Best Node.js hosting in 2018
When we design the IT system architecture for our clients, we always give them a few technology options to choose from, from the least to the most scalable. And it happens that at the other end of this spectrum we almost always offer Node.js. This is a runtime environment that has been used for over 9 years to build highly scalable applications. Such a choice may initially turn out to be more expensive than PHP or ASP.NET technologies, but it quickly reveals its real value. And even this initial cost should be of no concern, especially if we find a good Node.js hosting. We invite you to review the hosting services that we think are best in this area.
Why choose Node.js?
Above all, the choice of Node.js is an advantage for the client and its applications. It is easy for us to add new modules to the system based on Node.js., which was built in micro-service architecture. We don’t have to worry about the consequences of the sudden increase in popularity of the application. With the increase in the number of simultaneous users, Node.js doesn’t create additional threads, so it doesn’t increase the server load in an unpredictable way. We don’t have to worry about the hosting environment either: Node.js will run on both cheap Linux VPS and popular clouds, the hardware requirements are quite low. It is because of these technical advantages that such companies as Netflix, PayPal, Groupon, LinkedIn and even Microsoft are among the major users of Node.js.
The Best Hosting Services for Node.js in 2018
Here are currently the best hosting platforms for Node.js-based applications. The best in our opinion, on the basis of our experience. As you will notice, PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solutions outnumber the rest. We believe that if you do not have a dedicated team of administrators for your application, such transition to the cloud is the best solution.
A major advantage is a support for the Kubernetes Container Management Platform, and the Source-To-Image toolkit, which allows you to quickly create application containers in Docker format directly from the source code. The Git Push function is also useful for deploying the applications. A detailed documentation explains how to implement Node.js applications on OpenShift.
The free Starter Plan is intended primarily for educational purposes and experimenting with the code. You get 1 GB of RAM and 1 GB of data storage for one application, unfortunately without additional tools. Plan Pro starts from $50 monthly, giving you 2GB of RAM, 2GB for data, a full set of development tools and the ability to host up to 10 projects. You can, of course, get more for an extra charge.
- Main advantages: easy operation, automatic scalability, open source software, availability of multiple regions, customizability.
- Main disadvantages: lack of support in free account, the policy of hibernation of resources (sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity, apps have to “sleep” for at least 18 hours in a 72-hour period).
Amazon Web Services is the first cloud computing service in the world and still the most popular to date. As a hosting platform for Node.js it can compete with other specialized services – as long as you know how to use it.
The abundance of services available on Amazon Web Service is overwhelming. Apart from typical hosting solutions, we can also find here dedicated services for tasks of the computational, analytical, machine-learning and media coding nature, relational and nosql databases, virtualized network components.
The Elastic Beanstalk service is crucial from the Node.js hosting perspective. It allows you to automate the implementation, management, and scaling of applications using the tools offered by the Amazon Web Services console. It is simply an additional abstraction layer over “bare” servers and operating systems. Instead of manually configuring the servers, you have defined the application, its version, template, and boot environment. Beanstalk will start it all by itself, controlling the necessary Amazon services applications as necessary.
The AWS Lambda service is equally useful from the software development perspective, as it allows you to run the code (also in Node.js, of course) without any maintenance. If you connect your app to Amazon Gateway API, you can run the code in response to HTTP calls from the frontend of the web application. So in practice, we can quickly build the complete backend for applications in a more and more fashionable serverless paradigm.
And if your project is smaller and you don’t want to go too deep into Amazon’s cloud services, you can use an interesting Virtual Private Servers (VPS) service called Lightsail. You can start such a VPS in just a few clicks. You will also receive a simple load balancer, network configuration management tools, and an interface to integrate your application with Lightsail, including a backup tool. Prices are very attractive, Linux server with 512 MB of operating memory and 20 GB of SSD for data you can have for $5 a month (the first month of the trial for free).
- Main advantages: user-friendliness, fairly good documentation, a huge number of additional services available.
- Main disadvantages: it is easy to get lost in all this, there are cheaper cloud services that Amazon has in its offer.
The Google Cloud Platform works on the same infrastructure as other Google services, including the search engine, which promises a good reliability of the cloud. It includes numerous cloud services, from which we are most interested in the App Engine, the PaaS service allowing for quick development and implementation of applications. Of course, it provides Node.js hosting, but it also supports Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, Go and even C# and .NET.
The App Engine provides automatic scaling for web applications, from zero to planet-wide scale as they’ stated. It provides all the necessary security mechanisms as well as access and identity management. By relieving you of administrative responsibilities, the App Engine lets you focus on writing your code. The documentation for Node.js is also of the high quality.
The prices depend on the services selected for the application, but they are competitive – you can check this in Internet Calculator. A free trial period is available. We like the convenient payment system, billing only for the actual load, discounts for fixed and heavy workloads, and the ability to set spending limits.
- Main advantages: excellent performance and stability, very good documentation, competitive prices.
- Main disadvantages: you have to be aware of the limitations of particular services, applications designed on the App Engine are not easy to transfer to other platforms, it is not a platform for computationally demanding applications.
Back4App is a service that allows you to build, host and manage applications on the foundations of the open source Parse Server. This backend provides useful features for web and mobile applications, such as push notifications, e-mail distribution, social media integration and task automation. It can be implemented on any infrastructure that can run Node.js.
Initially, Back4App allowed only Node.js hosting for the backend of the application, but now it is also possible to host your own Node.js code for the frontend – so you can use this service to deploy the entire application.
Technically, it is a service built on the Amazon cloud, so it supports the autoscaling mechanisms it offers or automatic backups. However, it significantly speeds up the process of software production and facilitates its maintenance.
- Main advantages: open source platform, the speed of implementation, high customization capabilities for the backend, real-time analytics.
- Main disadvantages: this is not a universal solution for hosting Node.js. Back4App is worth reaching for when you need a backend-as-a-service solution more flexible than for example Google Firebase.
Also published on Medium.