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Node.js: The high-performance platform for web servers and more

The network of networks is constantly changing. After responsive adjustments to online presences and increasingly interactive interfaces to the valued user community, cloud computing and big data have shaped the turnaround of recent times. In the meantime, companies have long been facing new challenges, such as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) or embedded systems in various household appliances, home automation, as well as in transport and entertainment electronics. But not only the economic resources are affected, it is often necessary to rethink the planning of the IT infrastructure.

Node.js

One promising approach is Node.js - a JavaScript-based platform for network applications. The special thing about it is that it acts on the server side and is based on the high-performance V8 runtime environment. Originally conceived for the increasingly popular browser project “Chrome”, it offers a resource-saving architecture that, in contrast to thread-based structures (blocking I / O model), reacts in an event-driven manner (non-blocking I / O model) and thus uses valuable memory sparingly. This behavior is an ideal basis for processing many asynchronous connections occurring at the same time. This makes the platform ideal, for example, for data-intensive use as a web server or for bidirectional web socket connections. But other network applications can also be optimally implemented with Node.js.

The core: V8 power

V8 was developed by Google in C ++ based on the ECMAScript specification "ECMA-262" and supports the most common operating systems and ARM architectures. The engine can be used completely independently or as an embedded part of a C ++ application. V8 is translated into machine code at runtime using a JIT compiler. The result is made available as a snapshot for later instances of the environment and offers significant performance advantages over the pure use of a JavaScript interpreter. Often only the currently required program components are compiled.

Threads v. Events

Conventional server structures are usually thread-based. This means that incoming requests are processed sequentially. The following inquiries are only served as soon as the respective predecessor has been supplied with his request.
With the event-controlled approach, the requests are processed in parallel, there is no thread queue and subsequent requests are not blocked. In this way, a "deadlock" is also prevented as a worst case. This fact is one of the most significant advantages of Node.js., especially for many data-intensive inquiries on busy web servers.

Node Package Manager

The "Node Package Manager" has a large number of ready-made and freely usable packages - so-called modules - ready for Node.js. These can be easily installed via the command line. These modules can often be used to expand the application range of Node.js many times over. Among other things, “CoffeeScript” and “less” are also available as modules for download.

CLI

The “Command Line Interface” (CLI) represents one of the main input and output interfaces in addition to the browser window for displaying the web applications running on the Node.js web server. Here, for example, status messages are output or user input is expected.

Who can use Node.js?

A reasonable minimum requirement for the successful use of Node.js consists of a (virtual) server system with underlying root authorizations, such as a virtual server or a root server from Host Europe. Finally, a console is needed every now and then, for example to receive system feedback or to install an npm package.

Other sources

http://nodejs.org/

https://www.npmjs.com/

http://nodeschool.io/

https://github.com/

http://nodecode.de/

Conclusion

Node.js is still a relatively new star in the sky of web development, but offers a variety of high-performance options for creating scalable web applications including a test environment - and this on the basis of a free open source platform. Virtual servers or root servers from Host Europe are ideal systems for using Node.js.

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Thomas von Mengden is a former author of the blog & SEO team at Host Europe GmbH, one of the largest providers of domain and web hosting in Europe.