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Kafka vs RSMQ: What are the differences?

Developers describe Kafka as "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. On the other hand, RSMQ is detailed as "A lightweight message queue for Node.js that requires no dedicated queue server. Just a Redis server". tl;dr: If you run a Redis server and currently use Amazon SQS or a similar message queue you might as well use this fast little replacement. Using a shared Redis server multiple Node.js processes can send / receive messages.

Kafka and RSMQ can be primarily classified as "Message Queue" tools.

Some of the features offered by Kafka are:

  • Written at LinkedIn in Scala
  • Used by LinkedIn to offload processing of all page and other views
  • Defaults to using persistence, uses OS disk cache for hot data (has higher throughput then any of the above having persistence enabled)

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

  • Lightweight: Just Redis and ~500 lines of javascript.
  • Guaranteed delivery of a message to exactly one recipient within a messages visibility timeout.
  • Received messages that are not deleted will reappear after the visibility timeout.

Kafka and RSMQ are both open source tools. It seems that Kafka with 12.5K GitHub stars and 6.7K forks on GitHub has more adoption than RSMQ with 1.07K GitHub stars and 74 GitHub forks.

What is Kafka?

Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.

What is RSMQ?

tl;dr: If you run a Redis server and currently use Amazon SQS or a similar message queue you might as well use this fast little replacement. Using a shared Redis server multiple Node.js processes can send / receive messages.
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    What are some alternatives to Kafka and RSMQ?
    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.
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.
    Amazon Kinesis
    Amazon Kinesis can collect and process hundreds of gigabytes of data per second from hundreds of thousands of sources, allowing you to easily write applications that process information in real-time, from sources such as web site click-streams, marketing and financial information, manufacturing instrumentation and social media, and operational logs and metering data.
    Apache Spark
    Spark is a fast and general processing engine compatible with Hadoop data. It can run in Hadoop clusters through YARN or Spark's standalone mode, and it can process data in HDFS, HBase, Cassandra, Hive, and any Hadoop InputFormat. It is designed to perform both batch processing (similar to MapReduce) and new workloads like streaming, interactive queries, and machine learning.
    Akka
    Akka is a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications on the JVM.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Kafka and RSMQ
    Conor Myhrvold
    Conor Myhrvold
    Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber | 5 upvotes 166.2K views
    atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
    Kafka
    Kafka
    Kafka Manager
    Kafka Manager
    Hadoop
    Hadoop
    Apache Spark
    Apache Spark
    GitHub
    GitHub

    Why we built Marmaray, an open source generic data ingestion and dispersal framework and library for Apache Hadoop :

    Built and designed by our Hadoop Platform team, Marmaray is a plug-in-based framework built on top of the Hadoop ecosystem. Users can add support to ingest data from any source and disperse to any sink leveraging the use of Apache Spark . The name, Marmaray, comes from a tunnel in Turkey connecting Europe and Asia. Similarly, we envisioned Marmaray within Uber as a pipeline connecting data from any source to any sink depending on customer preference:

    https://eng.uber.com/marmaray-hadoop-ingestion-open-source/

    (Direct GitHub repo: https://github.com/uber/marmaray Kafka Kafka Manager )

    See more
    Roman Bulgakov
    Roman Bulgakov
    Senior Back-End Developer, Software Architect at Chemondis GmbH | 3 upvotes 10.5K views
    Kafka
    Kafka

    I use Kafka because it has almost infinite scaleability in terms of processing events (could be scaled to process hundreds of thousands of events), great monitoring (all sorts of metrics are exposed via JMX).

    Downsides of using Kafka are: - you have to deal with Zookeeper - you have to implement advanced routing yourself (compared to RabbitMQ it has no advanced routing)

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    Kafka
    Kafka
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ

    The question for which Message Queue to use mentioned "availability, distributed, scalability, and monitoring". I don't think that this excludes many options already. I does not sound like you would take advantage of Kafka's strengths (replayability, based on an even sourcing architecture). You could pick one of the AMQP options.

    I would recommend the RabbitMQ message broker, which not only implements the AMQP standard 0.9.1 (it can support 1.x or other protocols as well) but has also several very useful extensions built in. It ticks the boxes you mentioned and on top you will get a very flexible system, that allows you to build the architecture, pick the options and trade-offs that suite your case best.

    For more information about RabbitMQ, please have a look at the linked markdown I assembled. The second half explains many configuration options. It also contains links to managed hosting and to libraries (though it is missing Python's - which should be Puka, I assume).

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    Fr茅d茅ric MARAND
    Fr茅d茅ric MARAND
    Core Developer at OSInet | 2 upvotes 97.6K views
    atOSInetOSInet
    Beanstalkd
    Beanstalkd
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ
    Kafka
    Kafka

    I used Kafka originally because it was mandated as part of the top-level IT requirements at a Fortune 500 client. What I found was that it was orders of magnitude more complex ...and powerful than my daily Beanstalkd , and far more flexible, resilient, and manageable than RabbitMQ.

    So for any case where utmost flexibility and resilience are part of the deal, I would use Kafka again. But due to the complexities involved, for any time where this level of scalability is not required, I would probably just use Beanstalkd for its simplicity.

    I tend to find RabbitMQ to be in an uncomfortable middle place between these two extremities.

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    Interest over time
    Reviews of Kafka and RSMQ
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    How developers use Kafka and RSMQ
    Avatar of Pinterest
    Pinterest uses KafkaKafka

    http://media.tumblr.com/d319bd2624d20c8a81f77127d3c878d0/tumblr_inline_nanyv6GCKl1s1gqll.png

    Front-end messages are logged to Kafka by our API and application servers. We have batch processing (on the middle-left) and real-time processing (on the middle-right) pipelines to process the experiment data. For batch processing, after daily raw log get to s3, we start our nightly experiment workflow to figure out experiment users groups and experiment metrics. We use our in-house workflow management system Pinball to manage the dependencies of all these MapReduce jobs.

    Avatar of Coolfront Technologies
    Coolfront Technologies uses KafkaKafka

    Building out real-time streaming server to present data insights to Coolfront Mobile customers and internal sales and marketing teams.

    Avatar of ShareThis
    ShareThis uses KafkaKafka

    We are using Kafka as a message queue to process our widget logs.

    Avatar of Christopher Davison
    Christopher Davison uses KafkaKafka

    Used for communications and triggering jobs across ETL systems

    Avatar of theskyinflames
    theskyinflames uses KafkaKafka

    Used as a integration middleware by messaging interchanging.

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