Two of the most common server platforms used today are Microsoft’s IIS , and Apache , but there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s got quite a foothold, Node.js. What is ausing major companies to abandon the standards in favor of this new server platform? What is an event-based server, and why is it a benefit over a threaded server? How are companies transitioning to the new platform? Let’s find out.
Node.js, The New Platform
Linkedin, a site which allows professionals to connect, has millions of users, thousands of requests hit its servers every minute. How interesting it is then that this company should choose Node.js when it launched its new mobile apps. One reason it was chosen over IIS or Apache, as explained on Slideshare.net , is because of the model it uses to serve data. Node.js uses an event based model, which keeps resource requirements at a minimum.
What is an event model, and how does it apply to servers? To answer this, think of a grocery store. In most modern stores today, there are two sections, the usual checking line where a human cashier scans everything, takes money, makes change, bags the groceries, and so forth, and the self-check section where customers scan their own items, bag themselves, ets. The cashiers represent the threaded model, each time a new customer wants to check out, a new cashier is needed, if there are not enough, the customer waits. Just as hiring more cashiers costs money, creating new threads takes memory and CPU power. The self-check section represents the event model. Usually only one person is in charge of monitoring several self-check registers. When a problem comes up, that person rushes over and handles it, then returns to his/her post. Similarly, the event model uses one thread, and handles each request as it comes. This saves memory, andruns very fast.
The Future of The Internet
While Apache and IIS are not dead by any means, event-based platforms are starting to capture more and more of the market. This begs the question, “how are companies transitioning their software to this new model?” Like Linkedin, many companies are moving to the new technology in segments. Linkedin started with the mobile market, perhaps next they will move the desktop market next, then the back-end. There are several ways to do this, so planning each step is very important. The benefits of this transition are two-fold: Pages can be served much more quickly, and server resource requirements are not nearly as high
The internet has come a long way from the text-based pages that it started serving, and with the demand for cool effects and fast web-apps, it will only advance faster. Using such servers as Apache and IIS, in their current form, will become less practical because demand is steadily increasing. Why? Though many third world countries don’t have steady electricity, reliable internet, etc, the cell phone market is growing by leaps and bounds. This leads to hundreds of millions of requests online, from mobile devices.Despite these changes, there are things companies can do now. Upgrading ram and CPU power is an excellent first step. This allows current web servers to spawn more threads, handling more hits and data requests. If you’re thinking about upgrading your server’s ram or processors, SMS Memory buys and sells memory and processors for servers. Backed by a lifetime guarantee, this is the best next step for businesses with established servers and code.