Performance is an essential factor in an application's success. When a user is using your apps, every second matters!
Keeping this in mind, the Laravel Team released Laravel Octane in 2021 to boost the performance of the Laravel apps.
In this post, we will give you a quick overview of Laravel Octane. We will also help you understand how to optimize your apps with Octane and share some benchmark analysis to demonstrate performances.
What is Laravel Octane?
Laravel Octane is a PHP tool to speed up Laravel applications. It helps you achieve high performance by reducing the amount of time that's needed to compile and serve individual requests.
Basically, it first boots your app and then keeps it in memory to speed up the requests.
To understand it, visualize that a restaurant has frozen up food. Every time an order comes, it will just warm the food and serve it, instead of creating everything from scratch. This way, restaurants can serve customers faster and with fewer resources.
Similarly, to achieve high performance, Laravel Octane uses engines like Open Swool, Swool, and Roadrunner to boot the app and serve it. Here's a brief overview of these engines.
Open Swoole or Swoole
It's a software development kit to enable developers to create high-performing, scalable network apps.
Roadrunner, an open-source PHP app server, is often used to replace classic Nginx setups to improve performance and flexibility. Roadrunner is written in Golang.
Once the setup of Swoole or Roadrunner is done, you have a worker for each incoming HTTP request.
This means that only the first one will bootstrap the Framework (including all service providers) while every other can make use of a ready-to-go worker instance, which is what makes it so insanely fast!
Why Laravel Octane?
Traditional Laravel apps used servers like Nginx, and Apache. Every time there's an additional request, these apps create a new PHP worker, causing the system to overload. Moreover, with every request, they have to boot the apps as none of these processes are re-used on each request.
In Laravel Octane, things are quite different. Laravel Octane servers like Swoole or Roadrunner will produce workers. But the key distinction here is that the boot (restart) happens on the first request. Rest comes from a bootstrapped version of the app.
While Octane comes with highly beneficial features that can aid in performance improvement. Let's look at a few of them.
Features of Laravel Octane
#1. Application Statefulness
Laravel Octane allows you to maintain the state of your application across requests by keeping certain data in memory. This can significantly improve performance by avoiding the overhead of bootstrapping the entire application on each request.
#2. Concurrent Tasks
Octane allows you to perform multiple tasks at the same time. This means that two tasks can run together without affecting each other. This is accomplished through task workers, which will only be available depending on the number you set with the octane: start command.
#3. Zero Downtime Deployments
This is one of the best features of Octane. It's often a hard choice to release updates, as there is significant downtime involved. However, Octane supports zero downtime deployment. This means you can roll out updates without interrupting the incoming requests. The old requests will keep running until they are replaced by new requests.
#4. Octane Cache
Caching is a process of storing multiple copies of data in temporary storage known as Cache. Now, Swoole tables power the Octane cache. This cache driver reads and writes up to 2 million operations per second. Thus, making it a fast and excellent upgrade to your current caching system.
Laravel Octane - Work Process
Work process is a PHP worker process that handles incoming HTTP requests. Octanes uses several work processes to serve web requests, thus improving the performance.
Each work process can handle multiple requests simultaneously, and thus octane manages these processes to achieve high performance.
Here's a sneak peek behind the scenes.
Forking process - Octane has a process forking model creating multiple identical PHP workers' processes when your app starts. Each process operates independently and can handle incoming HTTP requests.
Shared Memory: Octane uses shared memory to maintain an app state across worker processes. This means worker processes share certain data and resources with each other for efficient resource utilization.
Request Handling: Each worker process handles requests independently; they do not block another process. For example, you can handle multiple database queries, make HTTP requests, and execute tasks concurrently within a single worker process.
Curious about how Laravel Octane compares Laravel Vapor and Laravel Apache? Here's a quick overview to get an idea.
Laravel Octane vs Laravel Vapor vs Laravel Apache
Laravel Octane Vs Laravel Vapor
Laravel Vapor is AWS powered serverless deployment platform for Laravel. Both Vapor and Octane have different purposes. Vapor focuses more on the deployment and scaling of Laravel apps whereas Octane focuses only on performance improvement.
As per one benchmark, Octane performs better than Vapor. So, by using Octane, there's a significant reduction in memory usage and request duration. It also lowers costs significantly.
Laravel Octane Vs Laravel Apache
In the first benchmark, three overall modes are used. The results received from this benchmark are as below:
Requests Handled in 10-Seconds
Requests Per Second (RPS)
Laravel with Octane
Laravel with Apache Web Server
Laravel with in-built server
From the above benchmark, it's clear that Laravel Octane works faster compared to Apache server.
Optimizing PHP Web Applications using Laravel Octane
#1. Profile Your App
Before you work on Octane, take a moment to profile your app to identify performance issues. Once you have identified issues, you can optimize them. Use tools like Laravel Telescope, and Blackfire to pinpoint the area where there are bottlenecks.
#2. Have a Caching Strategy
Caching strategy is essential to reducing application load. You can use Laravel's caching system, or other mechanisms to catch data and reduce the need for repetitive processing.
#3. Concurrent Handling
Use async/await to take leverage Octane to its full potential. This way you can parallelly process tasks such as making multiple HTTP requests or database queries.
#4. Resource Scaling
Your infrastructure must be ready to support additional worker processes. Hence, monitor server utilization like CPU and memory and be prepared to scale your resources as needed.
#5. Monitoring and Alerts
Monitoring is the key to keeping the Octane server running smoothly. You can use tools like Datadog and New Relic or build your own monitoring script to help you monitor your health.
Things to Consider Before Scaling Your Web Application with Laravel Octane
#1. Statefulness and Shared Data
Understand how Octane handles shared data across worker processes. Consider which parts of your application should be stateful and configure Octane accordingly to maximize performance.
#2. Technical Expertise
It's always better to get expert help when working with new technologies. So, ensure that you have a development team with the expertise to handle Octane. If you don't have one, you can always outsource it to a reliable Laravel development company.
#3. Compatibility and Dependencies
Compatibility is important to ensure that your app runs smoothly with Octane. Check all the dependencies used in the code and make sure they are compatible with the current Octane version. You may need to use custom code here and there to make some adjustments.
Laravel Octane opens up different possibilities to boost performance. Now, do you need Laravel Octane? The answer to this lies in whether performance is your number one priority! If yes, then you should harness the power of Octane and make sure you have a right PHP Development expert to assist you. At Clarion Technologies, we take pride in bringing the top skilled PHP developers for you, to power up your web app performance. Visit the blog, to learn more about what is new in Laravel.
Q1. How does Laravel Octane improve performance?
Laravel Octanes improves app performance through high-powered servers like Swoole and Roadrunner. These servers store a part of data in temporary memory which they use on demand.
Q2. Is Laravel Octane compatible with existing Laravel components?
Yes. Octane is compatible with existing Laravel features like middleware, Eloquent, and jobs.
Vinit Sharma, a seasoned technologist with over 21 years of expertise in Open Source, cloud transformation, DevSecOps strategy, and software architecture, is a Technical Architect leading Open Source, DevOps, and Cloud Computing initiatives at Clarion. Holding certifications as an Architect and Business Analyst professional, he specializes in PHP services, including CMS Drupal and Laravel, contributing significantly to the dynamic landscape of content management and web development.