Zend is the main character of many open-source success stories. It follows the proven success model in MySQL and Subversion. For enterprise customers who require high reliability and high scalability Web application servers, provides technical support and commercial software.
Previously, the company has announced the release of the Zend Server software, a highly integrated platform for running PHP applications on one or three servers. It contains a high-speed code cache function that allows PHP applications to run more quickly. It can also monitor all PHP scripts on the user server and send alarms when the operation is slow or an error occurs.
Zend is now releasing a simplified free version of its enterprise software. In the Zend Server community edition, users can obtain the same high-performance code execution and management interface, but not technical support, in addition, PHP updates will not be upgraded immediately when released. Even so, users can use at least their powerful functions to easily save expensive hardware upgrade costs.
Zeev Suraski, founder of Zend, recently interviewed the media about the relationship between Zend Server community edition and non-free version, and why the team spent so much time developing PHP 6.
Reporter: What are the similarities and differences between Zend Server and existing Zend Platform Software?
Sulasky: At the beginning, we plan to operate and manage these two products at the same time. Zend Server is designed for a single Server solution with a maximum of two or three servers. Zend Platform is designed for large cluster environments. We decided to gradually launch the Zend Server strategy, so in the future we plan to add cluster support functions on Zend Server, as well as other features and new features on the Zend Platform.
Reporter: That is to say, your plan is to add Zend Platform functions to Zend Server?
Sulasky: Yes, but we will not only add features from the Zend Platform, but also improve the user interface and ease of use. Therefore, you will not see identical features in the Zend Server of the cluster version in the future, but their ultimate version; or higher performance, or new features.
Reporter: One of the key features of Zend Server is that it is a highly integrated solution with software that can be configured and run in a more optimized way. But if you already have MySQL and Apache, do you still need Zend Server?
Sulasky: It depends on the operating system you are using. If you have installed Apache on a Linux system, you do not need to install a new Apache. You only need to use the Apache that comes with the system. However, if you use other systems, you can install Apache through Zend Server, which is very convenient.
Reporter: Can users use the built-in PHP?
Sulasky: No. You must use PHP in Zend Server. From a technical point of view, you may be able to do this, but we do not recommend or support it.
Reporter: The Monitoring Agent of Zend Server automatically tracks the time when errors occur due to scripts, database connections, or other PHP-related problems. It can save the application status, so it can be restored later. Does this need to occupy a lot of resources?
Sulasky: If a user's application is really poor, it will produce many such events and it takes a lot of time to save them. But in general, users' applications do not generate too many such events, and their resource overhead is almost negligible, which is between 1% and 2%. It depends on the number of events generated.
Reporter: Can it be said that Zend is entering a field previously ruled by the Java application server?
Sulasky: To some extent, I think so. In fact, it is already a fact in some aspects. PHP has been applied to many key business applications and has been deployed in a wide range, such as Wikipedia, YouTube, and Flickr. This trend is still growing, and we think it makes sense and supports it in Zend Server.
Reporter: On the other hand, with Zend Server making PHP more enterprise-oriented, can PHP possibly lose contact with its original community?
Sulasky: I don't think so, but I want to point out that PHP has been developed for 12 to 13 years and is no longer a new language. That is to say, I think the PHP community is still developing it, and it is still closely related to the community that uses it. The PHP community is very healthy. It is very powerful and continues to grow.
The key advantage of PHP is that it is a mature solution, which has been proved by facts. Few people know how to deploy websites using Ruby or Python. They are also very good solutions, but their community size is much smaller than that of the PHP community. Of course, the Web server industry has a space for multiple products. I don't think PHP will be used by all websites.
Reporter: Can it be said that open-source products in the Community are affecting functions in the Zend Server free version? For example, I think PHP 6 will contain an optional code cache standard. Will you release the corresponding version?
Sulasky: This is one of the features we decided to add, but it is not the only feature.
The optional PHP cache (APC) will become the PHP standard, but it will not bring much changes. It is already in the PHP extension library, and users can install it very easily, if you follow PHP 6, you will find that it is not enabled by default. If people really like APC, they can disable the Zend Optimizer plug-in and then use APC, except for a small part of the user interface that is dedicated to Zend, the others are exactly the same.
Reporter: PHP 6 seems to have been developed for too long. Considering Perl 6, is number 6 a curse? Or is it just part of the plan?
Sulasky: Maybe, but I think PHP 6 will be available before Python 6. PHP 6 is a project that is more difficult than PHP 4 and PHP 5 for two reasons: first, the PHP code library is already so huge; second, every small compatibility fault will become a nightmare for many people. In addition, because PHP 6 will introduce native Unicode support, it will inevitably bring a lot of compatibility faults to the language. Frankly speaking, I don't know what the final result will be.
Reporter: How difficult is switching from PHP 5 to PHP 6 compared to switching from PHP 4 to PHP 5?
Sulasky: Migration from version 4 to version 5 is quite successful and takes only a few years, but today's PHP 5 is more popular than the original PHP 4. We decided not to worry about upgrading, so now we are more concerned with PHP 5.3.
We decided to add some new features, such as namespaces, that we planned to launch in PHP 6 in PHP 5.3 so we don't have to rush to upgrade to PHP 6. It may take some time for PHP 6 to be officially launched.