Kafka versus RabbitMQ

by   Philippe Dobbelaere, et al.

Publish/subscribe is a distributed interaction paradigm well adapted to the deployment of scalable and loosely coupled systems. Apache Kafka and RabbitMQ are two popular open-source and commercially-supported pub/sub systems that have been around for almost a decade and have seen wide adoption. Given the popularity of these two systems and the fact that both are branded as pub/sub systems, two frequently asked questions in the relevant online forums are: how do they compare against each other and which one to use? In this paper, we frame the arguments in a holistic approach by establishing a common comparison framework based on the core functionalities of pub/sub systems. Using this framework, we then venture into a qualitative and quantitative (i.e. empirical) comparison of the common features of the two systems. Additionally, we also highlight the distinct features that each of these systems has. After enumerating a set of use cases that are best suited for RabbitMQ or Kafka, we try to guide the reader through a determination table to choose the best architecture given his/her particular set of requirements.


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