Monday, June 16, 2014

Node.js High Availability at Box

One of Node.js’s most interesting characteristics is that it’s single-threaded. That means running a single Node.js instance on a typical server would result in massive under-utilization of today’s multicore CPUs. As compared to other application servers, Node.js isn’t too bright on its own with regards to this excess capacity. That means you’re left with three choices for deploying Node.js:

  1.  A single Node.js instance per multicore CPU server (under utilizing the CPUs) 
  2. A single Node.js instance on a VM with a single core CPU (eliminating the excess CPU cores) 
  3. Multiple Node.js instances per multicore CPU server 
In the early days of Node.js at Box, we happily experimented with the first option (one instance per multicore CPU server) as it mimicked the setup we had using Apache. As such, we could easily swap in Node.js for Apache and use the same overall server setup.

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