How to (properly) evaluate Zend Server – Introduction

So, today kind of got away from me and I was trying to think of what I could do to salvage this day when I came across an idea that I have had in the past.  As you all probably know, Zend has salespeople.  Those sales people have sales engineers who show how to use our products.  However, I personally hate being on the phone for a canned presentation when all I really want to do is tinker.  So, in an effort to produce something of benefit today I decided to start a series of blog posts on how to evaluate Zend Server if you are a tinkerer, like me.

What's it got?

The first thing we need to cover is what Zend Server has as part of its product offering.  Let me steal a list from our product page.

  • Native installation
  • Certified PHP
  • Zend Framework
  • Apache or IIS integration
  • MySQL (on Windows and Mac)
  • Built-in DB connectivity (Oracle, DB2, MySQL,..)
  • Java connector
  • Web-based administrator console
  • Debugger interface
  • Bytecode acceleration
  • Caching API
  • PHP 5.3 support
  • Clustering support with Zend Server Cluster Manager
  • Page caching
  • Application monitoring (alerting)
  • Application problem diagnostics
  • Code tracing
  • Job queue
  • Zend Download Server (Linux only)
  • Software updates and hot fixes
  • Technical support

However, for the purpose of this discussion we are going to focus on only 3 things.  Things are better examined in threes, anyway.  Those three things are Application Monitoring, Code Tracing and the Zend Server Job Queue.  Why only these three?  Because these three, IMHO, are the best three features here.  We have the fastest opcode accelerator (at least it was fastest the last time I checked), but that really doesn't matter because competing on performance is almost pointless because performance, in and of itself, is relatively easy to improve upon.  Cache it.  So why not compete on caching?  Because caching is boring.  To paraphrase Chef Gusteau, "Anyone can cache".  The reason I chose these three is because there are virtually no competitors for them, probably because they require a fair amount of work.  The one exception to that could be the Job Queue, which would be competing against Gearman, but I do prefer the Zend Server Job Queue.  Partially because I work for Zend but also, and not insignificantly, because I like the way it works.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm actually getting well ahead of myself. What I'm going to do is break this into several blog posts.  You should see each one as I do it linked up on the side under "Related Stuff".

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