What is a good session store for a single-host Node.js production app?


Question

I'm using Node's Express w/ Connect middleware. Connect's memory session store isn't fit for production:

Warning: connection.session() MemoryStore is not designed for a production environment, as it will leak memory, and obviously only work within a single process.

For larger deployments, mongo or redis makes sense.

But what is a good solution for a single-host app in production?

1
67
1/5/2012 9:14:41 PM

Accepted Answer

Spent the day looking into this. Here are the options I've discovered. Requests/second are performed via ab -n 100000 -c 1 http://127.0.0.1:9778/ on my local machine.

  • no sessions - fast (438 req/sec)
  • cookieSession: requires no external service, minor speed impact (311 req/sec) - fastest, sessions will expire with the cookie (customised by maxAge)
  • connect-redis: requires redis server, large speed impact (4 req/sec with redis2go and redisgreen) - faster than mongo, sessions will be deleted after a while (customised by ttl)
  • connect-mongo - requires mongodb server, large speed impact (2 req/sec with mongohq) - slower than redis, requires manual clear_interval to be set to cleanup sessions

Here is the coffeescript I used for cookieSession:

server.use express.cookieSession({
    secret: appConfig.site.salt
    cookie: maxAge: 1000*60*60
})

Here is the coffeescript I use for redis:

RedisSessionStore ?= require('connect-redis')(express)
redisSessionStore ?= new RedisSessionStore(
    host: appConfig.databaseRedis.host
    port: appConfig.databaseRedis.port
    db: appConfig.databaseRedis.username
    pass: appConfig.databaseRedis.password
    no_ready_check: true
    ttl: 60*60  # hour
)
server.use express.session({
    secret: appConfig.site.salt
    cookie: maxAge: 1000*60*60
    store: redisSessionStore
})

Here is my coffeescript for mongo:

server.use express.session({
    secret: appConfig.site.salt
    cookie:
        maxAge: 100*60*60
    store: new MongoSessionStore({
        db: appConfig.database.name
        host: appConfig.database.host
        port: appConfig.database.port
        username: appConfig.database.username
        password: appConfig.database.password
        auto_reconnect: appConfig.database.serverOptions.auto_reconnect
        clear_interval: 60*60  # hour
    })
})

Now of course, the remote redis and mongo databases will be slower than their local equivalents. I just couldn't get the local equivalents working, especially considering the installation and maintenance time for me was far more than what I was willing to invest when compared with hosted remote alternatives, something I feel is true for others too hence why these hosted remote database services exist in the first place!

For local database benhmarks, see @Mustafa's answer.

Happy for someone to edit this answer to add their local database benchmarks to the mix.

83
5/23/2017 10:31:26 AM

Since the accepted answer is only connecting to remote hosts, it is obvious that it will be always slower than localhost. Even if it is the next computer in your home, it would take milliseconds to read from that computer, but local memory takes only nanoseconds. You should compare them by using locally installed servers.

Here are my results from my local pc: You see, redis is almost as fast as in-memory in under high load. You can clone my the repo that these test codes are available: https://github.com/mustafaakin/express-session-store-benchmark

Concurrency: 1
none       4484.86 [#/sec] 
memory     2144.15 [#/sec] 
redis      1891.96 [#/sec] 
mongo      710.85 [#/sec] 
Concurrency: 10
none       5737.21 [#/sec] 
memory     3336.45 [#/sec] 
redis      3164.84 [#/sec] 
mongo      1783.65 [#/sec] 
Concurrency: 100
none       5500.41 [#/sec] 
memory     3274.33 [#/sec] 
redis      3269.49 [#/sec] 
mongo      2416.72 [#/sec] 
Concurrency: 500
none       5008.14 [#/sec] 
memory     3137.93 [#/sec] 
redis      3122.37 [#/sec] 
mongo      2258.21 [#/sec] 

The session used pages are very simple pages;

app.get("/", function(req,res){
    if ( req.session && req.session.no){
        req.session.no = req.session.no + 1;
    } else {
        req.session.no = 1;
    }
    res.send("No: " + req.session.no);
});

Redis store config:

app.use(express.session({
    store: new RedisStore({
        host: 'localhost',
        port: 6379,
        db: 2,
        }),
    secret: 'hello'
}));

Mongo store config:

app.use(express.cookieParser());
app.use(express.session({
    store: new MongoStore({
        url: 'mongodb://localhost/test-session'
    }),
    secret: 'hello'
}));

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