David Luhman's blog

Amazon Web Services SDK for PHP 1 vs. SDK for PHP 2

I'm pretty new to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and especially "managing" AWS through PHP, so hopefully this will help me and others.

There are apparently two ("1" and "2") PHP-based SDKs available to manage AWS with PHP. It looks like version two was announced in November, 2012.

When the PHP SDK 2 was released, it seemed like it didn't support as many AWS features as PHP SDK 1, but now SDK 2 seems to support all AWS features, including new ones like OpsWorks.

So which one is better?

Obtaining JUnit-compatible XML from SimpleTest

SimpleTest is a nice testing framework for testing PHP-based applications at the unit and functional level. However, I (and others) have had trouble getting JUnit-compatible XML output for use in continuous integration servers like Jenkins.

SimpleTest provides a built-in XML-based output, but it seems to be mostly for internal communication by SimpleTest itself. It's not JUnit compatible.

To convert SimpleTest output into JUnit-compatible XML, I've seen at least a few posts :

SimpleTest vs. PHPUnit for PHP-based testing

Over the year's I've kind of gone back and forth on SimpleTest, a PHP-based unit test framework.

A few years ago, when PHPUnit was in its infancy, SimpleTest was the best PHP-based unit test framework. In the past few years, however, it seems like PHPUnit has been improved continually, while SimpleTest has languished somewhat.

Currently, I believe PHPUnit is the best choice for true "unit" ("micro") testing, while SimpleTest seems to be better for modest functional (integration) testing.

Review of VirtualBox 4.1.14 under Windows Server 2012 beta

VirtualBox has been my main desktop virtualization solution for the past 3-4 years. VirtualBox started out as a kind of weaker version of VMware Workstation, but VirtualBox has really improved (branched snapshots etc.) over the past few years so I really can't complain especially since it has a liberal evaluation license.

VirtualBox is pretty friendly for desktop users, and is a so-called Type 2 hypervisor, so I wondered how it would fare in terms of performance relative to Hyper-V or ESXi. Turns out not too bad.


Conclusion : Hyper-V vs. ESXi vs. KVM vs. VirtualBox for a home network

My performance tests indicated no clear winner in CPU-intensive tasks. Hyper-V sort of won the I/O tests, but I think you could probably get any desired outcome based on how you tweak the tests, so I'd even call that a wash.

So choosing the right virtualization solution for me comes down to usability and cost.

For me, Hyper-V seemed to have an edge in usability. I have no desire to earn a PhD in virtualization, and Hyper-V seems to have wizards and online docs which made things easier for me.


Performance : Hyper-V vs. ESXi vs. KVM vs. VirtualBox

First, let me say that these results should be taken with a grain of salt. These are rather informal tests, and are geared to my environment and my way of working.

Still, I tried to be somewhat rigorous by using the excellent Phoronix Test Suite, and keeping conditions as uniform as possible across the various virtualization environments.

Testing with multiple VMs running concurrently

Initially, I wanted to test under three conditions :

* One VM running alone within the host


Review of ESXi 5 for virtualization

In my discussion of my home-based server, setting up an ESXi 5.0 server was one potential solution for my requirements.

I first heard about VMware back in 1998 or 1999 when reading a story about them in the Wall Street Journal (newspaper). I sensed immediately that they were onto something big. Turns out the company has executed well on bringing virtualization into the main stream.


Phoronix Test Suite for virtual machine benchmarking

In my discussion of my home-based server, I wanted to test virtual machine performance in several environments (VirtualBox, KVM, ESXi, Hyper-V).

At first I thought I'd just do some seat-of-the-pants qualitative tests, but then I thought I'd look into using a more rigorous approach.

Without too much research, I uncovered the Phoronix Test Suite (PTS). This seems to be an industrial-strength, free "hardware" benchmarking tool with a long history and many features.



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