Zend Server – Finally a Single Zend Stack

Zend has for many years tried to lead the PHP world to enterprise domination.  This is a lofty goal, and one that is never easy to accomplish.  They have tripped over their own feet a little.  But, to temper that statement, I have always been a very early adopter.  I started developing against Zend Framework the day it was publically released and I started using Zend Core and Zend Platform as soon as they were available.  I can say that I have seen Zend grow in their roll.  The continue to develop this roll with the release of Zend Server.

What is Zend Server?  To those unfamiliar with Zend’s offerings, it is a full application stack with tools for application monitoring, caching, and PHP configuration.  Similar to XampWamp, and Uniform Server.  For those of you who are familiar, no it is not a replacement for Zend Core/Platform. That is to say not yet.  Zend Server is currently limited to a single server instance in that it does not have any cluster support.  Neither does it include many of the packages in Zend Platform.  I think they are seeing that the way they packaged Zend Platform is a little confusing and this will go a long way in clearing that up.  Zend Core and Platform previously found their way into the hands of developers through a developer license.  In my experience Zend did not manage this program well.  So I was happy to hear there will be a Community Edition (Zend Server CE).  This does not include the dashboard that is in the commercial product, but does include the full PHP stack with the supported versions of PHP.  We will see how well ‘the community’ supports this.

I was surprised to hear that the JavaBridge will be included in the CE version.  This was previously pay only.  This could mean that very few people used it.  It could also mean that everyone uses it and the support overhead is virtually nonexistant.  Either way, I think this is a good move.

In the past standard extentions would be missing form the Windows package of Zend Core that were present in the Linux package.  This is sometimes the case when the extensions are simply not available for windows.  These are core to the operation of many businesses. Thus it is highly important to be consistant for a stable deployment.  I was assured that there will be a more concerted effort to keep these consistant.

PEAR was also a bear to get working with Zend Core and Windows.  I was also assured that this would be made to work if it doesnt already with Zends cooperation.  This will be my first order of business when I start in on Zend Server later this week.  Pear is important for updates and installs.  My framework will be a PEAR channel also, so this is immeadiately important.  Updates for Zend Server Community Edition are highly important so we will see how this all works out.  I was told by a Zend rep. that for Windows a .MSI will be available that will do the updates properly, and for Linux there will be a repository that will allow for automated updates.  One of the statements about Zend Server commercial is that it has automatic updates, so this seems to conflict.  Time will tell if updates are easy or not as this was a slight problem with Zend Core.

So begins my install. (@TODO)  I downloaded it a couple days ago, and today is the day we give it a try.

Zend Server – Finally a Single Zend Stack

6 thoughts on “Zend Server – Finally a Single Zend Stack

  1. Hi,

    I want to try to clarify the difference between Zend Server CE and Zend Server with respect to updates. Both Zend Server CE and Zend Server install via native install mechanisms. For Linux this is RPM and DEB repositories. For Windows this is MSI installers. Both will have period roll up releases that will include new PHP versions, new copies of MySQL, etc.

    What is unique to Zend Server is that it will also provide incremental “hot fix” updates for Security issue and/or other major bug that affect server stability. So for mission/business critical applications, these kind of hot fixes could be important.

    I hope this helps clarify the difference in the update model.

    1. drydenmaker says:

      Thanks Kent. I didn’t get it quite right. So with CE there won’t be upgrade packages, just new, overwriting packages. Does that mean that there is a settings migration from one version of CE to the next?

      So, Zend Server will offer priority patches (read “incremental updates” or “hot fixes”). Zend Server CE will offer less frequent roll up packages. So the question is: Will these roll up packages also take care of settings migrations between versions to the extent possible. I seem to remember some side stepping here and there with Zend Core. For the most part it wasn’t a problem, but we had some crazy apache configurations that made it a bit of a drag.

      A maturing product is always a pleasure to be involved with.

  2. It is our intent for settings to migrate cleanly through all updates. There are few issues where we are limited by what the RPM/DEB update mechanisms do but that should be “well known” for people used to those technologies.

  3. I have Checked few of PHP local servers and
    came to conclusion that WAMP Server IS the best out there.
    Easy to install, Intuitive to work with.

    Great software for all PHP developers out there.

    If you using Skype while working on developing
    Make sure to start WHAP before Skype (and not the other way around).
    That the only “bug” I have found.

    What do you think?

    1. drydenmaker says:

      WAMP is OK, there are many different stacks for Windows and it is mostly personal preference. I tend toward XAMP and Uniform Server. Some stacks work better from USB drives than others too. In times past I have kept projects separate by having their own *AMP stack, each in their own directory. Then I would only start the project I was working on, and I could have specific settings for that project. I have found that it is just as easy in IIS to give each one its own IIS Site (you can do this in Apache too). Currently I am using the Microsoft Web Platform 2, and it is treating me well. It is missing all the profiling and reporting tools, but it was more stable than Zend Server Community at the time that I switched. I am in the process of trying out a xdebug, cachegrind and webgrind combination. We will see how that goes.

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