RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons). If you’re working with message queues, you’ve probably heard of RabbitMQ and Azure Service Bus. But what’s the difference between these two popular options?

Firstly, RabbitMQ is an open source message broker, that supports a wide range of protocols. Then, Azure Service Bus is a cloud based message broker from Microsoft. It supports fewer protocols but offers additional features such as automatic scalability and disaster recovery.

So, which one is suitable for your project? Would you like to learn more about RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus to make the best decision for your needs.

So, let’s start with RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons).

What is RabbitMQ?

The RabbitMQ message broker was created in 2006 by the team at Rabbit Technologies Ltd. (later acquired by Pivotal).Written in the Erlang programming language and runs on all major operating systems.

Secondly, RabbitMQ is a popular choice for many developers due to its extensive features. However, it is easy to set up and operate and supports a wide range of programming languages and protocols.

Thirdly, RabbitMQ is a traditional message broker. Supports the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). It also has native support for a number of other popular protocols, including:

How Does it Work?

Well, RabbitMQ uses a push model to deliver messages. This means that messages deliver as soon as they are sent, without the need for polling. It achieves this by using a queue. A queue is simply a list of messages waiting to process. When a message is sent to a line, it is stored until a consumer process it.

Once the message is processed, it is removed from the queue. If there are no consumers available to process the message, it will remain in the queue until a consumer is available. It’s important to note that RabbitMQ will never lose a message.

You can use RabbitMQ as a standalone server or deploy it in a cluster environment for more scalability and reliability.

Features of RabbitMQ

Asynchronous Messaging

Messages are queued on the server side and are delivered asynchronously. Consumers can request and retrieve messages using the AMQP protocol. Hence, it does not need any form of acknowledgment.

In turn, this allows the client and server to run on separate computers or even different networks. Messages are queued when sent. The receiver processes the message as soon as it is available. So, the messaging model allows the message to be delivered even when the receiving node is offline.

Enterprise & Cloud Ready

Also, RabbitMQ was designed from the ground up to be a reliable, scalable messaging platform. It is enterprise ready and out of the box. However, it has SSL/TLS support for connections, cluster based management, persistent storage, and much more, So, RabbitMQ is ready to scale.

In addition, it supports TLS and LDAP. It is lightweight; simple to set up in public and private clouds.

Distributed Deployment

You can deploy RabbitMQ on an entire computer cluster to eliminate a single point of failure issues. Hence, there is no need to worry about your application crashing when you go offline.

When a RabbitMQ cluster goes down, other nodes will continue processing messages. The cluster itself provides fault tolerance. It’s not like traditional solutions where one node fails, and your whole application crashes. Truly speaking, RabbitMQ handles the load for you.

Tools & Plugins

RabbitMQ is easy to administer. It supports tools like RabbitMqAdmin (RMA) and management plugins like RAPID. RMA allows you to access all the options via an interface and set up queues.

Furthermore, a great feature of RMA is the ability to create multiple queues on a single broker with different properties. With the management plugins like RAPID, one can access all the options via the CLI or REST API.

Control and Management

Also, RabbitMQ uses the command line interface (CLI) to manage its service. Therefore, RabbitMQ has three different types of clients.


  • The first is the REST API. It allows you to interact with RabbitMQ from the command line. This is the preferred method of interaction.
  • Second type of client is the GUI interface (GUI), an enhanced version of the REST API.
  • The third type is the management console. Both the GUI and the management console are optional.

Pros & Cons of RabbitMQ

RabbitMQ Pros

  • RabbitMQ is an open source project released under the Mozilla Public License.
  • Holds a very active development community with frequent releases.
  • Supported by many clients and has bindings for many popular programming languages.
  • The software is easy to set up and operate.
  • Has a good documentation and a large online community for support.
  • Supports a wide range of protocols.
  • With flexible routing model, that can be used to implement complex messaging patterns.
  • Has a pluggable architecture that allows for customization and extension.

RabbitMQ Cons

  • Written in the Erlang programming language, which may not be familiar to all developers.
  • Has a relatively high memory footprint.
  • Does not offer as many features as other message brokers.
  • RabbitMQ can be challenging to deploy in a cloud environment.
  • You may need to purchase a support contract from Rabbit Technologies if you require enterprise level support.

Up next with RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus – What’s the Difference? is to introduce Azure Service Bus. 

What is Azure Service Bus?

Next message broker we will talk about is Azure Service Bus. Alternative and cloud based message broker from Microsoft. First introduced in 2008 as part of the Windows Azure platform. Furthermore, it is a managed message broker service, that supports the brokered messaging protocol.

In addition, it offers additional features such as automatic scalability and disaster recovery. Azure Service Bus is a good choice for developers already using other Azure services. However, it integrates well with other Azure products, and you can easily scale it as your needs change.

How Does It Work?

It uses a brokered messaging protocol that allows for communication between applications and services. Hence, Azure Service Bus supports two types of messages:

  • Point-to-point: This delivery mode is used when there is a one to one relationship between sender and receiver.
  • Publish/subscribe: This delivery mode is used when there is a one to many relationship between sender and receiver.

You can use Azure Service Bus to send messages between applications or services. However, it also supports push notifications, which makes it a good choice for mobile applications.

Features of Azure Service Bus

Extensible Cloud Solutions

The service bus is the next generation of cloud messaging, built on open standards.

Also, Azure Service Bus is extensible. This enables you to develop, test, and deploy new messages and queues without re-deploying your solution. In addition, you can use existing protocols to implement messaging between your applications and processes on Azure.

You can use Azure Service Extensions to add capabilities like authentication and authorization to Azure Service Bus. In addition, you can use custom code extensions to modify the processing logic within Azure Service Bus.

Communicate with the Service Bus Using AMQP

With AMQP, you can use standard messaging protocols to communicate with Azure Service Bus. The Azure Service Bus client library uses AMQP as the default transport protocol for most messages.

In addition to its built in security features. AMQP provides the ability to customize message headers to provide authentication and encryption.

Whether you’re hosting your message broker in house or in the cloud, you can get a highly scalable enterprise messaging solution with native JMS functionality without the associated licensing and ongoing fees.

Advanced Messaging Processes

Create a messaging topology with complex routing to increase uptime. For example, send messages to a large number of recipients simultaneously. Expand your message delivery to systems farther down the stack using a Service Bus.

The broker includes built in capabilities to scale, backup, recover, route, and store messages. You can also create custom processes. You can configure queues, bindings, and rules within the process definition. In addition, you can use a single queue to implement multiple messages with standard routing rules.

Consolidate Business Cloud Messaging

Whether online or offline, Service Bus is there whenever you need a trustworthy cloud messaging system for your apps and services. This completely controlled solution is available in all Azure zones. However, it takes care of everything from server administration to software configuration.

In addition, simultaneous processes, organized first-in, first-out (FIFO) messaging, and repository features provide additional leeway when brokering messages between clients and servers.

Hence, this approach helps avoid data loss. It reduces the chance of duplicated messages and prevents missed messages from being lost. Azure Bus Service also includes built in security, storage, redundancy, and failover capabilities.

Pros & Cons of Azure Service Bus

Azure Service Bus Pros

  • Integrates well with other Azure products.
  • Supports the brokered messaging protocol.
  • A good choice for developers who are  already using other Azure services.
  • Pay as you go pricing model.
  • Available in multiple regions.
  • 9% SLA.
  • Offers 24/7 customer support.

Azure Service Bus Cons

  • The free tier is limited to 1 million messages per month.
  • It supports fewer protocols than RabbitMQ.
  • It does not offer an on premises option.

So now with RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus – What’s the Difference? 

RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus - Key Differences

Both, RabbitMQ and Azure Service Bus are both message queues applications with the same goals. However, they have some differences too. Let’s compare and check what are the factors that differentiate RabbitMQ and Azure Service Bus from each other.

Protocol Support

Here, RabbitMQ supports many protocols, including AMQP, MQTT, and STOMP. However, Azure Service Bus only supports AMQP and STOMP. This can be a significant factor in your decision if you need to support specific protocols.

Cloud vs On Premises

Importantly, RabbitMQ can be run on premises or in the cloud. But, Azure Service Bus is a cloud only service. This means that if you need to run your message broker on premises, RabbitMQ is the better option. However, Azure Service Bus offers some benefits of being a cloud service, such as automatic scalability and disaster recovery.

Application Access

Both message broker applications have their own importance. But some unique features make it better from other one. If we discuss about the application responding then we can say. Azure Service Bus can respond without the internet connection while RabbitMQ do not give this type of access. Keep in mind proper working of Azure Service Bus needs internet connection. Up to some limits, it can perform without internet access.

Open Source

RabbitMQ is open source and released under the Mozilla Public License. On the other hand, Azure Service Bus is a proprietary product from Microsoft. Hence, this may decide if your project has specific requirements around open source software.

Handling of Messages

Azure Service Bus can respond well in this aspect. It can handle lots of messages within no time. While RabbitMQ needs some time in order to perform the same function. But both applications keep security of your messages. If you want fast service then you must go with the Azure Service Bus. If you need no fast action, your concern is just with the privacy. You have equal rights to select anyone above mention. Both will serve you up to their maximum.


RabbitMQ is free to use. However, Azure Service Bus has a pay as you go pricing model with no upfront costs. In addition, Azure Service Bus can be more cost effective if you expect your message volume to fluctuate.

Thank you for reading RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus – What’s the Difference? We shall conclude. 

RabbitMQ vs Azure Service Bus - What's the Difference Conclusion

When deciding between RabbitMQ and Azure Service Bus, there are a few key factors to consider. If protocol support is a key requirement, then RabbitMQ is the better option. However, Azure Service Bus is worth considering if you’re looking for a cloud-based message broker with additional features such as automatic scalability.

Ultimately, the best message broker for your project will depend on your specific needs and requirements. Weigh the pros and cons of each option to decide which is best for your project. RabbitMQ and Azure Service Bus are widely used message brokers offering different benefits. You can try both options to see which works best for you. We deliver our best in order to highlight the quality features of both message broker applications.

Please take a look at more RabbitMQ content in our blog here

Avatar for Farhan Yousuf
Farhan Yousuf

I am a content writer with more than five years of experience in the field. I have written for a variety of industries, and I am highly interested in learning new things. I have a knack for writing engaging copy that captures the reader's attention. In my spare time, I like to read and travel.

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Vlad Popa

Dear writer, there are 2 minor mistakes in your article regarding RabbitMQ:

– the fact that it is written in Erlang has no impact whatsoever on developers; the developers interact with RabbitMq using their programming language through the amqp specs and specific client libraries for python, c++, Java, go, etc. Erlang is just a prerequiste for installing rabbitmq and it comes included in the default installation package

– Rabbit Technologies doesn’t exist. The company used to be called Pivotal, now it is VMWare who is the vendor for RabbitMQ since the acquisition of Pivotal; VMware is also the provider or enterprise level support and that’s not a Con, btw. Having enterprise level support is a big Pro.

– additionally, it is worth mentioning that there is a commercial version of RabbitMQ called VMWare RabbitMQ with some pretty important differences compared to the open source one. That version offers additional features and places Rabbit pretty much as a leader in what m.o.m. is concerned.

Other than that, great article! Thanks a lot.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vlad Popa
Andrew Fitzgerald

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

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