what is nodejs?

Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast and scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

Node.js is an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run within the Node.js runtime on OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.

Node.js also provides a rich library of various JavaScript modules which simplifies the development of web applications using Node.js to a great extent.

Simply we define it with a equation :

Node.js = Runtime Environment + JavaScript Library

How Nodejs works?

A new request coming in is one kind of event. The server starts processing it and when there is a blocking IO operation, it does not wait until it completes and instead registers a callback function. The server then immediately starts to process another event (maybe another request). When the IO operation is finished, that is another kind of event, and the server will process it (i.e. continue working on the request) by executing the callback as soon as it has time.

So the server never needs to create additional threads or switch between threads, which means it has very little overhead. If you want to make full use of multiple hardware cores, you just start multiple instances of node.js