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Fanout vs SocketCluster: What are the differences?

Developers describe Fanout as "Realtime APIs made simple". Fanout makes it easy to build realtime APIs and apps. The product is a cross between a reverse proxy and a message broker. Receivers subscribe to channels, and published data is delivered in realtime. On the other hand, SocketCluster is detailed as "An open, scalable realtime engine for Node.js". SocketCluster is a fast, highly scalable HTTP + realtime server engine which lets you build multi-process realtime servers that make use of all CPU cores on a machine/instance. It removes the limitations of having to run your Node.js server as a single thread and makes your backend resilient by automatically recovering from worker crashes and aggregating errors into a central log.

Fanout and SocketCluster can be primarily classified as "Realtime Backend / API" tools.

Some of the features offered by Fanout are:

  • Reverse proxy -- integrate realtime with any level of your technology stack, not just your front end.
  • Interoperable -- Add realtime to any API, no matter your backend or database, without changing any of your existing API contracts.
  • Open -- cloud or self hosted, it’s up to you. We don’t believe in vendor lock-in.

On the other hand, SocketCluster provides the following key features:

  • Resilient on both the client and backend - Process crashes, lost connections and other failures are handled seamlessly.
  • Scales linearly as you add more CPU cores and workers (assuming a decent OS) - Tested with up to 16 cores.
  • Also designed to scale horizontally across multiple machines. See sc-redis sample.

SocketCluster is an open source tool with 5.35K GitHub stars and 283 GitHub forks. Here's a link to SocketCluster's open source repository on GitHub.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Fanout?

Fanout makes it easy to build realtime APIs and apps. The product is a cross between a reverse proxy and a message broker. Receivers subscribe to channels, and published data is delivered in realtime.

What is SocketCluster?

SocketCluster is a fast, highly scalable HTTP + realtime server engine which lets you build multi-process realtime servers that make use of all CPU cores on a machine/instance. It removes the limitations of having to run your Node.js server as a single thread and makes your backend resilient by automatically recovering from worker crashes and aggregating errors into a central log.
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            What are some alternatives to Fanout and SocketCluster?
            Pushpin
            Pushpin is a reverse proxy server that makes it easy to build realtime web services. The project is unique among realtime push solutions in that it is designed to address the needs of API creators.
            Firebase
            Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
            Socket.IO
            It enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.
            Pusher
            Pusher is the category leader in delightful APIs for app developers building communication and collaboration features.
            Google Cloud Pub/Sub
            Cloud Pub/Sub is a fully-managed real-time messaging service that allows you to send and receive messages between independent applications. You can leverage Cloud Pub/Sub’s flexibility to decouple systems and components hosted on Google Cloud Platform or elsewhere on the Internet.
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