This week we will cover the Zend Cache, A script caching mechanism from Zend which will save pre-compiled versions of PHP scripts in order to avoid having to re-compile them every time, resulting in huge performance benefits. First we will go over the strengths and weaknesses of Zend's Cache and then we will move onto comparing the Zend Cache to other, open-source, free cache's.
The Zend Cache is not the only option, there also happens to be two other open source(got to respect the open source) cache's. The first being the APC (Alternative PHPCache), http://apc.communityconnect.com/,which is a high quality, stable, open source cache. The second is the AfterBurnercache, http://bwcache.bware.it/, which whilestill young, shows some promise.
At this point the only real competitor to the Zend Cache, is the APC, which offersa similar functionality set to that of the Zend Cache's. On tests, however, the APC turned out to be much slower than Zend's Cache, yielding an average performanceincrease of only 30.31%, less than half that of Zend's Cache (still on larger scriptsI'd expect this to turn into a 60% performance increase).
Even the APC might not be as good as the Zend Cache, there is something to be said for free software. The Zend Cache comes with quite a hefty price tag. A price tag which might not be affordable for smaller businesses or freelance web developers.The APC is perfect for these users, who probably aren't creating applications wherespeed is critical, but would always like a nice boost. Also, because the APC isopen, there is no reason why it might not one day be as fast as the Zend Cache.