NodeSource takes on Joyent in enterprise Node support

A key member of an enterprise Node coalition, NodeSource banks on its expertise with Node in business to sell its multitiered support services

NodeSource takes on Joyent in enterprise Node support
Galina Pankratova

Once upon a time, the only real source for enterprise support for Node.js was Joyent, the commercial outfit most closely identified with the JavaScript application engine.

Now, one of the members of a Node.js coalition is preparing its own enterprise-level support offering for Node and is using its close ties to name-brand enterprise Node users as a selling point.

NodeSource, a member of the recently formed EnterpriseJS coalition, has announced a three-tier Node.js support plan that's "available to companies at any point in the Node lifecycle, from developer questions throughout production support," according to Mark Piening, COO of NodeSource.

The top-tier enterprise plan includes a dedicated engineer and 24/7 phone support. However, the Standard plan only provides "the help of the experienced Node.js experts at NodeSource," and the Developer plan is meant for those "installing, configuring, and using Node.js in a development environment."

Piening stated that "pricing starts at $1,000/month for N|Support Developer [the lowest tier] for a single named user." Joyent provides its own Node.js support packages as well, describing them as "flexible," but other details need to come directly from Joyent by way of a sales call. (When originally announced, Node.js Core Support from Joyent ran $990 a month.)

If price doesn't serve as a major differentiator, the other way NodeSource intends to stand out is through its presence in the EnterpriseJS coalition, alongside a number of other major users of Node.js, such as Intuit and PayPal. NodeSource touts its client roster -- which includes those and other names -- as evidence of its abundant know-how in running Node at scale in specific business environments.

By contrast, Joyent has the most established presence and boasts a superior stack for running Node in production and at scale, though the company emphasizes containers and virtualization in addition to Node.

The schism in the Node community, with Node splintering at one point into the io.js and Node.js projects, has since healed over. But that doesn't speak at all to competition between various commercial proponents of Node. Aside from hosting at scale (Joyent's main business model), that leaves enterprise support as one of the few reliable monetization models available for a runtime that's fast becoming an enterprise development staple, meaning competition for that pool of paying customers is likely to get both tight and fierce.