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Getting Started with Node.js in the Cloud


The "Cloud"

Node.js in the Cloud

We can build scalable, efficient, and fast web applications and services.

At the micro-level, Node.js applications can support large numbers of connections and glue together many different services.

At the macro-level, the cloud allows us to scale out servers, and provide various backing components.

Use Cases

Application traffic

Anti-Use Cases

Some situations where Node.js may not be the best choice.

PAAS Providers

Node.js Platform-as-a-Service offerings:

IAAS Providers

Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers. Host it yourself!


Heroku logo

Hooking up Heroku

Heroku provides an excellent Node.js guide that can get you up and running. (

Hello World!

Here is everyone's first Node.js application:

Let's try it in development...

And, let's see a slightly more enhanced version...

Package the App

We have to package things up appropriately.

web: node server-hello.js

This tells Heroku to run "server-hello.js" as a Node.js web application.


Now that we've developed our app, we're ready for prime time!

Create the Heroku application:
$ heroku create --stack cedar
Rename the application:
$ heroku rename novanode
$ git push heroku master

We're Live!

Get ready for "hello world" goodness at:

Check Heroku processes:
$ heroku ps
Review our logs:
$ heroku logs
... and many other commands. For example, open a server shell:
$ heroku run bash

Let's Scale!

Scaling with Heroku is incredibly easy and fast.

"These go to eleven."
$ heroku ps:scale web=11
Review our massive service:
$ heroku ps
But let's not get carried away:
$ heroku ps:scale web=1

Chat Server

"Hello world" is scalable, but not useful. Let's try something that leverages Node.js's strengths: chat!

Let's try it out in development...

Prepare our Chat App

Add the Redis To Go add-on.
$ heroku addons:add redistogo:nano
Update our "Procfile" to point to the chat server:
web: node chat/app_redis.js
$ git push heroku master

Heroku Chat

And we're up at

However, we're now using AJAX long-polling, which leads us into...

Heroku / PAAS Gotcha's

Sometimes you have to go with an IAAS or self-managed system.

Heroku / PAAS Benefits

But you can get a lot done in the Node.js PAAS ecosphere.

Wrapping up the Cloud

Reflections of a Node Developer



@ryan_roemer is hiring!