PHP Support In Instana Just Got Better

March 27, 2020


With this, monitoring and tracing of PHP services is as important as it has been in the past two decades. Instana is always eager to improve the support of PHP and is happy to share the following enhancements and extensions of something that is already great.

Spurting PHP 7.4.x

Just the other day, Instana released support for PHP version 7.4 and onwards. That other day was the day right after the official release of 7.4 itself.

The support includes all the new goodies, such as Typed Properties, Weak References and the FFI (Foreign Function Interface), but not limited to those.

PHP-FPM Support

Supporting PHP is more than just supporting PHP versions though. PHP provides several different runtimes and integrations.

Apart from the actual standalone PHP interpreter, Instana also supports PHP-CGI and the newer and faster PHP-FPM, as well as Apache’s mod_php, which are the commonly used integrations with the Apache webserver or nginx.

With that Instana supports all major PHP runtimes and offers you the freedom to choose the best tool for the job.

Compile Time Measurements

A common mistake when using PHP is to forget about compile time of the actual PHP codebase.

PHP as an interpreted language must parse the source code and transform it into bytecode, which eventually is executed by the runtime. This time is on-top of the actual time to handle the user’s request and is often forgotten.

Instana collects the actual compile time and provides the information as part of the Distributed Trace specific to the call.


If an opcode cache is used, Instana takes the information into account when calculating the actual compile time statement.

Versions Support at its Best

Finally, Instana always loves to step up the game for the competition.

Our aim is to be industry leading, especially when it comes to time to support new PHP versions. Most often available on release day or the day after, we certainly support new versions within one week of going GA.

But that’s not all. Leading the industry does not only mean supporting new releases as fast as possible, but also resolving issues for the largest range of existing and potential customers.

Looking at usage numbers of the already EOLed PHP 5.6 (or older) versions, there is a massive number of over 50% of all sites still using it. Especially on the older than 5.6 versions, support looks thin, around 15% of the sites are still using it though.

Therefore, Instana is fully signed up for supporting the broadest range of PHP versions available. Starting from version 5.3, all the way to 7.4.x. And support for the upcoming version 8 is already in the works, aiming for an immediate release on availability.

Instana AutoTrace™ and PHP

But the fastest and broadest support is worth nothing if usage is overly complicated. Therefore, Instana uses its AutoTrace technology, to not only automatically discover PHP instances, but also instrument them “on-the-fly”. No code changes required.

Get immediate insight into your PHP services with Instana now. You don’t have an Instana account yet? Sign up here for the free 14-days trial, find additional information about our PHP support in the documentation and get started in minutes on your own infrastructure.

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