RabbitMQ vs ZeroMQ – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons)

RabbitMQ vs ZeroMQ – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). To start with RabbitMQ is a free open source, scalable message queuing solution. On the other hand is a message broker that includes AMQP language, but can also be used with other popular messaging solutions such as MQTT. 

But ZeroMQ is a lightweight, plugin oriented messaging application. Subsequently it is an asynchronous messaging library for different messaging applications. Moreover provides a message queue, but unlike other message oriented middleware, ZeroMQ devices work without a dedicated message broker.

In this blog, we will cover the two RabbitMQ and ZeroMQ software. We will learn what they are, we will get to know their advantages and disadvantages. Then I will present their benefits and features along with the differences that exist between them. Eventually, I will conclude which software will be more beneficial and profitable for companies. At first I will create simple and short descriptions of two well known open source message queues: RabbitMQ and ZeroMQ.

I invite you to read the RabbitMQ vs ZeroMQ – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons). Enjoy!

What is a RabbitMQ?

Well RabbitMQ it is an open source messaging software. It accepts messages from producers and sends them to consumers. Additionally acts as an intermediary and can be used to reduce the loading and delivery time of the web application server.

Secondly RabbitMQ supports multiple programming languages ​​and can run on different cloud environments and operating systems. Furthermore provides a browser based user interface for monitoring and management, as well as an HTTP user interface and CLI tools for operation.

Notwithstanding is lightweight and easy to deploy in the cloud and on premises. In addition, it can be deployed in distributed and unified configurations to provide high scalability and availability to meet business needs.

Benefits of RabbitMQ Message Broker


Messages can be consumed and interacted with any third party system. So you want messages to be handled seamlessly by someone other than the participant who created them. One of the advantages it brings us is that it can be reused by many projects.

Delivery of the order and delivery

Nevertheless messages are sent to consumers in the same order in which they were created.


Queues hold messages until they are fully processed.


You can have a dedicated application server for other processes and servers for web browsing.

RabbitMQ Use Cases

Legacy Applications – One fo the use cases for RabbitMQ is its implementation using off the shelf connectors to connect consumer applications with legacy applications. A JMS application that uses the Java Message Service JMS plugin and the JMS client library.

Complex Routing – If you want to route messages between multiple consumer applications, such as a microservices architecture, RabbitMQ is probably your best bet. Whereas RabbitMQ Consistent Hash Exchange can balance the processing load of distributed monitoring services.

The main advantages of using RabbitMQ

  • Easily available because it is an open source software.
  • Management UI.
  • It is managed by the ability to add more queues and more services.
  • Ease of integration and system configuration.
  • The most widely used open source messaging medium.
  • Asynchronous Messaging.
  • Fast and works for good metrics/monitoring.
  • Configuration ease.
  • Set up and start is a easy task.
  • Minimum data traffic.
  • Enterprise and Cloud ready.

The main disadvantages of using RabbitMQ

  • Broker options are limited because this is a messaging broker.
  • Slow to process large data sets.
  • Has premium integration services.
  • Written in Erlang. The source code is difficult to read due to unfamiliar syntax, which adds complexity.
  • Complex AMQP contact form for beginners.

What is a ZeroMQ?

ZeroMQ looks like an embeddable networking library, but behaves like a concurrency framework. It provides you with sockets that transfer atomic messages across various transport media. Including interprocess, broadcast control protocol and multicast.

N-to-N connectors can be joined using patterns. Such as extended distribution, publishing, subscribing, job submission and reply request. Definitely it is fast enough to be material for cluster products. The asynchronous I / O model provides scalable multicore applications designed as asynchronous message processing tasks. Specifically it includes many language APIs for most operating systems.

Benefits of ZeroMQ Message Broker

  • Small and lightweight, with great performance to support. In addition large capacity phase data streams.
  • A wide range of message templates with a set of loss/reliability characteristics: like  general/sub; client server.
  • Multiple language and platform integration points that are all integrated and supported.
  • In practice, ZeroMQ is used to manage the socket layer on behalf of the application.
  • Message content is flexible and easily adapted to the phase measurement model: identification, timestamp, value and metrics.
  • Good scalability of the architecture. Can be easily expanded from in application communication to inter application communication and extended communication.

The main advantages of using ZeroMQ

  • Fully distributed, so there is no need for a server, reducing a single process.
  • Multithreading can be used to read from different nodes using all CPU cores.
  • More powerful because no single node can shut down the entire system.
  • Lightweight and fast.
  • Transport agnostic.
  • All modern languages ​​and platforms are supported.
  • Carries messages across IPC, TCP, TPIC and multicast.
  • Powered by a large and active open source community.

The main disadvantage of using ZeroMQ

  • Difficult for ordinary developers and engineers to understand and use abstractions.
  • Diffuse and inefficient model.

RabbitMQ vs ZeroMQ Comparison

So RabbitMQ is a traditional message broker that implements several messaging protocols. This Software was originally developed to implement AMQP (Advance Message Queuing Protocol). What AMQP does it standardizes messaging with the help of producers, brokers and consumers.

But ZeroMQ is a high performance open source messaging library. Cross platform software that supports multiple languages and is light and fast. Simultaneously ZeroMQ is an email service provider. Using these providers requires a messaging API to send and receive messages. These providers must be integrated with the application server. Undeniably ZeroMQ is particularly suitable for high throughput, low latency scenarios.

Message Retention

Message retention of RabbitMQ sends the message to the consumer. Once the message is processed and an acknowledgment arrives, the message is removed from the queue.

Interestingly ZeroMQ does not support message retention. If no subscriber is mentioned, ZeroMQ will drop the message and even if the subscriber is missing, a buffer in memory with a configurable size can be filled.


Performance of RabbitMQ  facilitates the mediation function. That is, it supports message continuity and is therefore can be slower.

Undoubtedly ZeroMQ is much faster than RabbitMQ because it doesn’t store messages on disk. So it doesn’t need to send messages back and forth. 


Comparatively RabbitMQ facilitates proxy behaviour. Additionally supports message persistence.

Well with ZeroMQ persistence is not supported. It looks like you can use the toolkit to create a custom messaging system. This means that if the other party stops connecting to the Internet, the messages will be lost because there is nothing to save or store them.


Throughput in RabbitMQ provides a transmission speed of up to 4k-10k messages/s.

Unquestionably higher performance is provided by ZeroMQ . You can get a transfer rate of 10,000 messages per 15 milliseconds, or between 66,000 and 70,000 messages/s. Requires less hardware so results in high performance.

Main Concept

Main concept of RabbitMQ message broker is that it implements the AMQP low level protocol and the consumer product model. Acts as an intermediary between two applications during connection processing.

With ZeroMQ  it’s concept is a high performance asynchronous messaging library.


Let’s not forget that RabbitMQ uses a smart broker/consumer model and always sends messages to consumers with the same speed as a broker that tracks the condition of the consumer. Moreover it contain the swap queue topology where manufacturers send messages to exchanges. They are then routed to different queue links for use by consumers.

Similarly ZeroMQ has a first class subscription filter definitions. Subscription filters help you decide which messages you want to receive based on prefixes. The first frame of each message contains the logical stream name and the second frame contains the actual log entry. Alternatively, we can configure ZeroMQ to return exact matches on the first frame, so we only get the records we care about.

Service Capability

Here with RabbitMQ exchange concept includes Fanout, topic based routing, direct routing, header exchange and other messaging methods.

Worth adding that ZeroMQ supports point to point and point to multipoint connectivity.


Security of RabbitMQ is high with all messages are encrypted with SSL and access to the application is via SAML/SSO compatible.

For traffic authentication and encryption, ZeroMQ uses the CurveZMQ protocol.


Scalability of RabbitMQ can be scaled both Horizontally (Nodes) and Vertically (Queues).

But with ZeroMQ is limited to scale 16 core boxes in vertical scaling.

That is it! Thank you for reading RabbitMQ vs ZeroMQ – What’s the Difference ? (Pros and Cons).

RabbitMQ vs ZeroMQ – What’s the Difference ? Conclusion

I came to the conclusion that ZeroMQ is not a message broker, but a library for building brokers and protocols. Summarizing both RabbitMQ and ZeroMQ rely on different aspects of messaging.

Mainly ZeroMQ focuses more on how messages are transmitted across the network. On the other hand, RabbitMQ focuses on how messages are stored, filtered and monitored. By combining these two technologies, you can get the best of both worlds. Why don’t you consider using both simultaneously? 

See more our RabbitMQ content here.

Avatar for Kamil Wisniowski
Kamil Wisniowski

I love technology. I have been working with Cloud and Security technology for 5 years. I love writing about new IT tools.

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