The best way to monitor your Node.js server is with an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool.
Keep in mind, Node.js server monitoring is a bit of a tricky task, and there are particular challenges you should be aware of. But don’t worry because this how-to guide will walk you through it step-by-step.
First, let’s quickly review what exactly Node.js monitoring is.
Monitoring your Node.js server means you are making sure it’s performing optimally and nothing is blocking the thread or event queue.
If it’s not running correctly, customers will get a loading screen, and they will undoubtedly be turned off by an error message. Unfortunately–once customers lose trust in you–it’s hard to get them back.
The cost of unplanned server downtime is between $5,600-$9,000 per minute. That’s more than half a million dollars lost for every hour that your server is offline!
You will want to install an APM tool to mitigate any disaster–even the disasters you cannot see (bad code can go unnoticed for an extended period of time).
APM systems are extremely helpful because they pinpoint the problem in the code so you can fix it quickly. Long term, you will not regret it. If you catch small problems early, they won’t turn into big problems later.
So we’ve established why you need to invest in an APM system, but what are you monitoring with it? Essentially, you are monitoring server health and resource utilization (poorly-optimized applications use more resources, cost you more money, and are slow). Let’s get into the nitty- gritty, shall we?
Specific things you should evaluate include:
Node js has a wide scope of functionality and so as you might have expected, there are quite a few Node.js monitoring tools on the market, all in different shapes and sizes. So pay attention!
Retrace is a popular cloud-based tool for APM used by organizations of all sizes. It can be used to improve the performance of your applications. Some notable features include:
Retrace users proactively identify more issues in QA and continuously improve and observe applications in production environments. Retrace uses lightweight profiling to automatically track key methods in your code. Detailed performance data helps you understand how your code is performing and how to improve it. Try your free, 14 day Retrace trial.
PM2 is another popular Node.js monitoring tool. It is a straightforward tool for those who run and monitor live production workloads from a CLI or web interface. Notable features include:
Keep in mind, to utilize this tool, you will need to install NPM.
Express Status Monitor is an open-tool that offers real time monitoring of Express-based node servers.
For those who don’t know, Express.js–or simply Express–is the “de facto standard server framework for Node.js”.
Notable features of Express Status Monitor include:
Appmetrics is a top-notch performance monitoring, open-source tool managed by IBM. Some notables features include:
Keep in mind, to use Appmetrics, you will need to get node app metrics from npmjs.org, Github, and IBM SDK for Node.js.
Prometheus is a prominent open-source, community-powered APM developed at SoundCloud in 2012. Node.js developers can find it under the Apache 2 License on Github. Notable features include:
If Prometheus interests you as it does many people, read more about it in Prometheus: Up & Running: Infrastructure and Application Performance Monitoring.
If you want your server to be bug-free and performative, you have to handle the errors or at least know what they look like. Below are the errors you may come across while monitoring your server.
There are multiple types of error including:
Promise comes in a few states:
Granted, handling these errors is a daunting task.This best practices guide can further aid you.
Server crashes happen for two main reasons. The first one is poor maintenance, which you can control– fix the incorrectly formatted plugins or internal coding errors. If you do not fix them right away, they could hurt you long term by causing a crash.
The second is external factors, which you have less control over. By external factors, I am referring to viruses, hackers, and traffic overload.
According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach is just shy of $4 million dollars. In today’s day and age, servers store a ton of data and for hackers, data equals dollar signs. Therefore, the safety and security of your server data is of the utmost importance.
In conclusion, it is important to monitor your Node.js server so you can find bottlenecks fast and mitigate them before too many customers turn away. Using an APM system is the best way to monitor your server. It finds the performance issues for you and supplies you with an easy way of solving them.
Now that you know more about Node js Monitoring, what’s your next lesson in Node.js? Check out this Node js Web Scraping Tutorial.