(T) To cover the capital investments (CAPEX) and the operating investments (OPEX) required for a cloud-based infrastructure such as the ones from Facebook, Yahoo, or Amazon, in order to provide a consumer Web-based service, you will need to come up with a business case that generates several billions of dollars a year. To provide a Web service to over 100 millions of consumers, you will probably need to invest over a billion dollars to build a data center. To operate that datacenter, you will probably need to spend over a hundred millions dollars a year.
Emerging cloud-based applications have three attributes: first they need to support thousands of concurrent users and clients; second, they are data-intensive: they process a lot of data and generate in that process more data; and third they are real-time.
Among emerging development platforms for backend Web services, go to any conference, and you will hear about Node.js.
In order to scale to a large number of clients, and to provide real-time intensive data applications, Node.js architecture is event-driven and performs asynchronous and non-blocking I/Os at the kernel layer. This architecture is more efficient in terms of CPUs and memory than a synchronous blocking I/O architecture that requires more threats to support the direct associations to the network connections. By not systematically associating connections and threads, Node.js needs only a main event loop thread, and many but fewer kernel threads to perform the required I/Os.
Node.js was created by Ryan Dhal while working at Joyent. It is part of Joyent’s cloud offering SmartOS.
However, if you have a pure Web background, you are likely to have designed many Web sites in Python and Django. An alternative but less popular to Node.js is Tornado.
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