Node.js server monitoring best practices

Node.js Server Monitoring Best Practices

Charris Herrera Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

Node.js is a known and popular JavaScript framework for 2021. With the increasing utilization of Node.js in development, there is an equally increasing need for Node.js server monitoring. Since server monitoring is essential to all applications, it is important that you apply best practices when monitoring Node.js servers.

Servers are devices for storing or processing information provided to other devices, applications, and users on-demand. Node.js servers provide the interaction between your application and end-users. By monitoring Node.js servers, you gain visibility into these activities on your servers. 

In this post, you will find:

  • how monitoring is relevant to your application server
  • best practices in server monitoring
  • recommended tools for Node.js server monitoring

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Why is Monitoring Node.js Server Important?

What is server monitoring, and why do you need it? Server monitoring generally refers to monitoring all available network infrastructure related to servers. The process captures performance data and analyzes resource utilization trends, providing key information for optimizing server performance and a smooth user experience.

By collecting all data from servers, server monitoring tools enable real-time and historical data analysis, so you make sure your network servers perform optimally.

Just like any other servers, Node.js servers need consistent monitoring to minimize downtime and prevent possible loss of revenue from missed opportunities, productivity disruptions, and SLA penalties. To master the monitoring of Node.js servers, read along.

Best Practices on Monitoring Node.js Server You can Implement

Even a modest knowledge of Node.js server monitoring is beneficial, but truly effective results are only achieved through strict and consistent Node.js monitoring. Read through our list of best practices and start a monitoring plan as soon as possible. Applying best practices will help you prevent many issues and implement accurate solutions when problems occur.

What is Your Standard?

The first step in monitoring Node.js server behavior is setting your baseline. Clearly define what server behavior is acceptable and base your standards on this.

Evaluate what normal server behavior is. When there are deviations from your defined standard, then it entails trouble. By then, IT admins can pinpoint and isolate the issue and divide necessary actions.

By setting standards, IT admins can clearly recognize when servers are pushing their limits and effectively plan for upgrades.

Strictly Monitor Core Usage

Node.js servers require consistent Core monitoring, which entails monitoring CPU usage, average response times, network bandwidth, memory usage, event loops, and garbage collection. Common problems encountered by servers are mostly memory leaks and processor overwork, and when these happen, application performance decreases and will constantly crash.

Generate a Detailed Monitoring Plan

What is the use of the best server monitoring tool when you don’t have a detailed plan on how to identify, track, and resolve issues?

The first thing to do is to plan out your escalation matrix. Who should you contact when problems arise? Designate staff or vendors to be notified for each type of issue, so the right resource is called upon to resolve all issues promptly.

Next, schedule regular reports on server performance. Reports should not focus on problems exclusively, as issues are tracked real-time and generate notifications. Regular reports provide in-depth details on server performance in accordance to your plan, so weekly or monthly scheduling should suffice.

Through this, you will know if your server’s performance is productive or deprecating. Then you can spot trends or possible innovations.

Maintain Historical or Resolved Context

You might be wondering why you need to keep historical context or records of resolved issues. This practice is productive for server performance monitoring.

By keeping the context of past problems at a particular time under specific conditions, you gain valuable insights that help you analyze and mitigate future issues. In turn, contextual reporting helps managers implement plans, so the same issues don’t happen again.

Top Node.js Monitoring Tools

It is near impossible to monitor Node.js on your own. You’ll need to equip your system with the best Node.js server monitoring tools. Here are some of the top server monitoring tools that you can use:

Retrace

Retrace is a popular cloud-based tool for application performance monitoring (APM). However, this is not your usual APM tool since it also has centralized logs, errors and log integration, as well as basic server metrics.

When you integrate Retrace into your application, it will automatically monitor your servers. What’s more, Retrace enables you to configure monitoring templates for your application servers, including Node.js. 

  • Easily configured to monitor applications for new and regressing errors
  • Dev-centric insights to quickly fix errors
  • Smart defaults
  • Easy to chart, compare, and trend metrics across all the instances of your applications

PM2

PM2 is another popular and straightforward Node.js monitoring tool used mainly for those who monitor live production workloads from CLI or web interfaces. It allows developers to manage and keep their applications online. 

With Node.js, PM2 enables developers to keep the application running for a long time, reloads without downtime, and helps manage application logging, monitoring and clustering.

To get started, developers need to install NPM, and for that npm –version command is used. Then, npm install -g pm2 is launched. 

  • Behavior configuration
  • Container integration
  • Log management
  • Auto-clustering for Node.js apps

Express Status Monitor 

Express Status Monitor offers real-time monitoring for Express-based node servers. This is an open-source tool that monitors Express.js, a popular Node.js framework.

  • Regulate response times
  • Frequency request
  • Average overload
  • CPU utilization

Appmetrics 

Another excellent performance and server monitoring tool is Appmetrics, an open-source tool managed by IBM. Appmetrics mainly focuses on providing basic elements for collecting app metrics across various activities, including database queries, performance, garbage collection, and more.

  • Data transaction
  • Free and open source
  • Appmetrics-dash plugin for app monitoring

You can also check out this blog post if you are looking for the best tools when monitoring Node.js applications: Best 5 Tools for Node.js Monitoring

Node.js Server Monitoring with Retrace

The best tool to grab when monitoring application servers is a robust application performance monitoring (APM) system. You can monitor your application or server’s performance and availability, find bottlenecks and promptly fix errors.

One of the more popular and genuinely efficient APM tools on the market is Retrace.

As a comprehensive APM tool, Retrace monitors not only your Node.js applications and servers, but also provides integrated code profiling, error tracking, centralized logging, full transaction tracing, deployment tracking and real user monitoring. 

Try your FREE 14 day Retrace trial and see the results for yourself. 

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