[development] file caching abandoned?

Dries Buytaert dries.buytaert at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 09:51:27 UTC 2007

On 06 Mar 2007, at 19:41, Steve Rude wrote:
> I have done much testing with memory based object caching using  
> memcached and I think it would be nice if there was the ability to  
> choose what type of caching you wanted (memory/file/db) and have  
> the cache.inc functionality basically an abstraction layer that the  
> storage mechanism can be taken care of by other include files  
> ( e.g. cache-memcache.inc cache-file.inc.  The same way that the  
> database abstraction works.

A good start would be to rigorously benchmark and compare the  
different file caching solutions, and to compare them against their  
database caching alternatives.

All the existing file caching modules were originally developed for  
Drupal 4.7 and simply ported to Drupal 5.  It's not clear how well  
they perform on Drupal 5, or whether they are needed at all.

Last time I checked (a couple of months ago before D5 was released),  
file caching didn't buy me much additional performance over Drupal  
5's "aggressive database caching".  This observation was in line with  
my expectations --- I just set out to confirm this.

Of course, there will be cases where file caching does buy you  
something (when the database is the bottleneck?) and it might have  
some additional advantages (site continues to work a "little bit"  
when the database is down), but it also has disadvantages (setup  
cost, less tested, less suitable for multi-tier architectures).

I meant to work on such an analysis after I wrote http://buytaert.net/ 
drupal-5-performance, but I didn't get around to it yet.  To me,  
getting a good overview of the different strategies/solutions is key  
before pursuing any further work, or before we can recommend one  
module over another.

I still intend to do these benchmarks if no one else does, but it  
might take me a couple of weeks.  If anyone wants to work on this,  
feel free to though.

Dries Buytaert  ::  http://www.buytaert.net/

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