Kafka vs NATS: What are the differences?
What is Kafka? Distributed, fault tolerant, high throughput pub-sub messaging system. Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
What is NATS? Lightweight publish-subscribe & distributed queueing messaging system. Unlike traditional enterprise messaging systems, NATS has an always-on dial tone that does whatever it takes to remain available. This forms a great base for building modern, reliable, and scalable cloud and distributed systems.
Kafka belongs to "Message Queue" category of the tech stack, while NATS can be primarily classified under "Realtime Backend / API".
"High-throughput" is the top reason why over 95 developers like Kafka, while over 13 developers mention "Fastest pub-sub system out there" as the leading cause for choosing NATS.
Kafka is an open source tool with 12.7K GitHub stars and 6.81K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Kafka's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Kafka has a broader approval, being mentioned in 509 company stacks & 470 developers stacks; compared to NATS, which is listed in 26 company stacks and 12 developer stacks.