Kafka vs. JMS

May 12, 2017


Kafka vs JMS, SQS, RabbitMQ Messaging

Is Kafka a queue or a publish and subscribe system? Yes. It can be both.

Kafka is like a queue for consumer groups, which we cover later. Basically, Kafka is a queue system per consumer group so it can do load balancing like JMS, RabbitMQ, etc.

Kafka is like topics in JMS, RabbitMQ, and other MOM systems for multiple consumer groups. Kafka has topics and producers publish to the topics and the subscribers (Consumer Groups) read from the topics.

Kafka offers consumer groups, which is a named group of consumers. A consumer group acts as a subscription. Kafka broadcast to multiple consumer groups using a single queue as each consumer group tracks its own offset into the log. MOM is message oriented middleware, and includes all JMS implementors, and includes, HornetQ, ActiveMQ, RabbitMQ, IBM MQ Series, and Tibco.

When IBM MQ Series was first released, your mobile phone would be considered a super computer.

Kafka vs MOM

By design, Kafka is better suited for scale than traditional MOM systems due to partition topic log. Kafka can divide among Consumers by partition and send those message/records in batches. Kafka handles parallel consumers better than traditional MOM, and can even handle failover for consumers in a consumer group. Failover for most MOM systems are an afterthought.

Also, by moving location (partition offset) in log (message queue) to client/consumer side of the equation instead of the broker, there is less tracking required by Broker and you have more flexible consumers.

Kafka was written with mechanical sympathy, modern hardware, cloud in mind: disk drives are faster and bigger, servers have tons of system memory, and it is easier to spin up servers for scale-out then when traditional MOM systems were first designed and built. Expect messaging systems to catch up and for new messaging systems to come out.

To learn more about Kafka vs. MOM systems read our Kafka Architecture Low Level guide. We talk about the design goals of Kafka and compare it to traditional messaging systems (MOM).

Cloudurable provides Kafka training, Kafka consulting, Kafka support and helps setting up Kafka clusters in AWS.

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We hope you enjoyed this article. Please provide feedback. Cloudurable provides Kafka training, Kafka consulting, Kafka support and helps setting up Kafka clusters in AWS.

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