When something goes wrong with a Node.js application, developers require on-the-ground insights to track down and fix the bug. To that end, it’s important to choose an effective Node.js monitoring tool.
Developers striving for industry-best monitoring can benefit from our TECLA community’s expert recommendations. We’ve asked our network of 30,000+ senior-level engineers about their preferences for Node.js performance tools. Let’s go through Node.js tools, metrics and best practices as chosen by our robust developer community.
And, by the way, these are perfect to tools to ask about the next time you hire Node.js developers.
Why Node.js Monitoring Is Critical
Every Node.js developer should perform ongoing monitoring in order to ensure their app is functioning well. Ultimately, Node.js monitoring is a critical task for numerous reasons, including:
- Monitoring Node.js performance
- Getting insights into bugs/errors
- Performing preventive maintenance
- Strengthening the user experience
- Discovering security flaws
- Reducing resolution time and costs
Monitoring also goes hand in hand with an accurate notification system so that developers can receive alerts about key metrics. Setting up alerts with Node.js monitoring is an essential process to get real-time feedback and resolve issues quickly.
Key Node.js Monitoring Metrics
All Node.js applications have their unique monitoring requirements. Yet, developers can benefit from tracking these key metrics below, especially those related to bottlenecks or user experience. Some of the most important metrics for any Node.js application include:
- CPU usage
- Memory leaks and usage
- Garbage collection
- Event loops
- Cluster-mode processes
- HTTP requests and response latency
- Log management
- Downtime and error rates
- Monitoring integrations
Developers should track these types of metrics (and more) in order to get the most up-to-date and well-rounded information about current Node.js performance.
Top Features of Node.js Monitoring Tools
Ideally, the best Node.js monitoring tools will allow developers to track comprehensive metrics so that the application experiences minimal downtime and errors. Tools like these are also important for predicting resource usage, so that bottlenecks are avoided in the long run.
The best Node.js tools will have features that empower teams through detailed information about performance, such as:
- Performance monitoring
- Host monitoring
- Error tracking
- Anomaly detection
- Individual transaction tracing
- App diagnostics
- Uptime monitoring
- Compliance tracking
- Capacity planning
- Resource utilization
In addition to these top features, Node.js performance tools should also have great visualizations, integrations and alerts so that they’re easy for developers to use and manage.
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Node.js Monitoring Tools Chosen By Our Community
To make developers more effective at their work, we asked the Node.js development experts in our community about their preferred monitoring tools. Here are the favorite Node.js tools as chosen by 3,000+ members of the TECLA talent network.
1. Express Status Monitor (38%)
Express Status Monitor is by far the most popular choice for Node.js monitoring – and it’s not hard to see why. It’s an open-source, easy-to-use tool that works in conjunction with an Express server. With an at-a-glance dashboard, Express Status streamlines the monitoring process.
Why use it? It boasts of simple and visual-friendly monitoring.
Key metrics: CPU usage, memory usage, one-minute load average, response time, responses per second and more.
2. PM2 (33%)
PM2 is another excellent Node.js monitoring tool that empowers developers to monitor live production workloads via a web interface. Developers can benefit from the rich array of features that PM2 has in order to keep Node.js apps running and healthy. It’s especially helpful for managing enterprise-level and multiple Node.js applications.
Why use it? It offers detailed monitoring that’s ideal for large-scale or multiple Node.js apps.
Key metrics: Error log management, log streaming, auto-clustering, container integration, hot-reloads and more.
What our Node.js development experts say: “My favorite tool is PM2. It gives you many benefits: load balance, error notification, log handling, multiple instances, and real-time data of CPU, RAM, and disk usage. Also, it will automatically run your app in cluster mode, spawn workers for you, and take care of generating new workers when a worker dies.”
3. Retrace (15%)
Retrace is a Node.js tool with unique features to troubleshoot both testing and production contexts. It’s great for detecting issues during deployment and uses custom activity dashboards to show real-time metrics. Compared to other monitoring tools, Retrace is ideal for focusing on deployment health during app development.
Why use it? It’s an all-around comprehensive tool that’s great for complex code monitoring and deployment stage debugging.
Key metrics: Error and log integration, centralized logs, server metrics, code profiling, trace views, web page monitoring and advanced insights.
What our Node.js development experts say: “I like Retrace, a well-known cloud-based tool for application performance management. It also offers centralized logs, error and log integration, and basic server metrics. Furthermore, it provides a dashboard to check the real-time execution of complex code such as a cart in a shop. Also, I enjoy using PM2, a daemon process manager that enables Node.js developers to manage and keep their applications online.”
4. Appmetrics (14%)
Finally, Appmetrics is an open-sourced Node.js performance tool managed by IBM. This tool has a best-in-class monitoring interface that can be integrated with plugins (like the AppMetrics-dash) or compiled with other libraries to boost performance. In this way, it can be used as middleware to build a custom monitoring tool.
Why use it? It’s a versatile tool with robust Node.js performance metrics.
Key metrics: Data transaction, network speed, database query performance, CPU and memory utilization, garbage collection, HTTP requests, response times, event loop times, etc.
Not sure which programming language to learn next? Node.js may be a top pick for companies’ backend needs.
Best Practices for Node.js Monitoring
Setting up Node.js application monitoring is specific to the developer’s project needs. No matter the requirements involved, these are some best practices to ensure the most effective monitoring possible.
1. Select the Right Tool
All the Node.js tools above have their advantages. Developers should think through which tool is the best fit for their needs so that monitoring is as streamlined as possible.
2. Choose Metrics Wisely
Not all metrics are helpful, depending on the app development requirements. It’s important to choose key performance indicators wisely, so that teams don’t have to worry about tracking an overwhelming number of data points.
3. Smartly Configure Alerts
Alerts are crucial for getting the right people to quickly resolve an incident. Developers should take the time to set up alerts with different levels of urgency, so that team members are able to prioritize and respond to issues.
Get More Insights From Our Developer Community
Monitoring application performance is an essential task for tech teams today. By leveraging one of the Node.js tools recommended by our community, developers can stay on top of incidents, get technical insights, improve UX and more.
Tool recommendations are just one perk of joining our robust TECLA developer community. Through our TECLA network, you can connect with other developers and enjoy more expert insights. Our elite community also gets exclusive access to tech jobs at U.S. companies, as we match businesses with top developers for powerful, long-term collaboration. Join TECLA today!