascript, you need to ...
  61. logstash http://logstash.net/ enter the next tool, logstash is a very

    powerful tool to handle log processing
  62. input filter output basic workflow is that you have some

    input where logstash gets log messages in, on this input you can execute multiple filters that modify the message and then you can output the filtered message somewhere
  63. Very rich plugin system to do this it offers a

    very large and rich plugin system for all kinds of inputs, filters and outputs, and you can also write your own
  64. browser JS: boomerang logstash trackingServer access log requests tracking image

    with timing information as query parameters for our purpose we can just have boomerang in the browser collect the timestamps and then send a small tracking request (inserting an image) to a tracking server. the timestamps are added as query parameters to this request. the server only returns an empty image and logs the request to his access log which logstash can parse.
  65. Graphing it we want to...

  66. Graphite http://graphite.wikidot.com/ again there are many tools available to collect

    and display these metrics: one i want to highlight is graphite
  67. graphite comes with a powerful interface where you can plot

    and aggregate this data into graphs and perform different mathematical functions on it to get it exactly the way you want to display your data
  68. browser JS: boomerang logstash trackingServer access log requests tracking image

    with timing information as query parameters graphite statsd and statsd is a small load balancing daemon for it. so this is your setup logstash sends these timestamps to statsd who aggregates the information and sends them to graphite
  69. input { file { type => "pagespeed-access" path => [

    "/var/log/nginx/ access_log/monitoring-access.log" ] } } in logstash this is how to get the date from the log into logstash
  70. filter{ grok { type => "pagespeed-access" pattern => "^.*\s\"[A-Z]+\s[^\?\s]+ \?page=%{DATA:page}\&connectTime=%

    {NUMBER:connectTime}...)?\sHTTP\/\d\.\d\".* $" } grok { type => "pagespeed-access" match => ["page", "^(profile| home|...)\.logged(In|Out)$"] exclude_tags => ["_grokparsefailure"] } } you can apply filters to put it into a structured form and validate it
  71. output { statsd { type => "pagespeed-access" exclude_tags => ["_grokparsefailure"]

    host => "localhost" port => 8126 namespace => "pagespeed" sender => "" timing => [ "%{page}.connect", "% {connectTime}", ... ] } } and the put the data somehwere else. here we are sending it to statsd. what's that
  72. and thats what such graphes then may look like

  73. Can we measure more? I said earlier we may need

    information about services etc
  74. Load balancer in a soa architecture we can do something

    similar with the access logs of our services, which also have timing information. or if we have a load balancer in between as well. we can get useful information from there
  75. Example: HAProxy you can get the time of the request,

    time spent in haproxy queues etc.
  76. input { file { type => "haproxy-http-log" path => [

    "/var/log/ haproxy-http.log*" ] } } example config
  77. filter { grok { type => "haproxy-http-log" pattern => "%{HAPROXYHTTP}"

    } mutate { type => "haproxy-http-log" gsub => [ "server_name", "\.", "_", "client_ip", "\.", "_" ] } } example config
  78. output { statsd { type => "haproxy-http-log" exclude_tags => ["_grokparsefailure"]

    host => "localhost" port => 8125 namespace => "lb" sender => "" increment => [ ! ! "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.hits", ! ! "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.responses.%{http_status_code}" ! ! ] timing => [ "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.time_request", "%{time_request}", "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.time_backend_connect", "%{time_backend_connect}", "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.time_backend_response", "%{time_backend_response}", "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.time_queue", "%{time_queue}", "haproxy.%{backend_name}.%{server_name}.% {client_ip}.time_duration", "%{time_duration}" ] } } example config
  79. browser JS: boomerang logstash trackingServer access log requests tracking image

    with timing information as query parameters graphite statsd logstash load balancer access log logstash service access log logstash can analyse these logs and send them to statsd as well
  80. From within your PHP app What is also useful is

    to measure certain things from within your php app, e.g. rendering time. time database requests took. time spent of certain business logic etc. you can either just log this to a file and use the same logstash mechanism, or if you just need to have it for debugging, do it differently. more to that later.
  81. Only overall?

  82. By pages but you should not only measure all your

    request, you should differentiate by...
  83. By browser

  84. By country

  85. Logged in / out

  86. Heavy users .. or just everything that makes sense for

  87. Define goals and after measuring everything and you see that

    you are slow somehwere, you should define goals, what performance you want to reach
  88. Step 2 but before you can start fixing stuff, ...

  89. How to find out where the problems are finding out

  90. Profiling you can do this through ...

  91. first tool usefull for this is ... xdebug has quite

    a few functionalities like offering the ability to make breakpoints in your code, nicer error displays and so on. but one is also profiling of your app
  92. xdebug.profiler_enable_trigger = 1 http://url?XDEBUG_PROFILE you can either activate profiling for

    every request or selectively for all requests that have a GET, POST or COOKIE parameter called XDEBUG_PROFILE
  93. Webgrind https://github.com/jokkedk/webgrind this write so called cachegrind files. in order

    to view this you can use tools like kcachegrind or the easiest one ...
  94. you can see everything that happend in this request, every

    function that was invoked, how often this was and how long it took.
  95. DEMO

  96. Use it locally on your dev machine one thing with

    xdebug, it slows down php, so .. but not in production
  97. XHProf https://github.com/facebook/xhprof for production there is xhprof, developed by facebook

  98. Use it in production for a subset of requests you

    can safely use it in production, it comes with a performance overhead but only when used, so you can activate it, but only use for a small percentage of requests or when manually activated (e.g. by a cookie).
  99. XHGUI https://github.com/preinheimer/xhgui to display the xhprof profiles, there is a

    nice tool called xhgui
  100. in addition to the normal thinkgs like seeing

  101. the whole callstack

  102. you can also visualize this in a graph

  103. and can do analysis over multiple requests and compare them

    to each other
  104. DEMO

  105. Symfony Debug Toolbar i said earlier, that there is another

    good way to get information about your applications internals, especially if you only need it for debugging and not in a graph. this is with the..
  106. it comes with standard symfony and you probably all have

    seen it already
  107. you can click on it and it gives you nice

    detailed information about the request. stuff like doctrine queries, a nice timeline, exceptions, routing, events etc.
  108. DEMO

  109. Extend it http://symfony.com/doc/current/cookbook/profiler/ data_collector.html but did you know that you

    can extend it? there are some good ready made extensions available, e.g. for caching, http calls, versioning etc. just check packagist, but you can also write your own easily.
  110. here are some examples how we at researchgate extended it

    (disclaimer: we are not even using full symfony, but only some components).
  111. None
  112. None
  113. None
  114. None
  115. None
  116. DEMO

  117. Step 3 now that you have all this debugging information

    to pinpoint your bottlenecks, let's get to ...
  118. Fix it

  119. That's someting you have to do unfortunately ... since it

    is very dependent on your application and your setup
  120. None
  121. Remember but

  122. Speed matters

  123. http://twitter.com/BastianHofmann http://lanyrd.com/people/BastianHofmann http://speakerdeck.com/u/bastianhofmann mail@bastianhofmann.de thanks, you can contact me on

    any of these platforms or via mail.