There is a lot to do these days about HHVM (aka Hip Hop Virtual Machine). Facebook developed this new PHP engine for its own purpose, but released it as an open source project to the public. And recently, using it for Magento has become quite popular due its unmatched performance. In other words: HHVM with Magento is da bomb! So what about MageBridge? Dutch hosting provider HostingXS did some great testing for us!
The HHVM project has been moving steadily in the direction of support major applications like Joomla!, WordPress, Drupal and Magento. Version 3 seemed to have marked the go ahead moment for many to actually take Magento into production running on HHVM. The results are awesome: In some cases, the performance of Magento under HHVM tripled when compared to Magento on PHP-FPM with APC or Zend OPC. This means having your pages loaded 3x times faster or handling 3 times more concurrent users. And because Magento is often blamed to be slow, this might really be the holy grail you've been looking for.
Because running Joomla! and Magento on HHVM give rise to less and less issues - as the HHVM project evolves - running MageBridge on HHVM is a next logical step. One of our customers with HostingXS did some testing on a production site, while we tested some setups on local testing sites - and we did not encounter any issues. This leads to various conclusions: Magento and Joomla! run fine, and because MageBridge bridges them, you will have a great benefit from HHVM with MageBridge as well. Also, the codebase of MageBridge is pretty clean and does not do weird stuff that HHVM would not understand. In short: MageBridge supports HHVM and we have added it to the list of supported platforms. Thanks to our friends at HostingXS.
While HHVM is being incorporated by serious Magento hosting providers quickly, the entire project still needs to be marked as experimental. HHVM is not supported officially by either Joomla! or Magento, and there might be still bugs occuring in the PHP handling by HHVM when it comes to third party solutions. Nonetheless, given the performance gain we definitely recommend hosting providers that want to reach optimal Magento speed to play with HHVM.
Installing HHVM yourself can be quite tricky. Installing things from source, is only for those that are truely familiar with ./configure && make. Be prepared for many dependancy problems. The HHVM wiki lists some pre-built packages for common Linux distributions, which definitely makes installing HHVM easier but still dependancies can give headaches. The solid way to use HHVM is to implement it as a CGI handler for PHP files, which also means you can run HHVM and a regular PHP handler like PHP-FPM simultaneously - allowing you for a gradual move to HHVM.