NodeSource Tweaks Platform to Run, Monitor Node.js Apps at Scale

With N|Solid version 1.2, NodeSource provides enhanced visibility into Node.js apps running at scale, as well as developer productivity.


NodeSource, a startup focused on promoting the use of Node.js in the enterprise, recently released version 1.2 of its N|Solid enterprise-grade Node.js platform.

N|Solid delivers increased developer productivity, protection of critical applications and peak application performance. It also provides increased visibility into Node.js applications running at scale.

Node.js is a development platform built on Google Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. It is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript and can be run within the Node.js runtime on OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, HP NonStop, IBM AIX, IBM System z and IBM i.

Monitoring Node.js applications is straightforward when managing a small number of processes across a few hosts, but can become unwieldy in larger environments. At the same time, simple command-line tools and graphs are not optimal for finding performance outliers, or drilling down to find relevant data in environments with hundreds of processes and hosts.

However, N|Solid version 1.2 complements existing enterprise application performance monitoring (APM) solutions, providing granular, high-frequency views of Node applications as well as the underlying runtime and host. Users can assign multiple user-defined tags to every process, which then can be employed as filters in the N|Solid Console Cluster view to help triage performance issues. Users can also tag processes with additional identifiers relating to an application's role, hosting environment, development or production area, or any attribute that might aid with rapid identification.

In addition, processes can be filtered by hostname, process title and process ID (PID) to easily create a subset of processes from a much larger environment to shorten the process selection time. In addition, a cluster view provides a live scatter plot of CPU and memory utilization across application services, enabling visual identification of individual process outliers. Once identified, application profile data is only a few clicks away, the company said.

"Our enterprise clients have told us that they are surprised by how quickly they are able to gain insight into their application's performance using the N|Solid Console," Chip Ray, vice president of product management at NodeSource, said in a statement. "Understanding their challenges of running Node in production for business-critical applications, we are providing the solution that addresses their needs for monitoring Node at scale."

Moreover, broad availability of metrics and ease of access is critical for managing production environments, he said. N|Solid version 1.2 adds StatsD integration that makes it easy to bring N|Solid process and system metrics into existing monitoring dashboards, and report on all applications and processes. No individual process configuration is required. This provides deeper context for teams managing large environments with less effort. Metrics are easily reported for all applications and processes through an aggregated connection.

As Node.js continues to expand its footprint in Fortune 500 companies, developers and administrators have been clamoring for a version of the Node runtime designed for the needs of the enterprise, with features such as Node-specific monitoring, performance analysis, enhanced security and streamlined management. N|Solid represents a milestone in the enterprise Node.js maturity curve, delivering all of these features in a snap-in solution that frees customers from framework lock-in.

NASA, Medium, Conde Nast and Sauce Labs are some of the prominent organizations currently developing Node.js applications with N|Solid.

"At NASA, mission-critical code is the rule, not the exception," said Collin Estes, director of software engineering and chief architect at MRI Technologies, a NASA prime contractor delivering software for the space agency. "Our astronauts put their lives in the hands of our software on every mission. N|Solid features like Runtime Introspection and the ability to orchestrate multiple instances from within the N|Solid Management Console have allowed us to develop, test and deploy our code more efficiently than ever before—all without adding additional DevOps or engineering resources to our team. As we transition from a legacy environment to a modern Node-based architecture, N|Solid, along with the support of NodeSource, is proving invaluable by allowing us to scale rapidly while staying focused on our core mission."

Last July, NodeSource announced N|Support, an enterprise support offering to meet the demand of small, midsize and large companies looking to integrate Node.js into their IT infrastructure. N|Support provides enterprise customers with three tiers of support to integrate Node.js into their IT infrastructure. This includes installation, configuration, troubleshooting and general usage assistance at every point in the software development lifecycle—from initial adoption through production.

The three-tier subscription plans are N|Support Enterprise, N|Support Standard and N|Support Developer. N|Support Enterprise is targeted at organizations leveraging Node.js for business-critical applications. N|Support provides the back-stop for operations teams to operate production environments with 24/7 phone support, a dedicated support engineer and regular reviews with the NodeSource Support team. N|Support Standard is targeted at companies that are growing their Node.js usage and moving Node.js into production. And N|Support Developer is targeted at development and operations teams that are new to Node.js. N|Support can help get an organization's Node projects and processes off the ground by providing assistance with installing, configuring and using Node.js in a development environment.

N|Solid is free for development use.