Understanding Server-side I/O Performance: Node vs PHP vs Java vs Go

Understanding the Input/Output (I/O) model of your application can mean the difference between an application that deals with the load it is subjected to, and one that crumples in the face of real-world use cases. Perhaps while your application is small and does not serve high loads, it may matter far less. But as your application’s traffic load increases, working with the wrong I/O model can get you into a world of hurt.

And like most any situation where multiple approaches are possible, it’s not just a matter of which one is better, it’s a matter of understanding the tradeoffs. Let’s take a walk across the I/O landscape and see what we can spy.

In this article, we’ll be comparing Node, Java, Go, and PHP with Apache, discussing how the different languages model their I/O, the advantages, and disadvantages of each model, and conclude with some rudimentary benchmarks. If you’re concerned about the I/O performance of your next web application, this article is for you.

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