Facebook’s alternative PHP engine attracts Web service providers

Some fairly large Internet services are pressing into production Facebook’s open-source PHP runtime engine after being impressed with the performance metrics for the alternative to the ubiquitous open-source PHP package used across the Web. WordPress hosting site WP Engine has found that the Facebook HipHip Virtual Machine (HHVM) executes PHP commands 5.6 times faster than a standard PHP interpreter.

Talking about Facebook, SynapseIndia CEO Shamit Khemka adds that PHP’s performance left something to be desired for them. PHP itself translates the programmer code to machine code only when it is called by the user, which slows performance. So company engineers created a virtual machine that, like the Java Virtual Machine, would translate the code into machine-readable bytecode just before running it. If the code needed to be used again, a bytecode-ready version would be available in the cache ready to go. SynapseIndia also finds out various cases of HHVM implementation in comparison to JVM. As, HHVM now powers much of Facebook, with other Web companies starting to use it as well. .

WP Engine is one of the largest providers of WordPress hosted services for enterprises. Built on PHP, the open-source WordPress content management platform is increasingly being used for powering rich Internet applications, such as providing the back end for mobile apps and cloud services. WP Engine recently built its next-generation platform, called Mercury, for running WordPress on HHVM. The company found that Mercury had a 560 percent faster response time than the traditional PHP setup.  SynapseIndia has received great reviews for their various WordPress projects build with Mercury.