Hello PHP-hipsters,

I am not sure how to phrase these questions so please bare with me.

I am thinking about performance of a single web server running Apache
(non-cluster) with php as a module.

I have a web app that requires the same php objects(classes) for each
http request.

First, I would like to have the web server keep these object/class
definition files (code) permanently in the memory so the php engine does
not have to keep loading and destroying these objects.  Is this
possible?  Maybe the php engine is already smart enough to handle this.
 I imagine the engine is smart enough to not load the same class
definition into memory for the same http request, but I'm not sure if
the engine is smart enough to recognize that a class definition is
already in the memory from a different http request.

Second, furthermore, say two different http requests actually
instantiate identical objects.  Will both of these identical objects
require their own space in the memory, or is the php engine smart enough
to point both objects to the same memory (until something happens to one
of the objects making it different than the other)? If not, i guess this
is where the idea of caching comes in, and i have to be that smart one
to define the unique keys...

Third, when one caches php code using something like memcache, what is
actually being cached: the human readable php, the parsed php, the
serialized php (not really sure what this is), the raw cpu/assembly
instructions, etc...?

Fourth, where does this cached data live - on the server's hard drive or
in the server's memory (assuming we have enough memory)?

I assume one of the ideas behind the cache is to by-pass the php parser
and instead just regurgitate the pre-chewed food and spit it out to
apache.  Thus, the memcache would only be storing the php output.  Is
this line of reasoning correct?  And ideally it would be best to have
this prechewed code sitting in the memory, but can I control this?

Just to be clear, I am familiar with the idea behind setting a unique
key for the cache and all that.  Also, i am not referring to client side

Well thanks for sticking with me, as I'm trying to learn these concepts.

Any comments, answers, explanations would be most welcomed.


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