How to Deploy a Node.js App to Production (And Not Get Fired)

Node.js, Continental 1
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Node.js makes developing server-side application in JavaScript straightforward. With it, we can create highly concurrent servers without much trouble. However, we’re left alone to deal with questions like: “What happens if it crashes?”, “How can I tell what it’s doing in production?”, and “How can I automate everything?”

Node has made recent improvements to make deployment easier, but it’s not nearly as easy as dropping a PHP file into an Apache directory. There are companies like Heroku and Nodejitsu that are trying to change this, but they may not be appropriate or cost effective for many companies.

Today, there are many libraries and open source tools to help us. At i.TV, we’ve been running node in production for more than a year, and have discovered a few things that work, and some that don’t help.

We will discuss how to daemonize a node process, and to get the operating system to
bring it up when the system boots. We’ll talk about different tools to improve performance, and a few techniques to get a peek into what a production app is doing.

Photo of Sean Hess

Sean Hess

Orbital Labs

Sean cofounded i.TV, where as CTO he is responsible for the architecture and engineering of i.TV’s second screen platform. Prior to i.TV, Sean was VP of Engineering at He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He blogs at


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