Why is Node.js so Fast? Quick Overview of the Technology

The original version of Node.js was released in 2009 and immediately gained popularity among developers. Technical experts around the world were amazed at how powerful, versatile, and fast this programming language could be. You can use it to create an internal application as well as a server.

Many companies are adding Node.js to their technology stack and one of the key reasons for this phenomenon is the speed and performance it provides. But what makes Node.js so fast? In this article, RexSoft Node.js experts will try to answer this question.

Why is Node.js so fast - 39893893898

1. Single-threaded structure

NodeJS is single-threaded and asynchronous. Any input/output operation doesn’t block work. This means that you can read files, send emails, query a database, and do other things all at the same time.

Every request doesn’t create a separate NodeJS process. On the contrary, there is only one NodeJS process constantly running and waiting for connections. The JavaScript code is executed in the main thread of this process and all the input/output operations are done in other threads, almost without delay.

2. V8 Virtual Machine

Node.js, from the moment it appeared, relied on the V8 JS engine to provide execution of the language commands we all know and love. V8 is a JavaScript virtual machine written by Google for the Chrome browser. From the very beginning, V8 was created to make JavaScript fast, at least – to provide more speed than competing engines. For a dynamic language without strict typing, achieving high performance is not an easy task. V8 and other engines are evolving to better meet this challenge.

The virtual machine in V8 that executes JavaScript has a JIT compilation. When the virtual machine gets the source code, it can compile it directly at runtime. This means that operations that are called frequently can be compiled into machine code which will greatly improve execution speed.

3. Event Loop

An event loop is a construct that is responsible for handling events in some programs. An event loop is almost always asynchronous in relation to the message source. When you call an input/output operation, NodeJS will retain the callback associated with that operation and continue to process other events. The callback will be invoked when the necessary data has been retrieved.

Event Loop - why is Node.js so fast

Node.js supports an event loop that handles all asynchronous operations for you. This allows you to use a non-blocking input/output loop where threads (in this case, serial instead of parallel), can manage multiple requests. If it cannot be processed, it is effectively “held” as a promise, which means that it can be executed later without holding up other threads. This whole process allows developers to manage more operations using less memory and resources.

To summarize, Node.js is lightweight due to its architecture built around event handling. It’s built to work as a web server, and it handles lightweight tasks very well. For example, a simple query like calculating something, or writing to a database will be executed very fast. And if we have too many requests and want to scale the system in Node, we can use Nginx or Apache webserver.

Many large companies have already had the opportunity to appreciate all the benefits of Node.js. A good example is Paypal, which used Node in its application. As it turned out, the application was created twice as fast with fewer people, the number of lines of code was reduced by 33%, and the number of files by 40%.

At the same time, the number of requests handled per second doubled, and the average response time was reduced by 35%. Node.js is an excellent choice for building well scalable applications, as long as you have a good Node JS development team in mind who knows how to use it.

Interesting related article: “What is Software?”