Momentum has been building behind the new alternative to the Apache web server, Nginx — including in the Drupal community. It’s been especially popular among performance experts who have benchmarked some pretty impressive speeds.
But it does take quite a bit to setup and run PHP with Nginx, and people regularly run in to trouble setting up the stack.
Well, the great news today is SitePoint’s report that the next PHP release — PHP 5.4 — will include PHP-FPM in core. According to the article:
PHP-FPM is a patch for PHP core that handles the starting, stopping, and restarting of FastCGI processes as needed. This is important because nginx can only interface with PHP via FastCGI, unlike Apache, which loads the whole PHP environment right into itself. This means that you’ll be able to download PHP, compile it with the –enable-fpm switch, and be off to the races running it with nginx in the same amount of time and effort it would take to set up with Apache.
Of course, there’s the problem that Drupal still isn’t 100% compatible with PHP5.3 at the time of writing, so may not be able to run on 5.4 for a while. You can monitor the progress of the work to fix bugs with PHP5.3 compatibility on drupal.org (or help out of course!).
There’s a groups.drupal.org group for those interested in Nginx at http://groups.drupal.org/nginx.