CloudLinux Blog - CloudLinux OS feature review - out with the old, in with the new

CloudLinux OS feature review - out with the old, in with the new

CloudLinux OS feature review - out with the old, in with the new

Dear CloudLinux OS customers,

In this post, I’d like to share with you some of the CloudLinux OS plans and I’ll focus on its PHP/performance features. I’ll dive in for a bit more details on some.

1. alt-php is now HardenedPHP

Originally, when we released PHP Alternatives, we just wanted a way for web hosts to provide multiple versions of PHP to their end-users. Yet, after some time, we realized that there was also a need to remove the requirement of switching from one PHP version to another (driven by the EOL of older PHP version). That meant backporting security patches to old versions of PHP. We also found the need for a large number of PHP extensions. So, today, alt-php is termed as HardenedPHP and is all about providing old versions of PHP, new versions of PHP and as many PHP extensions as possible. As there are no alternatives for this product, we are planning to continue its development indefinitely under the HardenedPHP name. There are no plans to stop supporting any of PHP versions, and once there will be, we will provide 12 months advanced notification.

2. What’s happening with PHP Selector

We recognize that cPanel has been making great progress in this area with MultiPHP, and we foresee MultiPHP taking over PHPSelector’s functionality. We will continue supporting it, fix bugs, and even enhance some functionality, but we don't plan to actively develop it. We will fully support PHPSelector until MultiPHP has all the features that PHPSelector already has. Once feature parity will be completely achieved by MultiPHP, we will develop a script to convert existing customers of PHPSelector to MultiPHP to provide a seamless transition. Note, that you can still be able to use HardenedPHP with cPanel’s MultiPHP.

3. Mod_lsapi, now with First Request Accelerator

Serving PHP is one of the most important parts of the shared hosting service today, and mod_lsapi provides the best way to do that in a multi-tenant environment. Allow me to explain.

The CGI & suPHP are just too slow. mod_PHP by itself is insecure and requires Apache prefork. mod_PHP + ruid2 is still unsafe and still requires Apache prefork (and they don't support PHP version switching). MOD_FCGID is very flaky and hard to run reliably.

The only possible alternative today is MOD_FPM. It is a relatively new mode of running PHP on the shared hosting server, and it outperforms all others, except for the mod_lsapi. Of course, the fact that FPM was not created for shared hosting can easily be recognized from its design choices. Specifically, it requires a PHP pool per user, and that wastes resources and makes it harder to manage.

In shared hosting, mod_lsapi is by far the best. It has been, and now it has gotten even better with the new First Request Accelerator technology (based on CRIU). It makes the first request, when PHP process is not ready yet, to be almost as fast as any other request, when PHP is already loaded in memory and opcode cache is already populated.

Beyond that, mod_lsapi supports a large number of configuration modes and is a drop in replacement for mod_php, CGI, suexec, mod_fcigd, FPM - including the ability to read options from user's php.ini files as well as .htaccess files. We don't see FPM ever going into that direction and catching up with mod_lsapi. As a result of this conclusion, we plan to continue with mod_lsapi for the foreseeable future.

4. OptimumCache is being discontinued

We realize that OptimumCache does not significantly improve the performance of servers, and in some cases creates support and performance issues. Therefore, we have decided to retire OptimumCache feature as of now. There is nothing you need to do about it if you never enabled it. If you did, it will just become non-operational, and will not cause any issues, however, if you’d like to remove OptimumCache from your CloudLinux OS installation, follow steps outlined in this documentation article.

In the future, if we find a way to achieve better results from OptimumCache - we will re-integrate the feature into the CloudLinux OS.

If you have any questions about any of these features, please don’t hesitate to comment below, or to contact our helpdesk.

Regards,

Igor Seletskiy
CEO of CloudLinux

Imunify360 1.1.4 released
MySQL and MariaDB for MySQL Governor updated
 

Comments 14

Guest - Richard on Monday, 13 March 2017 17:42

We've been watching Easy Apache 4's PHP selector and it doesn't currently seem that it will ever match Cloudlinux's PHP selector.

They seem to be making choices based on what is possible without CageFS but do not currently make any use of CageFS.

While I'm not agains't using EA4's PHP selector, we won't be using it until it has "exactly" the same security and features that Cloudlinux's one (the ability to choose what settings and modules customers can and can't use). The move to EA4 is already quite a worry for us and we are putting it off as long as we can. There are currently no improvements over what we already have, just the risk of breaking sites during the conversion.

We've been watching Easy Apache 4's PHP selector and it doesn't currently seem that it will ever match Cloudlinux's PHP selector. They seem to be making choices based on what is possible without CageFS but do not currently make any use of CageFS. While I'm not agains't using EA4's PHP selector, we won't be using it until it has "exactly" the same security and features that Cloudlinux's one (the ability to choose what settings and modules customers can and can't use). The move to EA4 is already quite a worry for us and we are putting it off as long as we can. There are currently no improvements over what we already have, just the risk of breaking sites during the conversion.
Guest - Michal on Monday, 13 March 2017 18:16

I hope PHP Selector will be still suported for DirectAdmin?
Built-in DA php switch is no alternative to PHP Selector from Cloudlinux.

I hope PHP Selector will be still suported for DirectAdmin? Built-in DA php switch is no alternative to PHP Selector from Cloudlinux.
Igor Seletskiy on Monday, 13 March 2017 18:19

there are no plans to discontinue PHP Selector for DirectAdmin

there are no plans to discontinue PHP Selector for DirectAdmin
Guest - Wojciech on Monday, 13 March 2017 23:24

Very clear explain. Super. Could you prepare exactly manual for using mod_lsapi with multiPHP, easyapache 4 and cpanel? With hardened Php. It will be nice.

Very clear explain. Super. Could you prepare exactly manual for using mod_lsapi with multiPHP, easyapache 4 and cpanel? With hardened Php. It will be nice.
Guest - Morten on Monday, 13 March 2017 23:38

I totally agree with Ricahard!
Performance is everything in our buisness and security and those two things is crucial for us and our customers.

So far in the testing With CRIU, I cannot see a big difference at all yet. But I hope it will be better then it is now.
It also does generate a lot more disc space usage, but will need some more testing...

I totally agree with Ricahard! Performance is everything in our buisness and security and those two things is crucial for us and our customers. So far in the testing With CRIU, I cannot see a big difference at all yet. But I hope it will be better then it is now. It also does generate a lot more disc space usage, but will need some more testing...
Igor Seletskiy on Monday, 13 March 2017 23:45

The question is -- what exactly are you testing?
If you are hitting the same site over and over again -- it is not 'first' request. The main difference is in the start up/first request, when site is not 'hot'/loaded in memory yet.

The question is -- what exactly are you testing? If you are hitting the same site over and over again -- it is not 'first' request. The main difference is in the start up/first request, when site is not 'hot'/loaded in memory yet.
Guest - Morten on Monday, 13 March 2017 23:53

Hate it when I have to log out from forum in order to leave a comment here

I'm testing the speed of a WP site in various ways.
But right after i wrote this comment I did a new test and it was actually alot faster then normal when php process have to startup.

But I guess we will have more advantage and get more out of CRIU on old servers with SAS drives than with brand new hardware with SSD of course.
I'm not sure what hardware you did the testing on?

Hate it when I have to log out from forum in order to leave a comment here :o I'm testing the speed of a WP site in various ways. But right after i wrote this comment I did a new test and it was actually alot faster then normal when php process have to startup. But I guess we will have more advantage and get more out of CRIU on old servers with SAS drives than with brand new hardware with SSD of course. I'm not sure what hardware you did the testing on?
Guest - Jaime Eduardo on Tuesday, 14 March 2017 21:03

Hi !!, how update or activate the function "First Request Accelerator" in my mod_lsapi in Centos 7 ?? thanks !!

Hi !!, how update or activate the function "First Request Accelerator" in my mod_lsapi in Centos 7 ?? thanks !!
Bogdan on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:41

The "First Request Accelerator" is a CRIU engine for lsapi, please find install instructions and read more at http://docs.cloudlinux.com/index.html?criu_support.html

The "First Request Accelerator" is a CRIU engine for lsapi, please find install instructions and read more at http://docs.cloudlinux.com/index.html?criu_support.html
Guest - Jaime Eduardo on Friday, 17 March 2017 15:47

ok thanks, but I can't install CRIU say:

[email protected] [~]# systemctl enable criu
Failed to execute operation: No such file or directory

[email protected] [~]# systemctl restart criu
Failed to restart criu.service: Unit not found.

Can you help me please ? thanks !

ok thanks, but I can't install CRIU :( say: [email protected] [~]# systemctl enable criu Failed to execute operation: No such file or directory [email protected] [~]# systemctl restart criu Failed to restart criu.service: Unit not found. Can you help me please ? thanks !
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