Beat the devil: towards a Drupal performance benchmark

Picasso once remarked that computers where useless because they can only give answers. In fact the uniquely human characteristic is the ability to pose questions. Posing the question is what determines how much you know about a certain subject. There's a voluminous literature on web performance, Drupal is no exception. We want answers, we want solutions. We want to feel sure and give the client certainties regarding his or her site capacity. Under the carpet we sweep the question. How do we measure performance? Relative to what is this performant or non-performant?

Equivokes are the most tiresome companions to any itinerary. Most performance discussions degenerate in flamewars in good'ol internet way and muddle the waters instead of making things clear.

In this presentation we pose the question: How to benchmark a drupal site?

If we can get some common ground on this question, we can then proceed to make more substantial statements about solutions and guide the client towards it. We approach this fundamental question from three diverse points of view. Buzzword bingo of our presentation: Apache, Nginx, Redis, Varnish, MariaDB, MongoDB, Memcache, microcaching, php-fpm, frontend performance, backend performance, benchmarking.

Drupal Developer Days 2012