Grokking System Design Fundamentals
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RabbitMQ vs. Kafka vs. ActiveMQ

Here are the top differences between RabbitMQ, Kafka, and ActiveMQ:

  1. Performance and Scalability: Kafka is designed for high throughput and horizontal scalability, making it well-suited for handling large volumes of data. RabbitMQ and ActiveMQ both offer high performance, but Kafka generally outperforms them in terms of throughput, particularly in scenarios with high data volume.

  2. Message Ordering: RabbitMQ and ActiveMQ guarantee message ordering within a single queue or topic, respectively. Kafka ensures message ordering within a partition but not across partitions within a topic.

  3. Message Priority: RabbitMQ and ActiveMQ support message prioritization, allowing messages with higher priority to be processed before those with lower priority. Kafka does not have built-in message priority support.

  4. Message Model: RabbitMQ uses a queue-based message model following the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP), while Kafka utilizes a distributed log-based model. ActiveMQ is built on the Java Message Service (JMS) standard and also uses a queue-based message model.

  5. Durability: All three message brokers support durable messaging, ensuring that messages are not lost in case of failures. However, the mechanisms for achieving durability differ among the three, with RabbitMQ and ActiveMQ offering configurable durability options and Kafka providing built-in durability through log replication.

  6. Message Routing: RabbitMQ provides advanced message routing capabilities through exchanges and bindings, while ActiveMQ uses selectors and topics for more advanced routing. Kafka's message routing is relatively basic and relies on topic-based partitioning.

  7. Replication: RabbitMQ supports replication through Mirrored Queues, while Kafka features built-in partition replication. ActiveMQ uses a Master-Slave replication mechanism.

  8. Stream Processing: Kafka provides native stream processing capabilities through Kafka Streams, similarly RabbitMQ offers stream processing too, while ActiveMQ relies on third-party libraries for stream processing.

  9. Latency: RabbitMQ is designed for low-latency messaging, making it suitable for use cases requiring near-real-time processing.

  10. License: RabbitMQ is licensed under the Mozilla Public License, while both Kafka and ActiveMQ are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.

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