Understanding the Building Blocks of Performance


- "Just scale it in the cloud"
- "No you've got to put the database on raw metal!"
- "You've gotta use Memcache if you want performance"
- "You need Nginx for speed"

Its really easy to get bad advice about acquiring an efficient architecture for your Drupal application. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits all solution. Drupal is, by design, a flexible system and its resource footprint is as unique as its implementation. Not to mention, you've got a budget and your investments can't be be built on bad or incomplete advice.

This session will provide an overview of common architectures and technologies used in the industry to host performing Drupal sites and more importantly, why they are used. This includes:

  • Single server and multi-tiered architecture
  • Server roles in a multi-tiered architecture and their resource requirements
  • Databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite
  • Webservers: Apache, Nginx
  • PHP: FPM, CGI, LibModPHP
  • Cache Proxies: Varnish, Nginx, Squid, Akamai, Fastly
  • Cache Stores: Memcache, Redis

Knowing what's right for your application is more than knowing the architecture and the technology to use. Performance testing and monitoring tools are just as important as the infrastructure. We'll look at some free and paid tools to help you measure the ability of your application including:

  • Testing with JMeter
  • Testing with Blazemeter
  • Profiling with XHProf
  • Monitoring with Cacti
  • Monitoring and profiling with New Relic

Finally, in getting your platform ready for the real world, we'll look at the top 10 most commonly found performance issues in Drupal applications and how to remedy them. We'll look at how monitoring your application identifies these issues and how to determine the solution.

Josh Waihi is a Technical Account Manager for Acquia. His experience and background with large scale Drupal projects in digital media and publishing have given him exposure to tools, infrastructure, problems and solutions of high traffic, high demand Drupal implementations.

Schedule info
Experience level: 
Drupal Version: 
Time slot: 
Tuesday · 17:00-18:00
G104 · Amazee Labs


Fantastic! Good technical detail, very well organized, delivered at a great pace, in clear language, backed by lots of actual experience.