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Memcache has proven to be an excellent option not only for caching but sharing information. One of the best use case scenarios I can think right away is with High Availability and Load Balancing. Wit HA and LB you don't have a certitude what server is serving, there sharing information with Memcache is the best way to have session information shared.

I will discuss here how to set it up using CentOS 6 and 7. You might figure out correct paths for your own distribution.


Be sure the following things are done:

  • PHP Memcached support on each node you are going to use, you can do that with yum install php-pecl-memcache php-pecl-memcached
  • Memcached daemon on each node you are going to use, you can do that with yum install memcached

PHP and Apache Configuration

Edit /etc/php.ini file and look for the lines session.save_handler and session.save_path. You can comment them out as we are going to put these values in another file.

Edit /etc/php.d/memcache.ini and add the following content:

  • session.save_handler = memcache
  • session.save_path = 'tcp://IP1:PORT,tcp://IP2:PORT'
  • memcache.allow_failover = 1
  • memcache.session_redundancy = 3

Change IP and PORT for your own values. By default, memcached listen into the port 11211/tcp. There is a documented bug about session_redundancy, value should be N + 1. I haven't verified this, but since the bug affects pecl-memcache 3.0.4 and CentOS 7 ships 3.0.8 I bet it should be fixed. Anyway, it is not a bad idea to use the N + 1 value.

Edit /etc/httpd/conf.d/php.conf and look for the PHP parameters. You need to put the following parameters:

  • php_value session.save_handler "memcache"
  • php_value session.save_path = "tcp://IP1:PORT,tcp://IP2:PORT"

In CentOS, sessions are stored in /var/lib/php/sessions/ you can delete all files there. After that, just restart Apache. You are done!

Good Luck

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