Friday, February 7, 2014

What Makes Node.js Faster Than Java?

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Every few weeks someone posts a Java vs Node benchmark, like PayPal’s or Joey Whelan’s. As one of maintainers of Node core and contributors to many npm modules, StrongLoop is happy to see Node winning lately. Everyone knows benchmarks are a specific measurement and don’t account for all cases. Sometimes Java is faster. Sometimes Node is. Certainly what and how you measure matters a lot.

High concurrency matters
But there’s one thing we can all agree on: At high levels of concurrency (thousands of connections) your server needs to go to asynchronous non-blocking. I would have finished that sentence with IO, but the issue is that if any part of your server code blocks you’re going to need a thread. And at these levels of concurrency, you can’t go creating threads for every connection. So the whole codepath needs to be non-blocking and async, not just the IO layer. This is where Node excels.

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