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Website slowness is one of the most common issues web developers have to troubleshoot. It can also be one of the most difficult issues to identify. Network speeds, hardware sizing, site traffic levels, code quality, and configuration are just a few of the factors that can contribute to a site’s speed or slowness.

To improve our customers’ ability to diagnose and resolve website performance issues, Acquia has partnered with two Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solutions, which come included with all paid Acquia Insight subscriptions: New Relic and TraceView. Both services allow customers to analyze their website performance over time, and zoom in on specific time periods to see what may be contributing to the website’s slow page load times. For more information about using New Relic or TraceView with your Acquia subscription, see Using TraceView and New Relic.

This article focuses on New Relic.

PHP.net ended support for PHP 5.2 on 6 January 2011 and for PHP 5.3 on 14 August 2014. While Acquia has been working to maintain support for these deprecated versions of PHP, support for these versions will end, in favor of PHP 5.5 and 5.6, on Tuesday, 1 September 2015. At that time, we will remove these obsolete and unsupported versions of PHP and convert all remaining environments to PHP 5.6. This deadline will not be extended, as it is critical your website be upgraded to ensure its continued security.

PHP 5.5 and 5.6 provide extensive improvements in performance and security over previous versions. While PHP 5.5 is available, we strongly recommend customers move to PHP 5.6 immediately (after appropriate testing) because php.net will end active support for PHP 5.5 in June 2015. Backwards incompatibility between PHP 5.6 and PHP 5.5 is minimal and consists of bug fixes and security improvements.

Is there any action required on my part?

All environments for all applications must be upgraded to PHP 5.5 or PHP 5.6 before Tuesday, 1 September 2015. Prior to that date, you should upgrade your non-production sites in order to test for any incompatibilities in your website. We recommend beginning with your non-production upgrades as soon as possible to ensure you have time to test, prior to upgrading your production site. Once you have resolved any incompatibilities, upgrade your production website before the end-of-life deadline. See Configuring PHP settings for instructions on changing your PHP version.

In an upcoming release of the Acquia Cloud platform, Acquia is scheduled to deprecate an older syntax used to access Acquia Cloud instances using secure shell (SSH) as part of our ongoing effort to improve security. Acquia recommends that all customers review their existing scripts and development processes to ensure that the standard syntax documented here, and in About SSH/Shell access, is being consistently utilized.

Currently, you can SSH into Acquia instances using the following syntax:

ssh [site]@[server]

After the change is made in the upcoming release, this older sign-in method will no longer work. Instead, the older sign-in method will generate the following error message and will not connect to your instance: