Blackfire Distributed Profiling is a feature that makes it possible to
profile any service your application interacts with, the most common
being other HTTP applications such as micro-services.
When profiling with Blackfire, all eligible HTTP (and/or CLI) services
involved with your main application are also profiled and generate
Distributed profiling is enabled by default if the probe supports it.
The main technical requirements are the following:
A profile can be propagated to applications written in all languages
supported by Blackfire.
For example, a profile of a CLI application written in Go can be
propagated to an HTTP application written in PHP, and to another one
written in Python.
Go app (CLI)
├── PHP app (HTTP)
│ └── Go app (CLI)
└── Python app (HTTP)
Profiles and sub-profiles are linked with parent/child identifiers.
These identifiers are either automatically generated by the probe, or in your
own code using the SDK.
Each profile is passed on to the agent and processed independently.
Once they are sent to Blackfire servers, they are linked together as a
hierarchy of calls.
You may use different Blackfire agents. These agents may be on different
infrastructures, as long as the requirements are fulfilled.
Agents may even use different credentials, and can thus be linked to
different Blackfire environments.
The only requirement in this case is that the user who is profiling has
access to the Blackfire environments which are tied to the different agents.
In the Blackfire user interface, the generated profile and its
sub-profiles are gathered within the same view, so that you can navigate
from one profiled service to another, and thus observe how they depend on each
In order to locate a node that a sub-request is originated from, click on the
magnifying glass icon next to the caller function name (fopen() in the
All the assertions and recommendations for each profiled request are also
gathered in the same view. This enables the identification of bottlenecks,
optimization possibilities, and which service is impacted.