Engine Yard now offers Node.js

Developers can run their Node.js applications in the cloud

Paving the way for more server-side use of JavaScript, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider Engine Yard has added the Node.js library to its collection of hosted Web application tools.

The service, which Engine Yard first offered as a preview last November, will join Engine Yard's two other Web application-friendly offerings, Ruby on Rails and PHP.

Running Node.js as a service, instead of in-house, eliminates many headaches for the developer, said Mark Gaydos, Engine Yard senior vice president of worldwide marketing. No server hardware needs to be procured, nor does the developer need to worry about maintaining Node.js itself, or the other software Node.js depends upon to run.

Built on Google's V8 JavaScript engine, Node.js is a library of JavaScript functions that work under an event-driven concurrency model, meaning they are especially well-suited for distributed real-time applications.

Node.js is similar to how Unix operates, in that it offers a set of stand-alone functions that can be strung together to form larger processes. "Node modules do one thing and do it well," explained Mike Amundsen, a developer for API management software vendor Layer 7 Technologies, in an introductory talk at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon, last month. Node.js is "meant to be fast. It's optimized for the machine, not for the developer," he said. Games, interactive tools, real-time analytics and other Web applications have all benefitted from running on the Node.js platform.

Although JavaScript code is traditionally run on browsers, developers are finding that running JavaScript on the server side offers a number of advantages. For one, it allows large, sprawling Web applications to run more efficiently. Organizations "could get a lot more users supported per dollar of compute resources," said Bill Platt, vice president of operations at Engine Yard. The server-side Node.js also eliminates much of the worry about tweaking JavaScript code for many end-user devices that exist.

With the Engine Yard service, the user gets a dashboard, from which one can build a manifest of needed components, such as Node.js. The user can then upload the code to run against the Node.js deployment. The requested elements are placed in a virtual machine (VM). An application may need multiple VMs to run databases, and other supporting applications.

Engine Yard chose to offer Node.js because it "has a passionate and growing community," Platt said. The library is the second-most-monitored project on GitHub.

For its hosted service, Engine Yard picks open-source technologies with large user bases, Platt said. As with its support of Ruby on Rails and PHP, Engine Yard employs software engineers who possess the expertise to help support users and the Node.js project itself. "When we support something, we want to be very good at it," Platt said. "We learn right alongside these developers what kind of platform they need to be successful."

Engine Yard is initially using Node.js version 0.8.7. The company maintains a continuous integration process for its technologies, so the latest version of the library should be available to users within days of its release. "Because it is open source, we can watch and see all of the commits and actions when they occur. Our goal is to be coincident with version releases," Platt said.

The service bills according to the use of virtual machines, on a per-hour basis. The medium-sized Node.js implementation would run at about US$1 per hour, according to Engine Yard. Engine Yard generated $29 million in revenue in 2011 and supports about 2,200 paying customers.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?