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A PHP Stream for Clustered File Storage
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ClusterStorage is intended to be drop-in replacement for the native file:// I/O stream in PHP — allowing for synced storage of data among many clustered nodes.

The goal of this project is to provide near-local disk speed for retrieving data from the pool, as well as ensuring that nodes in the cluster do not become stale. In addition, this means that adding or removing nodes from the cluster is painless and transparent — there is no initial syncing required.

How it works

ClusterStorage uses a registry (stored in memcache, and ultimately a database for persistent storage) to determine which nodes in a cluster has a file. When a node that does not have the file is hit, it will pull the file from an existing node and cache it locally for all further requests.

To ensure redundancy, when a file is added to the cluster, the file is pushed to at least one other node.

How fast is it?

According to initial proof-of-concept benchmarks, there is a 0.4% performance loss when using ClusterStorage to retrieve a file Vs Apache hitting the local disk directly. This test assumes ideal conditions of:

  • The file is in the pool
  • The file's location is in the memcache registry
  • The file exists on the current node

Benchmarks saw native apache getting 964 req/s, with ClusterStorage getting 959 req/s. All tests were done using a 121KB JPG photo.

When the file does not exist in the pool, there is a 75% performance degradation compared to Apache. Despite this performance hit, it is still capable of 2000 req/s on commodity hardware (compared to Apache's 8.5K req/s).

This test is not entirely accurate as there is no further checking against the persistent store to ensure if the file should be there.


  • PHP 5.3.3 (may work on older 5.3.x)
    • ext/fileinfo
    • ext/pdo_mysql
    • ext/memcache
    • ext/apc (frapi)
    • ext/http (pecl, frapi)
  • Memcache
  • MySQL 5.1
    • PEAR
    • PEAR::HTTP_Request2
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