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RabbitMQ vs Sidekiq: What are the differences?

What is RabbitMQ? A messaging broker - an intermediary for messaging. RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.

What is Sidekiq? Simple, efficient background processing for Ruby. Sidekiq uses threads to handle many jobs at the same time in the same process. It does not require Rails but will integrate tightly with Rails 3/4 to make background processing dead simple.

RabbitMQ and Sidekiq are primarily classified as "Message Queue" and "Background Processing" tools respectively.

"It's fast and it works with good metrics/monitoring" is the top reason why over 203 developers like RabbitMQ, while over 120 developers mention "Simple" as the leading cause for choosing Sidekiq.

RabbitMQ and Sidekiq are both open source tools. It seems that Sidekiq with 9.68K GitHub stars and 1.66K forks on GitHub has more adoption than RabbitMQ with 5.95K GitHub stars and 1.78K GitHub forks.

reddit, 9GAG, and Rainist are some of the popular companies that use RabbitMQ, whereas Sidekiq is used by StackShare, Product Hunt, and HotelTonight. RabbitMQ has a broader approval, being mentioned in 940 company stacks & 548 developers stacks; compared to Sidekiq, which is listed in 348 company stacks and 77 developer stacks.

What is RabbitMQ?

RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.

What is Sidekiq?

Sidekiq uses threads to handle many jobs at the same time in the same process. It does not require Rails but will integrate tightly with Rails 3/4 to make background processing dead simple.
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    What are some alternatives to RabbitMQ and Sidekiq?
    Kafka
    Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
    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.
    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.
    Amazon SNS
    Amazon Simple Notification Service makes it simple and cost-effective to push to mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and internet connected smart devices, as well as pushing to other distributed services. Besides pushing cloud notifications directly to mobile devices, SNS can also deliver notifications by SMS text message or email, to Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues, or to any HTTP endpoint.
    Redis
    Redis is an open source, BSD licensed, advanced key-value store. It is often referred to as a data structure server since keys can contain strings, hashes, lists, sets and sorted sets.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about RabbitMQ and Sidekiq
    James Cunningham
    James Cunningham
    Operations Engineer at Sentry · | 18 upvotes · 80.1K views
    atSentrySentry
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ
    Celery
    Celery
    #MessageQueue

    As Sentry runs throughout the day, there are about 50 different offline tasks that we execute—anything from “process this event, pretty please” to “send all of these cool people some emails.” There are some that we execute once a day and some that execute thousands per second.

    Managing this variety requires a reliably high-throughput message-passing technology. We use Celery's RabbitMQ implementation, and we stumbled upon a great feature called Federation that allows us to partition our task queue across any number of RabbitMQ servers and gives us the confidence that, if any single server gets backlogged, others will pitch in and distribute some of the backlogged tasks to their consumers.

    #MessageQueue

    See more
    Jerome Dalbert
    Jerome Dalbert
    Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare · | 4 upvotes · 20.8K views
    atGratify CommerceGratify Commerce
    Amazon SQS
    Amazon SQS
    Ruby
    Ruby
    Sidekiq
    Sidekiq
    AWS Elastic Beanstalk
    AWS Elastic Beanstalk
    Rails
    Rails
    delayed_job
    delayed_job
    #BackgroundProcessing

    delayed_job is a great Rails background job library for new projects, as it only uses what you already have: a relational database. We happily used it during the company’s first two years.

    But it started to falter as our web and database transactions significantly grew. Our app interacted with users via SMS texts sent inside background jobs. Because the delayed_job daemon ran every couple seconds, this meant that users often waited several long seconds before getting text replies, which was not acceptable. Moreover, job processing was done inside AWS Elastic Beanstalk web instances, which were already under stress and not meant to handle jobs.

    We needed a fast background job system that could process jobs in near real-time and integrate well with AWS. Sidekiq is a fast and popular Ruby background job library, but it does not leverage the Elastic Beanstalk worker architecture, and you have to maintain a Redis instance.

    We ended up choosing active-elastic-job, which seamlessly integrates with worker instances and Amazon SQS. SQS is a fast queue and you don’t need to worry about infrastructure or scaling, as AWS handles it for you.

    We noticed significant performance gains immediately after making the switch.

    #BackgroundProcessing

    See more
    Adam Rabinovitch
    Adam Rabinovitch
    Global Technical Recruiting Lead & Engineering Evangelist at Beamery · | 3 upvotes · 156.8K views
    atBeameryBeamery
    Kafka
    Kafka
    Redis
    Redis
    Elasticsearch
    Elasticsearch
    MongoDB
    MongoDB
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ
    Go
    Go
    Node.js
    Node.js
    Kubernetes
    Kubernetes
    #Microservices

    Beamery runs a #microservices architecture in the backend on top of Google Cloud with Kubernetes There are a 100+ different microservice split between Node.js and Go . Data flows between the microservices over REST and gRPC and passes through Kafka RabbitMQ as a message bus. Beamery stores data in MongoDB with near-realtime replication to Elasticsearch . In addition, Beamery uses Redis for various memory-optimized tasks.

    See more
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ
    Kafka
    Kafka

    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).

    See more
    Frédéric MARAND
    Frédéric MARAND
    Core Developer at OSInet · | 2 upvotes · 88.1K views
    atOSInetOSInet
    RabbitMQ
    RabbitMQ
    Beanstalkd
    Beanstalkd
    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.

    See more
    Jerome Dalbert
    Jerome Dalbert
    Senior Backend Engineer at StackShare · | 3 upvotes · 7.4K views
    atStackShareStackShare
    Redis
    Redis
    delayed_job
    delayed_job
    Ruby
    Ruby
    Sidekiq
    Sidekiq

    We use Sidekiq to process millions of Ruby background jobs a day under normal loads. We sometimes process more than that when running one-off backfill tasks.

    With so many jobs, it wouldn't really make sense to use delayed_job, as it would put our main database under unnecessary load, which would make it a bottleneck with most DB queries serving jobs and not end users. I suppose you could create a separate DB just for jobs, but that can be a hassle. Sidekiq uses a separate Redis instance so you don't have this problem. And it is very performant!

    I also like that its free version comes "batteries included" with:

    • A web monitoring UI that provides some nice stats.
    • An API that can come in handy for one-off tasks, like changing the queue of certain already enqueued jobs.

    Sidekiq is a pleasure to use. All our engineers love it!

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of RabbitMQ and Sidekiq
    Review ofRabbitMQRabbitMQ

    I developed one of the largest queue based medical results delivery systems in the world, 18,000+ queues and still growing over a decade later all using MQSeries, later called Websphere MQ. When I left that company I started using RabbitMQ after doing some research on free offerings.. it works brilliantly and is incredibly flexible from small scale single instance use to large scale multi-server - multi-site architectures.

    If you can think in queues then RabbitMQ should be a viable solution for integrating disparate systems.

    Review ofSidekiqSidekiq

    Pretty good post. I found your website perfect for my needs bullet force

    How developers use RabbitMQ and Sidekiq
    Avatar of SmartLogic
    SmartLogic uses SidekiqSidekiq

    We turn to Sidekiq when we need to run background jobs in a Rails app, which we do for just about every Rails app we write. We especially like the ops tools that come with Sidekiq, which make it easy to monitor and maintain.

    Avatar of Cloudify
    Cloudify uses RabbitMQRabbitMQ

    The poster child for scalable messaging systems, RabbitMQ has been used in countless large scale systems as the messaging backbone of any large cluster, and has proven itself time and again in many production settings.

    Avatar of Tim Lucas
    Tim Lucas uses SidekiqSidekiq

    Background processing of Pushover push notifications to admins when sales occur, payments processing via Pin Payments, Campaign Monitor transaction email sending, and Intercom event API posting.

    Avatar of Chris Saylor
    Chris Saylor uses RabbitMQRabbitMQ

    Rabbit acts as our coordinator for all actions that happen during game time. All worker containers connect to rabbit in order to receive game events and emit their own events when applicable.

    Avatar of Clarabridge Engage
    Clarabridge Engage uses RabbitMQRabbitMQ

    Used as central Message Broker; off-loading tasks to be executed asynchronous, used as communication tool between different microservices, used as tool to handle peaks in incoming data, etc.

    Avatar of Analytical Informatics
    Analytical Informatics uses RabbitMQRabbitMQ

    RabbitMQ is the enterprise message bus for our platform, providing infrastructure for managing our ETL queues, real-time event notifications for applications, and audit logging.

    Avatar of Packet
    Packet uses RabbitMQRabbitMQ

    RabbitMQ is an all purpose queuing service for our stack. We use it for user facing jobs as well as keeping track of behind the scenes jobs.

    Avatar of Told
    Told uses SidekiqSidekiq

    Sidekiq is used extensively for a multitude of background jobs, everything from audio/video post-processing to sending push notifications.

    Avatar of Jeff Flynn
    Jeff Flynn uses SidekiqSidekiq

    We offload our background processing tasks (photo sizing, watermarking, etc.) to Sidekiq to keep our app's performance optimal.

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    How much does Sidekiq cost?
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