FastCGI over local network

Hi there,

We’re building a mainly Flash site which communicates with a PHP
gateway via AMF over HTTP to get and set database information. The
app’s requests will be something like 50% flat files, and the other
50% will be PHP. At the beginning of the project we expect a lot of
SWF requests as we’ll be serving rich ads trafficked via some big
portal sites.

I’m planning an nginx front-end which serves flat content and passes
PHP requests to a PHP app server(s) on a local network over FastCGI.
The database will reside on a separate host. The idea is obviously
that if the app server struggles we can add more, and possibly extra
nginx servers to help take the load of image/SWF serving if necessary.

In the past, I’ve only done this with nginx and PHP residing on the
same host.

Is FastCGI good to do this without introducing problems, or should I
do something like:

nginx <–HTTP reverse proxy–> (nginx+PHP)

Intuitively it seems a bad idea to introduce extra processing, but we
haven’t done multi-box setups with FastCGI this way before, so I
thought I’d check if that or some other approach might be better.

I’d be grateful for any opinions!

You might consider hosting your static content on a separate subdomain.
you have enough hardware, you can have dedicated nginx boxes just for
images + swfs.

Ah, so that new static content servers don’t need to be contacted
through the front-end nginx. Thanks, that’s a good suggestion. It may
have some implications for the Flash “security” model, but most likely
nothing that can’t easily be worked out.

Any thoughts about the FastCGI aspect welcome too!