Best Tools for Node.js Monitoring

Gone are the days when simply developing an application was all that was required and then people used to do nothing about it. Today, a successful application is said to exceed expectations in terms of stability, and dependability and of course ensures high-end performance. Hardly there is any business across the globe that doesn’t require a multitude of softwares and applications to function smoothly. Take any requirement into account, from collaborating with the entire team to establishing seamless communication, workflow, transferring funds, and conducting business operations, all these tasks or activities do require a power-packed tech stack.

Now even when you have incorporated such a powerful tech stack let’s say Node. js-based applications, there are times when these apps fail to perform what they are supposed to do and this is when Application performance monitoring comes into play! The following post focuses on what is application performance monitoring, how they are beneficial and what are the best monitoring tools to keep in mind for your Node. js-based applications.

What is Application Performance Monitoring?

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) as the name implies are a set of tools meant for tracking the usage of apps. The ultimate goal of APM is to detect relevant issues and resolve them right before they give any kind of negative impact on overall productivity and efficiency.  For example, if there is an issue with delayed loading times then the APM automatically generates an alert, analyzes the issue in the nick of time and then offers an appropriate solution. 

These kinds of application monitoring tools are meant to scan all the apps for relevant issues such as speed, usability, security and a lot more! And you know what, these application performance monitoring assists well in avoiding downtime troubleshooting, analyzing, resolving and several other potential problems so that there is no hiccup or bottleneck ahead. On and all, when you tend to use such applications, the end users are bound to receive user-friendly and a pleasant experience with the Node. js-based applications they are working on. Further below, we would like to focus on some of the core reasons to consider application monitoring tools and technologies especially when you want your business to succeed in today’s times. 

Benefits of Application Monitoring Tools

 #1 Issue Detection and Resolution

As mentioned above, application monitoring tools enable different businesses to handle potential issues and errors located within their applications such as any kind of errors or increased amount of downtime, etc. And once these issues are found, there is no coming back. You can take preventive measures and safeguard your business from significant loss of revenue. 

#2 Enhanced Performance

Another benefit of considering application monitoring tools is that you get a crisp idea of whether the software is performing as it should be or whether it is underperforming. Analyzing different metrics such as response time can enable businesses to make data-driven precise decisions and make sure that the existing Node.js apps are well-optimized and upgraded which can result in high-end performance. 

#3  Enhanced user experience

Another interesting benefit of considering APM is that you can have better insights of how your employees are collaborating and communicating with each other. All that’s required is simply monitoring user behavior for getting into the nitty-gritty of common pain points and seeking for any user experience gaps and of course, filling them by getting rid of aspects that make any software under-perform. 

So now you know exactly what these application monitoring tools are and why they are needed in the first place. Now it’s time to focus on some of the best Node.js Application Monitoring Tools to consider. However, before we proceed further I would also like to shed some light on the fact that these below-mentioned tools should be considered in the first place. You see all these tools tend to provide;

  • CPU usage metrics

  • Node.js event loop metrics

  • Garbage collection metrics

  • Node.js monitoring dashboard and integration

  • Memory usage and leaks metrics

Best Node.js Application Monitoring Tools to Consider

#1 AppMetrics

One of the leading Node.js application monitoring tools to consider is AppMetrics. As the name implies, this tool in particular tends to offer real-time monitoring and data analysis. Right from response times to resource allocation, offering some of the most valuable insights, error rates, and above all how the Node.js application is behaving, AppMetrics offers it all! 

How to install AppMetrics?

npm install appmetrics-dash

After that, make sure to add the below-mentioned code snippet and place it at the very beginning of the primary javascript source file (e.g., app.js). By doing so, you will be able to create a dashboard for all the HTTP servers, especially the ones which are generated by your application. 

require ('appmetrics-dash').attach()

So what happens is you will get to see numerous datas in relevance to CPU profiling, HTTP incoming requests, Average response times, CPU, memory, Event loop times, environment, other requests, HTTP outbound requests and a lot more! In the end, you will be able to build a precise report and make quick decisions.  

Why consider AppMetrics? 

  • First and foremost, it is quite easy to set up

  • It ensures real-time monitoring

  • Seamless Integration

  • And above all, AppMetrics turns out to be an open-source application monitoring tool 

  • So budget will no longer be an issue here

#2 Retrace

Retrace is another popular cloud-based Node.js application monitoring tool featuring centralized logs, error and seamless log integration and basic server metrics. Whichever field or industry you hail from, this Node.js monitoring tool in particular can work wonders for businesses of any size and business vertical. Retrace is mainly used to catch all the current and potential issues that can hamper or slow down the business in regard to productivity and efficiency. 

And do you know what is the best part of Retrace? Well, it supports both two-factor authentication and single sign-on. Moreover, here you will come across an activity dashboard. Here the development teams can track the near real-time performance of the code. In addition, keeping close tabs on different web pages, let’s say shopping carts and log-in pages is pretty easy. 

It may quite interest you to know that Retrace was primarily built to offer developers proper insights regarding how the code is performing especially in the testing phase and production environment. By using this particular Node.js application monitoring tool, developers were able to have seamless access to APM, centralized logging, code profiling, integrated logs and errors. 

So if you are seeking around for a Node.js application monitoring tool that provides error and log integration, finds relevant issues even after deployments, quick troubleshooting ways, monitoring apps and offering dev-centric insights regularly, then look no further than Retrace.  

#3 PM2

The next amazing Node.js application monitoring tool to take into account is PM2. Now PM2 is something that is pretty renowned, especially among rookies and programmers who have just begun their careers as Node.js developers. PM2’s ultimate objective is to make sure that the developed application is live all the time. Several tasks or activities such as running live production workloads, monitoring or keeping a hawk eye from CLI and other relevant web interfaces. Many professionals have even installed PM2 as an NPM module.

Unlike others, PM2 turns out to be an enterprise-ready solution featuring a wide range of features and functionalities mentioned below. 

  • Using a single server to manage multiple Node.js applications    

  • Logging errors and managing them

  • Web interface integration to monitor application health and metrics

  • Auto-clustering

  • Hot reload

  • Log streaming

For seamless installation of PM2, first you need to install NPM and for that you can use this below-mentioned command. 

npm --version

By doing so you will get to know whether there is any NPM installed and if so which version it is. Now it’s time to install PM2

npm install -g pm2

And then, 

pm2 start <start-filename> --name myapp

Once you type this command, a Node.js application will be launched. So what it does is, it takes care that services don’t go down and in case it does, the application automatically restarts.  

#4 SemaText

Another interesting Node.js application monitoring tool to consider is Sematext. If you are looking for a tool that offers full-stack monitoring then Sematext is the right name to consider. The term full-stack refers to having complete visibility of the infrastructure as well as the application’s availability and performance. 

  • Easily scalable

  • Centralized log management

  • Real-time monitoring

Sematext is one such tool that has the potential to integrate with more than 100 integrations such as 

  • Web servers - Ngnix, Apache

  • Database - MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Redis

  • Container - Kubernetes, Docker, Rancher

  • Other programming languages -PHP, Scala, Python, Go, Java

  • AWS - EC2, ELB, S3, Aurora

Sematext is one such Node.js monitoring tool that assists in monitoring latency, request rate, garbage collection, anomalies, workers, events, heartbeat, and more. Data can be seen on the dashboard. Also, you can receive relevant notifications through Slack, WebHooks, PageDuty, MS Teams, etc. In other words, if you are looking for all-in-one comprehensive monitoring and logs analyzing solutions, sematext is where your search ends. 

#5 Raygun

Last but certainly not least is Raygun. Now this application monitoring tool is not specifically meant for Node.js. You see, this tool ensures seamless management and monitoring of the performance of applications featuring different kinds of programming languages including Node.js. Raygun has a proven track record for debugging all issues in real-time and crashing logs, analyzing the application code, and finding the right point of error from the code itself. Some of the core benefits that make Raygun a cut above include:

  • Live and precise error reports

  • Supports full-stack error reporting

  • Real-time user session monitoring

  • Server performance monitoring and bottleneck detection real-time

Final Words

Well I can keep going on and on because there are a plethora of Node.js application monitoring tools available but the aforementioned ones are some of the most popular and the ones ensuring a positive user experience any and every time.

Now choosing the right tool depends on what are your needs and requirements but I can assure you that one can never go wrong with these aforementioned Node.js tools and technologies.