See also: What You Need To Know About Node.js
Only a few years old, Node.js is quickly winning the hearts and minds of developers and the companies they work for. Shortly after application programming interfaces (APIs)—bits of code that let different software applications communicate—became popular and useful, companies sometimes found it sometimes difficult to manage them flexibly and to keep complex networks of applications working smoothly.
The result was frequent website crashes and breakdowns. While there are other options such as Erlang, Scala, Clojure and Go, so far, Node.js has been a very good at keeping APIs, and their related web services, up and running.
Node.js Expands Its Territory
To help extend its reach into more Internet server and cloud computing environments, Joyent this week expanded its support for Node.js to nearly every operating system and infrastructure framework broadly available. Already used on Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Windows, Node.js will now also work on Linux, Solaris, OmniOS, and its own operating system: SmartOS.
As Node.js usage grows, it's becoming a trusted component of load-bearing infrastructure. Companies like Walmart have made the switch to Node.js at the expense of other server-side frameworks such as Ruby on Rails.
“We have been approached by many corporate users who are rolling out production deployments at scale of Node.js,” chief marketing officer Ben Wen said in a blog post. “Often they are interested in support for their deployments, which we can now provide in a variety of environments, in private data centers or even in clouds that are not our own.”
Eran Hammer of Walmart labs recently came to the Node.js core team complaining of a memory leak he had been tracking down for months, Wen explained in a separate post. While the source of the leak was never identified, Walmart used Node.js to reduce the the memory leak from a couple hundred megabytes a day, down to a mere eight megabytes a day.
At a time when retail sites are running around the clock to satisfy online shoppers, these types of improvements can mean the difference between a Black Friday and a blackout.