Pulsar vs. RabbitMQ: Which Messaging Bus Should You Pick?

Modern companies need to process more data than ever. At the same time, they need to do it as quickly as possible. That’s why the whole industry is switching to real-time data processing and leaving traditional databases with processing architectures. 

Simply put, new demands require new solutions, and that’s where messaging buses come into play. These platforms are the foundation of all stream processing systems, so they are crucial for companies that do this kind of work. 

It’s no longer enough to wait for data before a decision has been made. Companies need answers right away, and this has pushed the whole industry of real-time messaging platforms. There are a lot of options available, and each of them has its advantages. Today we are comparing Apache Pulsar and RabbitMQ. 

What is Pulsar? 

Pulsar is a distributed and open-source messaging platform developed by Yahoo. It was created as a response to Kafka’s messaging bus hegemony. Like Kafka, Apache Pulsar uses subscriptions and topics to organize lots of streaming data while providing low-latency and scalability. 

Apart from subscriptions and publishing, this platform also supports pinpoint message queuing using its AIP and uses Zookeeper as storage and BookKeeper. It was designed to help deliver a new messaging system that will overcome certain shortcomings. 

At the moment, Pulsar doesn’t have a sizable commercial backing, and it’s a community project. It’s important that RabbitMQ and Pulsar share properties.

What is RabbitMQ?

RabbitMQ is an open-source and distributed messaging platform. It can be used for implementing data brokering from one point to another, subscriptions, replies, and requests. It has the Mozilla Public License, making it available to everyone. 

However, it has been upgraded with the introduction of a plug-in architecture, which enables it to support different kinds of protocols. It offers cluster deployment, which is why it’s often used for workload balancing and making it easier on servers. 

Created by Rabbit Technologies, it’s praised for its capability to send a large number of messages to many recipients. It also comes with many libraries through which users can set up more complex messaging setups.

Benchmark Pulsar vs. RabbitMQ 

When it comes to output speed throughout the whole system, Pulsar was around nine times faster than RabbitMQ. The OpenMessaging Benchmark concluded that Pulsar has the peak throughput of 305MB/s and that RabbitMQ had a peak of 38 MB/s. 

When it comes to latency, RabbitMQ beats Pulsar overall when going for the lowest latency possible. However, this is in a situation when the load is down to 30MB/s. For Pulsar, the lowest load is 200 MB/s with a latency of 25 ms. If the load is increased on RabbitMQ, latency increases very quickly. 

Both of the platforms offer high-availability functionalities. Apache Pulsar has shared partitions that can be replicated throughout availability zones and machines for better performance. RabbitMQ offers less availability but offers some good results with its plug-in designed for mirroring and sharding.

General Comparison 

Both Pulsar and RabbitMQ are entirely open-source software. However, Apache Pulsar runs under the Apache v2 license, while RabbitMQ has the Mozilla Public License. Pulsar uses the Zookeeper and Apache BookKeeper for storage and consensus. 

On the other hand, RabbitMQ doesn’t support any distributed dependencies. When it comes to messaging consumption RabbitMQ has a push-based system that is very similar to traditional messaging options. It also has an API that works like consumer pills. 

That architecture is a better choice for workloads with high throughput. Users have better control over their flow and can fetch only the data they need. When it comes to storage architecture, both Pulsar and RabbitMQ have index-based architecture. 

This kind of architecture aligns data in a tree structure, which allows quick access. These fast individual loads cause higher write overhead that can cause lower throughput or increase latency. Pulsar can retain messages indefinitely, while RabbitMQ is made for storing messages only for a short period.

Pulsar and RabbitMQ With Big Data

One of the major trends in the industry is big data. All messaging businesses are working hard to deliver capabilities and speeds to provide proper support for big data management and storage. However, this isn’t simple, and it requires a lot of computing power. 

When it comes to handling big data loads, the architecture and speed are what matters. Even though Apache pulsar has a better peak throughput than RabbitMQ, neither of them is sufficient for this kind of use. They aren’t the right big data technologies that can be used for these kinds of projects. 

Yes, they are worth the software developers’ time, but you can’t expect them to perform well in this regard. At the same time, they don’t have adequate connectors that can support big data integration. 

Even though RabbitMQ has many interfaces, it doesn’t have a distributed connector framework for this kind of work. On the other hand, Pulsar only has about 20 connectors, none of which are suitable for this application.

Pulsar or RabbitMQ? 

When looking at the whole picture, these two are different kinds of messaging bus systems. Pulsar is more of a distributed log that tries to deliver effective streaming on a larger scale. On the other hand, RabbitMQ is more of a traditional messaging platform that lets you publish and delete messages quickly. 

If you need something for light messaging with quick queuing, responses, and requests, go with RabbitMQ. Pulsar is better for developers that need event streaming and queuing within a single system, but it doesn’t offer exceptional performance with both.

Before You Go 

If you’re looking for a better version of Apache Pulsar that offers higher throughput, big data integration, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, we suggest Pandio. This platform lets you use these technologies for all applications with ease while having low operational costs. 
It offers better latency and over three times higher throughput than Pulsar. If you need something like this, Pandio even lets you get a free trial and test out the platform.

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