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session sharing in a cluster

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have several servers in my cluster: A, B and C. The users are directed to one of these servers by a load balancing solution. What we need is a fast decentralized/redundant method to store serialized session data. Standard PHP sessions are fast enough, but they're local to each server... which won't work for a cluster.

We're not interested in a solution using a database. I was thinking in the direction of memcached, but the PHP API seems to be a bit underdeveloped.

Does anyone know the ideal solution for this supposedly common problem?
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Question by:piximetry
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Expert Comment

by:snoyes_jw
ID: 17013883
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Author Comment

by:piximetry
ID: 17013944
I'd rather use something else than msession. According to a comment by the author on that page, it's an abandoned project... eek.
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RWJDCom earned 250 total points
ID: 17014509
I've been playing with ZendPlatform and it does Session Clustering.  Check it out it may solve your problems, http://www.zend.com/products/zend_platform.  It actually speeds up your PHP scripts too.  :)
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Expert Comment

by:RWJDCom
ID: 17014514
This is a little bit from the Zend site...

Session Clustering:

Performance boost (up to x10)
Locking mechanism to ensure data integrity
Works seamlessly with existing PHP code
Integrates with load balancers
Linear scalability for additional machines
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Author Comment

by:piximetry
ID: 17015703
Zend platform looks interesting, but I want to go with an open source and free solution... I know they're out there. ZP costs about $1000 per year per processor, so that would add up too quickly.
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by:RWJDCom
ID: 17016026
It's worth checking it out.  You can get a free developers license for a year.  I don't know if there are any open source session clustering solutions out there.  If I come across one I will definately post it here for you.

Sorry I couldn't give you a better answer.
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Author Comment

by:piximetry
ID: 17016147
Okay, no problem :-) The Zend platform does seem promising, but the only thing I need is the session clustering. I'm leaning towards memcached right now...
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Author Comment

by:piximetry
ID: 17036213
A minor update: I've been experimenting with memcached and it looks quite promising. I found out that memcached is also used for major sites like facebook, slashdot, etc... the only question is how well it performs for session management, because a failing memcached backend should not result in people not being able to login.
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Author Comment

by:piximetry
ID: 17270378
I decided to make my own system using memcached backends, but RWJDCom's answer was a reasonable solution to the question as it was posed.
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