Best platform for Node red

This is a question with probably many answers but I'll as anyway.

I'm about to set up a node red system to present dashboards from mainly OPUA and MSSQL data. To host this I'll set up a virtual Linux server.

What experiences does the community have? Which Linux distribution to use? CPU, RAM?
We are probable talking about 300 UPC tags, 30-40 trends, 50 gauges.

Any suggestions?


It is quite possible that even a Pi could handle this. So maybe a nano-PC of some kind if you want something more powerful than a Pi3 or equivalent.

Well that is very subjective. The most experience from this community is from Rasbian which is derived from Debian. Dave's Pi installation script is likely to work on a Debian OS. Ubuntu is also derived from Debian so that should also work well. Debian is stable, well supported and relatively light weight; however, it doesn't update very often - of course that is likely to be of benefit to you giving you a stable platform but it is likely that it would mean you would need to take more active charge of some key services such as installing and updating newer versions of Node.js. You wouldn't have those issues as much with Ubuntu.

If you don't need the desktop, either don't start it or chose a variant that doesn't include it.

If you end up with a platform with sufficient spare capacity, I would personally also recommend installing webmin. This gives you a web interface for managing Linux. In particular though, it gives you the ability to configure it such that it will auto-update Linux software packages for you which can be a reasonably large overhead for running Linux servers.

If the aim is too just display guages and graphs then Grafana sounds more suitable for your project?

I would use the OS your more familiar with what ever that maybe. I tend to use Docker containers for projects like this.

All of my prod instances are Ubuntu Server on ESX. Resource requirements are fairly low and you're limited to a single thread, so going heavily co-tenant is a good way to squeeze your money's worth out of modern hardware.

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Sounds like a good idea. I havn't checked Grafana until now but it looks like what I need.

Do you have a sample showing how to get data from Node Red, over to Grafana?


Grafana has data sources for MS-SQL (as well as many others), so that's probably the most efficient way? I've not heard of OPUA.