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PHP Memory Cacher

Key-value storage in memory

As a storage can be used:

All storage objects have one interface, so you can switch them without changing the working code.


  • Tags for keys
  • "Dog-pile" ("cache miss storm") and "race condition" effects are excluded
  • Lock, unlock or acquire key just by one command
  • Auto Unlocker - any locked key will be automatically unlocked (on exit from function or script)
  • You can select keys via callback-function
  • One interface for all storages - you can change storage without changing your code
  • Increment() method can work with arrays, strings and numeric values
  • MultiAccess class can be used for any resource, to create an access model one write multiple read


See demo.php to get examples of code.

You can use MemoryObjects (RedisObject, APCObject, MemcacheObject, SHMObject) as usual key-value storage: get/set/delete.
What for this library was designed is to provide additional features, such as Tags or "dog-pile" effect avoidance.

In all storages race conditions are excluded, but you can also lock keys to avoid race conditions in your algorithm:
for example, see this code:

$value = $mem->read('key');    
if (some_condition()) $mem->save('key', $value . 'append');

If this code will be executed by 2 scripts simultaneously, 'append' of one script will be lost.
To avoid it, you can lock key:

if ($mem->lock_key('key', $au))  
    if (some_condition()) $mem->save('key', $value . 'append');

or acquire:

if ($mem->acquire_key('key', $au))  
    if (some_condition()) $mem->save('key', $value . 'append');

Difference between these methods is what they will do when key is locked by another process: lock_key() will just return 'false', acquire_key() will wait until key will not be unlocked (maximum time of waiting declared in code).

All 'locks' here are soft. It means keys aren't locked for write or read, but you can check, if key is 'locked' or not, and what to do with this - is decision of your script.
It was designed to avoid dead-locks and unnecessary queues of clients which waits for access the key.

Example in code:

if ($mem->lock_key('key', $au))  
    if (some_condition()) $mem->save('key', $value . 'append');
    // key is not hard-locked actually
    $mem->del('key'); // we can do this
    // but we can use 'locks' to manage multi-process interactions properly and easy (see previous code examples)

To avoid the "Dog-pile" effect ("cache miss storm", "cache stampede"), we can use second argument of method read() - when time of expiration is near, we can try to lock key, and if key was locked - update value.
See example in demo.php.


You can use each storage separately, requirements are individually for storages

PHP version: 5.3+ (maybe 5.2+, not checked)

For APCObject:

APC should be installed, and this setting should be added in php.ini (or apc.ini if you use it)

  • apc.slam_defense = Off
  • recommended: apc.user_ttl = 0

For Memcache:

Memcache or Memcached PHP extension should be installed.
Memcache is not the fastest and most secure storage, so use it only when necessary. Read more

For Redis:

Redis server should be installed (in debian/ubuntu: "apt-get install redis-server").
Supported version is 2.4 and below. Also, phpredis (if installed) can be used as client library - just use PhpRedisObject instead of default RedisObject.

For SHMObject and MultiAccess:

PHP should support shm-functions and msg-functions (--enable-shmop --enable-sysvsem --enable-sysvshm --enable-sysvmsg)
Should be used only in specific cases (e.g. mutexes), or when other extensions can not be installed.

Storages comparison:

APC is a very fast and easy to use storage, use it in most cases. If APC can not be used for caching data, or you just like Redis - use Redis. Redis and Memcache can be used for cross-process communication. Also, data in Redis storage will be restored even after server reboot. Don't want to install Redis (it's just 1 line in console :))? Use Memcache. If you can't install any third-party packages, you can use Shared Memory - but your PHP should be compiled with support of shmop-functions.

Performance comparison

  • APC - best performance, let speed result of APC in benchmark is 1.
  • PhpRedis - speed 1.23
  • Redis - speed 1.6
  • Shared memory - speed 130
  • Memcache - speed 192 (slowest)


namespace Jamm\Memory\Tests;

header('Content-type: text/plain; charset=utf-8');

$testRedisObject = new TestMemoryObject(new \Jamm\Memory\RedisObject('test'));
$testRedisServer = new TestRedisServer();

$printer = new \Jamm\Tester\ResultsPrinter();   

Look at the comments in demo.php for additional info. Ask, what you want to see commented.

License: MIT

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