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ActiveMQ vs Redis: What are the differences?

Introduction

ActiveMQ and Redis are both popular messaging and data storage tools used in software development. While they have some similarities, they also exhibit key differences in terms of their architecture, data structures, and usage scenarios.

  1. Messaging vs. Key-value data storage: The primary difference between ActiveMQ and Redis lies in their main purpose. ActiveMQ is a message broker that facilitates communication between different applications, enabling reliable messaging between various components of a system. On the other hand, Redis is primarily a key-value data storage system that provides fast and scalable access to data.

  2. Data persistence: ActiveMQ ensures data persistence by default, as messages are stored in a persistent storage medium like a database or a file system. This guarantees that messages are not lost even if the broker crashes. In contrast, Redis supports different data persistence options, including snapshotting, append-only file (AOF), and a combination of both. This flexibility allows developers to choose the level of persistence that suits their specific use case.

  3. Data structure support: Redis supports a wide range of data structures, including strings, lists, sets, sorted sets, and hashes. This makes it versatile for various data storage and manipulation scenarios. ActiveMQ, on the other hand, focuses on message queues and topics, providing features like filtering, routing, and publish-subscribe pattern implementation.

  4. Publish-Subscribe pattern: While both ActiveMQ and Redis support the publish-subscribe pattern, they differ in their implementation approach. ActiveMQ uses a traditional broker-based publish-subscribe model, where a central broker manages the publishing and subscribing parties. Redis, on the other hand, employs the "pub/sub" feature that allows direct message passing between publishers and subscribers without a central broker. This results in lower latency in Redis' publish-subscribe implementation.

  5. High availability and clustering: ActiveMQ supports high availability and clustering through features like network of brokers and shared storage. This allows for distributed deployment and fault tolerance. Redis also provides high availability through features like replication and automatic failover. However, Redis clustering, introduced in Redis 3.0, offers a native sharding solution that enables horizontal scaling and better utilization of resources.

  6. Use case focus: ActiveMQ is commonly used in enterprise messaging scenarios where reliable communication between distributed applications is crucial. It provides advanced features like JMS support, message persistence, and guaranteed delivery. Redis, on the other hand, is often used as a caching solution, message broker in real-time applications, or for managing high-speed data ingestions and processing. Its in-memory nature and rich data manipulation capabilities make it suitable for use cases requiring high performance.

In summary, ActiveMQ and Redis differ in their core purpose as messaging and data storage tools, respectively. They vary in terms of data persistence, supported data structures, publish-subscribe implementation, high availability mechanisms, and use case focus. Understanding these differences is essential for choosing the right tool that suits a specific software development scenario.

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Pros of ActiveMQ
Pros of Redis
  • 18
    Easy to use
  • 14
    Open source
  • 13
    Efficient
  • 10
    JMS compliant
  • 6
    High Availability
  • 5
    Scalable
  • 3
    Distributed Network of brokers
  • 3
    Persistence
  • 3
    Support XA (distributed transactions)
  • 1
    Docker delievery
  • 1
    Highly configurable
  • 0
    RabbitMQ
  • 886
    Performance
  • 542
    Super fast
  • 513
    Ease of use
  • 444
    In-memory cache
  • 324
    Advanced key-value cache
  • 194
    Open source
  • 182
    Easy to deploy
  • 164
    Stable
  • 155
    Free
  • 121
    Fast
  • 42
    High-Performance
  • 40
    High Availability
  • 35
    Data Structures
  • 32
    Very Scalable
  • 24
    Replication
  • 22
    Great community
  • 22
    Pub/Sub
  • 19
    "NoSQL" key-value data store
  • 16
    Hashes
  • 13
    Sets
  • 11
    Sorted Sets
  • 10
    NoSQL
  • 10
    Lists
  • 9
    Async replication
  • 9
    BSD licensed
  • 8
    Bitmaps
  • 8
    Integrates super easy with Sidekiq for Rails background
  • 7
    Keys with a limited time-to-live
  • 7
    Open Source
  • 6
    Lua scripting
  • 6
    Strings
  • 5
    Awesomeness for Free
  • 5
    Hyperloglogs
  • 4
    Transactions
  • 4
    Outstanding performance
  • 4
    Runs server side LUA
  • 4
    LRU eviction of keys
  • 4
    Feature Rich
  • 4
    Written in ANSI C
  • 4
    Networked
  • 3
    Data structure server
  • 3
    Performance & ease of use
  • 2
    Dont save data if no subscribers are found
  • 2
    Automatic failover
  • 2
    Easy to use
  • 2
    Temporarily kept on disk
  • 2
    Scalable
  • 2
    Existing Laravel Integration
  • 2
    Channels concept
  • 2
    Object [key/value] size each 500 MB
  • 2
    Simple

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Cons of ActiveMQ
Cons of Redis
  • 1
    ONLY Vertically Scalable
  • 1
    Support
  • 1
    Low resilience to exceptions and interruptions
  • 1
    Difficult to scale
  • 15
    Cannot query objects directly
  • 3
    No secondary indexes for non-numeric data types
  • 1
    No WAL

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What is ActiveMQ?

Apache ActiveMQ is fast, supports many Cross Language Clients and Protocols, comes with easy to use Enterprise Integration Patterns and many advanced features while fully supporting JMS 1.1 and J2EE 1.4. Apache ActiveMQ is released under the Apache 2.0 License.

What is Redis?

Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.

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What are some alternatives to ActiveMQ and Redis?
RabbitMQ
RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.
Kafka
Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
Apollo
Build a universal GraphQL API on top of your existing REST APIs, so you can ship new application features fast without waiting on backend changes.
IBM MQ
It is a messaging middleware that simplifies and accelerates the integration of diverse applications and business data across multiple platforms. It offers proven, enterprise-grade messaging capabilities that skillfully and safely move information.
ZeroMQ
The 0MQ lightweight messaging kernel is a library which extends the standard socket interfaces with features traditionally provided by specialised messaging middleware products. 0MQ sockets provide an abstraction of asynchronous message queues, multiple messaging patterns, message filtering (subscriptions), seamless access to multiple transport protocols and more.
See all alternatives