In today’s fast-paced technological world, it is essential to understand the differences between various tooling options available to you, whether you are a software developer, business owner, or CTO. This will enable you to make informed decisions. Making an informed decision is not only limited to choosing the right programming language for a particular project or the right cloud technology for your business or the right CRM, but it also entails choosing the right message broker software.
Message brokers are middleware systems that facilitate the exchange of messages between different applications or systems. They are used to decouple the sending and receiving of messages, enabling asynchronous communication and communication consequently improving the scalability and reliability of systems. Messages are usually stored in queues before being delivered to the consumers. Examples of message brokers include ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, Apache Artemis ActiveMQ, Apache Kafka and Memphis.dev.
When it comes to choosing a message broker, several factors come into play, such as performance, scalability, security, and ease of use. In this article, we compare three popular message brokers, ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, and Memphis, providing an in-depth comparison of their features, benefits, and limitations. We will also examine the features, capabilities, and differences between each of the message brokers, helping you make an informed decision on which one to use based on your specific needs and requirements.
ActiveMQ is an open-source message broker written in Java. It was created in 2004 and donated to the Apache Software Foundation as an open-source project. It supports a variety of messaging protocols including AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol), AUTO, MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport), RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Atom, and more. It provides flexible and reliable message delivery for distributed systems. It also has several advanced features, such as clustering, failover, and load balancing, that make it ideal for mission-critical systems.
RabbitMQ is a lightweight open-source and easy-to-deploy message broker software written in Erlang that implements the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) as well as other messaging protocols such as STOMP (Streaming Text Oriented Messaging Protocol), MQTT. It allows application components to communicate by sending messages and helps to decouple these components in a distributed system. RabbitMQ provides reliable and scalable message delivery.
Memphis.dev is an open-source next-generation alternative to traditional message brokers written in Go. It provides a fast and scalable message delivery system for distributing messages between multiple clients and servers.
Memphis.dev is a simple, robust, and durable cloud-native message broker popularly used for offline web apps, queuing, data ingestion, task scheduling, real-time pipelines, and microservices async communication.
What Are Message Brokers and What Do They Do?
A message broker is a software pattern that enables communication between applications or microservices by decoupling the message sender from the message receiver. It is not to be confused with a message queue that stores and manages the flow of messages in a FIFO (first-in, first-out) order.
The importance of implementing a message broker pattern and technology in your application cannot be overemphasized. In an earlier article, we detailed the reasons why you need a message broker from lessons we learned while building an open-source OSINT (open-source intelligence) project focused on gathering context-based connections called “Choir”.
The main purpose of a message broker is to provide reliable and efficient message delivery between different components of a distributed system. It acts as an intermediary for exchanging messages, allowing the components to communicate without having to be directly connected, thus solving real-time communication issues. The message broker acts as a buffer, storing messages until they can be delivered to their intended recipient, ensuring that messages are delivered even if one of the components is temporarily unavailable. This makes it easier to manage and scale large, complex systems as well as implement features like load balancing, message persistence, and message routing.
Tabular Comparison of General Factors of ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, and Memphis.dev
In this section, we will compare the different factors of these message brokers:
|Protocols supported||JMS, AMQP, MQTT, STOMP, etc.||AMQP, MQTT, STOMP||HTTP, NATS|
|Ease of use||Good||Excellent||Excellent|
|Community support||Large and active||Large and active||Growing|
|Plugins and Extensions||Wide variety||Limited||Limited|
|Real-time Data Processing||Limited||Limited||Yes|
|Pricing||Free/Open-source||Free/Open-source||Free/Open-source and managed cloud|
|GUI & CLI||✅||✅||✅|
|License||Apache 2.0||Mozilla Public license||Apache 2.0|
Tabular Comparison of the Architectural Design of ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, and Memphis.dev
In this section, we shall compare the architectural designs of ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, and Memphis.dev. We will review the pros and cons of each architecture.
|Architecture||A multi-protocol message broker with support for various messaging patterns. Allows loose coupling of the services that make up an application.||A broker that is built on the Erlang runtime system, it was designed for high availability and scalability.||Distributed and cloud-native. Written in Golang.|
|Performance||1K-2K messages per second.||4K-10K messages per second.||300K messages per second per station (queue).|
|Pros||Multi-protocol support, high availability, scalability, and clustering.||High availability and scalability, clustering, and good performance.||Scalability, durability, simple-to-use, cloud-native, high throughput.|
|Broker||Exchange of information and communication happens through brokers.||The exchange of information and communication happens through a broker.||Memphis acts as a smart broker, enabling ingestion, transformation, and enrichment while data flows within the broker.|
Memphis's architecture comprises these components: the GUI, the CLI, the broker, and the MongoDB database for UI state persistency.
Tabular Comparison of Performance and Scalability of ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, and Memphis.dev
In this section, we will compare the performance and scalability features of ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, and Memphis.dev. We will also discuss the benchmarking results and real-world usage. Finally, we will take a look at the impact of performance and scalability on large-scale deployments.
|Performance||Good performance but may require more computing resources depending on various factors such as use case, system configuration, network infrastructure, and workload.||RabbitMQ has a good performance but can be computing-intensive depending on the workload it is handling. As a message broker, it needs to handle tasks such as message routing, delivery confirmation, and queuing, which can require significant processing power and memory.||Memphis.dev is designed to be highly scalable and performant. Memphis.dev can be computationally intensive depending on the size and complexity of the messages being processed, the number of brokers and nodes in the network, and the traffic volume.|
|Scalability||ActiveMQ can handle large numbers of concurrent clients and high-throughput messaging.||RabbitMQ can handle large numbers of concurrent clients and high-throughput messaging.||Memphis.dev is designed with scalability in mind, it is built on a distributed architecture, which means that it can easily handle large amounts of traffic and data.|
|Supported platforms||ActiveMQ supports a variety of languages and platforms, such as Windows, Linux, and MacOS.||RabbitMQ is available on all platforms and accessible to most programming languages because it implements the AMQP specifications, thus it is considered platform-neutral.||Memphis.dev is available both on Windows and on macOS via the CLI and also supports many programming languages.|
In this article, I compared the three message brokers taking a look into their different features and also comparing their general factors, such as scalability, performance, architecture, ease of use, among others.
ActiveMQ and RabbitMQ also use a point-to-point messaging model, where messages are sent directly from the sender to a specific receiver. Memphis.dev, on the other hand, uses a publish-subscribe model, where messages are sent to a topic and consumed by multiple subscribers.
In terms of management and monitoring, ActiveMQ and RabbitMQ provide a limited set of features and require additional tools to be used. Memphis.dev, on the other hand, provides a web-based interface, a GUI and CLI and APIs for managing and monitoring the message broker, making it more convenient to use.
Overall, Memphis.dev has a more modern and efficient architecture compared to ActiveMQ and RabbitMQ, making it a better choice for organizations looking to modernize their message broker infrastructure.