Node.js in the big leagues
Posted by stephan · June 26, 2014
Although it’s a relatively new platform, Node.js has already found its way into the code stacks of several Fortune 500 companies and tech giants, who are all praising it for it’s scalability, it’s ease and speed of deployment, and it’s superb performance. Groupon, LinkedIn, Walmart, PayPal – they’re just a few of the companies successfully using Node.js. Let’s take a closer look.
Last year Groupon shifted from a Ruby on Rails framework to Node.js for their back-end services. Engineer Adam Geitgey elaborated on why they went with Node.js:
“We were looking for a solution to a very specific problem – efficiently handling many incoming HTTP requests, making parallel API requests to service each of those HTTP requests, and rendering the results into HTML. We also wanted something that we could confidently monitor, deploy, and support.”
And switching to Node.js allowed them to do exactly that. Groupon reported significantly improved page loads across the entire site – typically around 50% faster. Not only that, but development teams were able to ship features faster. So, a big win for Node.js.
When the world’s largest professional social network relaunched its mobile app in 2011 with a Node.js back-end, they were able to improve their system speed by up to 20x while reducing their number of servers by 90%.
“It was fast by all standards,” LinkedIn’s mobile development lead Kiran Prasad told VentureBeat at the time. “I’ve worked at startups and big companies like Yahoo, and yeah, it was fast.” Another win for Node.js.
The world’s largest retailer made even bigger waves with their switch to Node.js – because they decided to deploy it on Black Friday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. And it paid off: on Black Friday, Walmart’s servers didn’t even go over 1% CPU utilization, despite the fact that they supported 200,000,000 users that day.
“Node allows us to…scale up very nicely,” Dion Almaer, Walmart’s vice president for mobile architecture, reported. “It’s perfect for what we’re doing in mobile.”
PayPal is reaping the benefits of Node.js, too. Their first Node.js application was a rewrite of their account overview page – “one of the most trafficked apps on the website,” writes Jeff Harrell of PayPal. Wanting to test out Node.js, but careful not to put all their eggs in one basket, they decided to build the application in both Node.js and Java, side by side, and see which one performed better.
And in the side-by-side test, Node.js won. They built it almost twice as fast, with fewer people, with 33% fewer lines of code, and with 40% fewer files. And performance improved, too. It offered double the requests per second versus the Java application, and a 35% decrease in average response times. Another homerun for Node.js.
Being fast and scalable is imperative in today’s hyper-competitive tech space. Node.js let all of these companies dramatically reduce costs, and still improve their system speeds.
We work with countless customers experiencing the same success, and we use Node.js to develop our own internal products. If you are making big technical decisions and Node.js is part of the discussion, get in touch with us – we’d love to share our experience with you.