Laravel Octane to Scale Your App: The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Performance

Laravel, compared to PHP frameworks, is one of the leading ones. From launch in 2022, by Taylor Otwell only – it has been highly favored by each PHP developer for its elegant syntax, powerful features, and robust ecosystem.

Web development continues to evolve, and so do the demands placed on them. In 2023, Laravel Octane emerged as a transformative solution for scaling Laravel applications to meet the growing expectations of performance, concurrency, and responsiveness.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the boosters of Laravel Octane, the steps to use Laravel Octane to scale your application, and then the key benefits of using Octane in the Laravel application.

What is Laravel Octane?

Laravel Octane is a revolutionary package designed to add boosters to Laravel applications by incorporating the power of the Swoole extension for PHP. Initially introduced as an experimental feature in Laravel 8, Octane has matured into a stable and potent solution for building a high-performance web application.

Laravel Octane basically serves as a performance optimization tool that can significantly boost the speed and scalability of your Laravel web application.

By harnessing the fuel of the Swoole extension, Octane enables your Laravel application to operate as a long-lived, coroutine-based process. This means that multiple incoming requests can be handled concurrently, reducing latency and making your application more responsive.

Adopting Octane, you can achieve substantial performance improvements, reduced memory consumption, and the ability to effortlessly scale your web application to meet growing demands.

How Does Laravel Octane Work?

Laravel Octane works by optimizing the way a Laravel application handles incoming HTTP requests. It leverages the Swoole PHP extension, which provides a coroutine-based, event-driven architecture, allowing for greater efficiency and concurrent processing of requests.

Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how Laravel Octane works:

1. Swoole Extension

  • Laravel Octane relies on the Swoole PHP extension. Due to this, you’ll need to first install the Swoole extension.
  • You can do so, by running the following code snippet in the Composer:

2. Application Initialization

  • With Octane, Laravel initializes the web app only once.
  • This means that the Laravel framework and application code are loaded once and cached for subsequent requests.
  • Traditional PHP-FPM, on the other hand, initializes the framework for each request.

3. Asynchronous Execution

  • Laravel Octane’s biggest advantage is its ability to handle multiple requests concurrently.
  • While in a traditional Laravel application, you might process multiple requests sequentially.
  • However, by using Swoole’s asynchronous capabilities, Octane can handle multiple requests concurrently.

4. Stateful Workers

  • Octane introduces stateful workers, which enable the maintenance of the application’s state across requests.
  • This is particularly useful for a Laravel web app that requires shared in-memory data, such as WebSocket servers or long-polling real-time features.
// Octane example 
$chatRoomState = []; 
// State is maintained across requests 
// Handle WebSocket connections and updates to $chatRoomState

5. Connection Management

  • Octane application intelligently manages incoming connections and routes them to the appropriate worker processes.
  • Each connection is served by the same worker throughout its lifespan, ensuring consistency and preventing data corruption.

6. Event Loop

  • Open Swoole provides an event loop that allows non-blocking I/O operations.
  • This is especially beneficial for tasks like handling asynchronous database queries, making external API calls, or serving WebSocket connections.
// Octane example
$response = await Http::get('');
 // Continue processing after the response is received

7. Request and Response Flow

  • When handling concurrent requests in Octane, multiple requests can be processed at once.
  • Middleware, route handling, and controller actions are executed concurrently, improving response times.
// Octane example 
Route::get('/api/resource', function () { 
  // This code runs concurrently for multiple requests 

8. Efficient Memory Management

  • Octane optimizes memory usage by caching the Laravel app state.
  • This reduces memory overhead and allows more memory to be available for handling concurrent requests.

9. WebSocket Support

  • Octane provides built-in WebSocket support, allowing you to easily create real-time features.
  • Here’s a simplified example of a WebSocket chat server:
// Octane WebSocket example
use Swoole\WebSocket\Server;
$server = new Server('', 9501);
$server->on('message', function ($server, $frame) {
    // Handle WebSocket messages here

10. Deployment

  • Deploying Laravel Octane is straightforward. You can use Artisan commands to start and manage your Octane server.
  • Here’s how you might start an Octane server:
php artisan octane:start

Steps to Use Laravel Octane to Scale Your Application

Scaling a web application using Laravel Octane involves several steps to take full advantage of Octane’s performance and concurrency features. Here’s a detailed overview of the steps to use Laravel Octane to scale your web application:

Step 1: Update to Laravel 8

  • Before implementing Laravel Octane, ensure that your application is running on Laravel 8 or later.
  • This step ensures compatibility with Octane and takes advantage of the latest Laravel features.

Step 2: Install the Swoole Extension

  • To provide high-performance and concurrent execution, you need to install the Swoole extension for PHP.
  • This is typically done using Composer to require the Swoole package.
  • You’ll need to ensure it’s properly configured for your server environment.

Step 3: Configure Octane

  • Laravel Octane comes with its configuration file.
  • This configuration file allows you to set options related to the number of workers, the application host, and other Swoole-specific settings.
  • You can publish this configuration file and adjust settings to fit your application’s needs.

Step 4: Optimize Your Code

  • Take advantage of Octane’s performance improvements by optimizing your Laravel codebase.
  • Utilize caching, reduce database queries, and implement efficient algorithms.
  • Consider using profiling tools like Laravel Telescope can help you identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

Step 5: Load Balancing

  • To handle even more traffic, consider implementing load balancing with multiple Octane instances running on different servers.
  • This Load Balancing will distribute incoming requests evenly and improve fault tolerance.
  • Conducting this practice for your Laravel web app can help you ensure high availability, redundancy, and load distribution.

Step 6: Monitoring and Scaling

  • Use monitoring tools like New Relic, Datadog, or other monitoring solutions to keep an eye on your application’s performance.
  • When necessary, scale your infrastructure with horizontal scaling by adding more Octane instances or vertical scaling by upgrading server resources.
  • Set up alerts for key metrics, and be prepared to scale your application horizontally/vertically as needed based on traffic patterns and resource utilization.

Thus, it’s crucial to continuously monitor, test, and optimize your application’s performance under Octane to ensure it meets your specific scaling requirements.

Keep your Laravel, Swoole, and Octane versions up to date to benefit from improvements and security patches. Regularly review and fine-tune your setup to ensure that it remains efficient and responsive as your application scales.

Key Benefits of Using Octane in Laravel Development

There are multiple benefits of using Octane for scaling Laravel applications, starting from improved performance, simplified deployment, and reduced memory usage. Let’s get on its detailed version of each significant benefit Laravel Octane offers:

1. Improved Performance

Octane’s biggest draw is its remarkable performance improvement. It capitalizes on Swoole’s asynchronous capabilities to handle multiple concurrent requests efficiently, resulting in reduced response times and an overall enhanced user experience.

Example: In a traditional Laravel setup, processing multiple requests sequentially might look like this:

$response1 = someTimeConsumingOperation();
$response2 = anotherTimeConsumingOperation();
// …
With Octane's asynchronous features, you can handle multiple requests concurrently, like this:
$response1 = async someTimeConsumingOperation();
$response2 = async anotherTimeConsumingOperation();
// …

2. Reduced Memory Usage

Laravel Octane reduces memory usage through a combination of strategies and optimizations. Firstly, using the Swoole PHP extension Octane runs a coroutine-based application maintaining efficient processes.

This approach significantly reduces the overhead associated with process initialization, resulting in a smaller memory footprint compared to standard PHP applications that start and terminate processes for each request.

Octane further minimizes memory consumption by processing incoming requests as separate coroutines within a single process. Coroutines are lightweight, sharing common resources such as code and data structures, making them more memory efficient than separate processes.

Supporting preloading of used components and data into memory, Octane enhances the performance and reduces the latency of web applications. This stands as essential components and configurations are readily available, reducing the need to reload them for each request.

This preloading strategy not only improves response times but also minimizes memory usage. Finally, Octane leverages Swoole’s event-driven architecture to efficiently manage I/O operations.

This ensures the application remains responsive while waiting for I/O operations, leading to more efficient memory usage and resource management. Altogether, these strategies make Laravel Octane a memory-efficient solution, particularly suitable for running Laravel applications with high concurrency.

Octane optimizes memory usage by caching the Laravel application’s state, eliminating the need to reload the Laravel framework and application code for each request. This reduces memory overhead, allowing your application to handle more concurrent users without consuming excessive server resources.

Example: Octane’s memory optimization ensures more memory is available for handling concurrent requests.

3. Stateful Workers

Laravel Octane offers stateful workers to manage stateful connections efficiently. These workers are designed for use cases like real-time communication through WebSockets or other protocols that require continuous, bidirectional interactions with clients.

Stateful workers in Octane handle background tasks independently, without blocking the primary request-handling process. This capability is invaluable for managing real-time events, chat systems, or other asynchronous operations.

These workers share state and data with the main application, ensuring seamless communication and data access. Offloading stateful connections to dedicated workers, enhances the efficiency and responsiveness of the Octane application, making it well-suited for real-time and interactive web applications.

Octane introduces stateful workers, enabling you to maintain the application’s state across requests efficiently. This is particularly useful for WebSocket applications and real-time features.

Example: While building chat application with Laravel considering stateful workers, you can maintain the chat room state across requests, ensuring a seamless chat experience.

4. Simplified Deployment

Laravel Octane simplifies deployment by eliminating the need for intricate web server configurations.

By establishing its integration with the Swoole extension, it acts as an embedded HTTP server preventing configuration and web server handling complexities such as on Apache and Nginx. This streamlines the deployment process significantly.

Octane’s stateless design and its ability to handle multiple concurrent connections make it well-suited for deployment with load balancing.

This means you can deploy multiple instances of your Octane-enabled Laravel application and distribute incoming traffic evenly, ensuring both scalability and high availability without introducing deployment complexities.

You can deploy Octane hassle-freely by starting your Laravel Octane server with a single Artisan command, eliminating the need for complex server configurations.

Example: To start an Octane server, simply run:

php artisan octane:start

5. Support for WebSockets

Octane includes built-in support for WebSockets, making it a breeze to develop real-time features such as chat applications, live notifications, and collaborative tools.

Example: Building a WebSocket chat server with Octane is simplified and efficient.

FAQs About Using Octane to Scale Laravel Application

Is Laravel Octane ready for production?
Laravel Octane is considered stable, but it's essential to verify whether it needs any updates or changes throughout the Octane application development. Octane is suitable for production use and has been adopted by many organizations to enhance the performance and scalability of their Laravel applications. However, before deploying Octane in a production environment, it's advisable to thoroughly test it in a staging or development environment to ensure that it meets your specific application's requirements and that it integrates seamlessly with your PHP code and other dependencies.
How does Octane impact the performance of my Laravel application?
By changing the way its Laravel application handles the incoming HTTP requests, Octane significantly improves the overall app performance. It leverages the Swoole extension to create long-lived, coroutine-based processes, which allows multiple requests to be handled concurrently within a single process. This reduces the overhead associated with initializing and terminating PHP processes for each request, resulting in reduced latency and faster response times. Additionally, Octane supports preloading frequently used components, further enhancing performance by reducing the need to reload them for each request.
What are the resource requirements when using Octane to scale my Laravel application?
The resource requirements for running Laravel Octane depend on various factors, including the complexity of your application, the number of concurrent requests it needs to handle, and the efficiency of your code. Octane is designed to be memory-efficient, as it optimizes resource usage and recycles resources effectively. However, as your application scales, you may need to allocate more server resources (CPU and RAM) to accommodate the increased workload. To ensure the Octane application's smooth operation, proper monitoring and resource allocation are important. If this step isn't conducted properly then it can adversely affect the application. Considering help from a dedicated Laravel developer can significantly benefit you in such scenarios and can also be useful in assuring the long run of the application.


Thus, considering octane for your Laravel development can be the game-changer in providing a potent solution to supercharge your Laravel applications in 2023.

Its ability to handle high concurrency, reduce memory usage, and support real-time features positions it as the ideal choice for building modern, and high powered application servers.

By integrating Octane into your Laravel stack, you can ensure your application remains responsive, efficient, and capable of delivering an exceptional user experience in the face of increasing demands.

If you encounter challenges at any point during the process or have any other Laravel-related inquiries, don’t hesitate to request prompt assistance and tap into the expertise of our highly skilled developers.

We’re here to help you navigate through any obstacles or answer any Laravel-related queries you may have.

Mayur Upadhyay is a tech professional with expertise in Shopify, WordPress, Drupal, Frameworks, jQuery, and more. With a proven track record in web development and eCommerce development.

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