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PHP on IBM i servers

Posted by on March 17, 2010

Zeev Suraski, co-founder and CTO of Zend, has been interviewed on the TEC 2010 conference’s blog about the involvement of Zend with the IBM i operating system and its renewed PHP support. IBM i is one of the three operating systems officially supported on IBM Power Systems, the others being AIX and Linux.

The proposed solution involves the (now complete) porting of Zend Studio IDE and of the full-stack platform Zend Server as packages for the IBM i platform. Zend Server is a complete stack of products that comprises Apache as the web server, PHP as the script engine and a set of database drivers for it.

In particular, this Zend Server edition is notable for its capability of totally replacing the older Zend Core and Zend Platform products for IBM i, and will be shipped in its Community Edition in the maintenance updates of IBM i, along with Zend Studio and the IBM products. Zend Server Community Edition will be freely available with one year of support, and the correspondent enterprise edition will also be immediately available for upgrading. The full edition comprehends caching and monitoring features, and is intended for use in production servers.

On the technical side, Zend Server does not require more than one Apache instance running at the same time (unlike the older products providing PHP for IBM i), happily integrating with the existing IBM i Apache installation. It also includes an IBM i-specific toolkit for the management in the PHP environment of RPG queues, data queues and spooled files. Thanks to the optimization and integration work, the overall performance on IBM i is now widely improved from the era of Zend Core and Zend Platform, up to a 3x factor.

Marco is the keeper of keys and Chief Garbage Collector at Blue Parabola. He can be found on Twitter as @mtabini.
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Responses and Pingbacks

As one of the few devs out there doing large custom PHP applications in the i5 environment, Zend Server sounds like a real life saver. Zend Core is relatively slow compared to a traditional LAMP stack, and database access to DB2 on the same machine was agonizingly slow.

The built-in code tracing and monitoring GUI look really great compared to the old 5250 session screen for administering the server, and will do wonders for my client greatly familiar with i5, but just getting into the world of web development and server management.

Zend Server is indeed increasingly favored also by Linux users for its PHP 5.3 support. Thank you for your feedback as a developer for Ibm i platforms.

Zend Server for IBM i is definitely a winner. More powerful and flexible than Zend Core, and comes with a speed boost.

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